PML-N’s top leadership fails to get bail orders

LAHORE: Despite the passage of four days, the top leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has failed to get bail orders in FIRs registered against them on terrorism and other charges.

On the other hand, police officials are reluctant to arrest suspects who neither have the bail orders nor participating in the process of the investigation.

Some PML-N activists visited Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) for getting their bail orders in the FIRs registered against them under the charges of damaging public properties, pelting stones, attacking police parties and removing barricades of police from the roads during a rally they took out to express solidarity with deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on July 13.

While PMLN’s top leadership, including nominated accused former prime minister Khaqan Abbasi, former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz, PML-N chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, former federal railway minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, former minister of state for information Marriyum Aurangzeb, state minister for interior Talal Chaudhary and several others did not visit the court for getting their bail orders since the FIRs were registered against them four days ago.

Recently, accused PML-N activists Muhammad Wajid, Gulfam, Ghulam Mustafa, Yassen, Ehtisham, Ali Raza, Muhammad Khalil, Faheem, Ghulam Dasgir filed after arrest bail applications. ATC has fixed July 19 for arguments on their after arrest bail applications.

The petitioners contended that they have been implicated in a false case by the police officials merely to show their efficiency. They claimed that they remained peaceful during the rally and did not damage any public property.

They said they took part in the rally, led by former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a peaceful manner. They contended that police officials not only arrested their leaders and party workers but also nominated them in forged cases.

Senior Advocate and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Former Secretary Aftab Bajwa said that the investigation officer has the right to arrest the accused persons. But, in the matter of sections relating to terrorism, the accused persons would have to get bail to participate in the investigation process.

“Everyone knows why influential politicians are not being arrested despite the fact that they are nominated in FIRs. In Pakistan, the law is not the same for rich and poor. Police arrest the relatives of poor people if the suspect is at large but on the other hand influential politicians who were nominated in FIRs four days ago, haven’t been arrested as yet.”

No relief for Sharifs as IHC adjourns cases till after elections

Senior Advocate and PML-N Lawyers Forum President Naseer Bhutta said all cases which were registered against PML-N leaders and activists are of frivolous nature. He vowed to challenge all FIRs through a writ petition in the Lahore High Court. He said they visited the police station but police did not give them the copies of the FIRs.

Talking to The Express Tribune, CCPO Lahore BA Nasir said the police investigation wing is looking into the matter and responsible persons will be dealt according to law. The impression is incorrect that a person who is nominated in an FIR should be arrested in no time, he said, adding that if there were thousands of people in the rally, it didn’t mean all were involved in criminal activities. “There is a process of investigation, and after proper investigation, the responsible should be dealt in accordance with law.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2018.

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