Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry was reportedly arrested by the police in Lahore in the wee hours of Wednesday. Party leader Farrukh Habib told Dawn that Chaudhry was taken into custody from his residence.
The arrest was made shortly after Chaudhry publicly criticised the Pakistan government for plotting to arrest the country’s former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan.
Dawn added that an FIR was registered against Chaudhry under sections 153-A (promotion of enmity between groups), 506 (criminal intimidation), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and 124-A (sedition) of the Pakistan Penal Code at Islamabad’s Kohsar Police Station.
Chaudhry and hundreds of PTI workers had earlier gathered outside Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore, claiming to avert the government’s alleged plan to arrest the party chief.
PTI Twitter handled posted videos showing a convoy of police vehicles which the party claimed was carrying Chaudhry after his arrest.
Several other PTI leaders have also condemned Chaudhry’s arrest. Condemning the arrest PTI Sindh president Ali Haider Zaidi said, “Pakistan has become a lawless state.”
“Strongly condemn the arrest of @fawadchaudhry by the #ImportedGovernmentNaManzoor Pakistan has become a lawless state at the hands of these lawbreaking lawmakers and corrupt law enforcement officers! All hell bent on pushing this country towards anarchy!,” he said.
PTI leaders and workers in large numbers gathered outside Imran Khan’s residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park as rumours of an impending arrest of former Pakistan PM circulated in the early hours of Wednesday.
PTI leader Asad Umar took to Twitter to urge all party workers to reach Zaman Park. PTI in a tweet wrote, “There are reports that the puppet government will try to arrest Chairman Imran Khan tonight Tehreek-e-Insaaf workers are reaching Zaman Park to protect their leader.”
PTI supporters raised slogans in support of Imran Khan and vowed unwavering loyalty to their leader, even if it meant putting their own lives on the line, Geo News reported.
Speaking to reporters earlier in the night on Tuesday, Chaudhry denounced the government’s actions.