Police search the residences of PTI leaders ahead of the long march in Islamabad

Police search the residences of PTI leaders ahead of the long march in Islamabad

At midnight on Tuesday, two days after the detention and eventual release of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, police searched the houses of many Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) figures in a domino effect.

In an apparent attempt to arrest former finance minister Hammad Azhar, police stormed his residence in Lahore. In recounting the incident, the PTI leader’s mother recalled how the police team burst into her house, scaring her.

Azhar’s bodyguard also described how law enforcement officers reportedly assaulted and ridiculed his father, a deceased soldier.

Dr Yasmin Rashid, the PTI’s leader, videotaped the raid outside Azhar’s home.

The police were stationed outside former interior minister Sheikh Rashid’s residence early on Monday; thus, Azhar was not the only PTI politician who suffered police force and invasion of privacy.

Following the raid on Hammad Azhar’s home, police also raided the home of former special assistant to the prime minister Usman Dar.

Usman Dar, like Azhar, was not at home; thus, the police were unable to apprehend him. However, the attempted arrests have sparked speculation, with many suspecting they are related to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Islamabad long march, which will take place on Wednesday (May 25).

Azhar defied the attempted arrest by tweeting, “stop us if you can.”

Taking to Twitter, the PTI chief cautioned the present administration that “these fascist actions would aggravate the economic condition and lead the nation into disorder.”

Imran reaffirmed the right to peaceful protest in a free society and criticised those in power’s “brutal response.”

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