ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the concerned authorities to immediately release the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari.
Chief Justice IHC Justice Athar Minallah, while hearing the case, ordered the federal government to form a judicial commission to probe into the incident.
Mazari was presented in the courtroom before the deadline after the IHC had ordered the authorities to produce Mazari at 11:30 PM.
During the hearing, Mazari told the court her mobile phone was seized, and had not been returned yet.
The former minister of human rights said that she asked the police to call her daughter, but she was not allowed.
CJ Minaalh ordered the authorities to return mobile phone and other belongings of Mazari.
The court had also summoned the federal interior secretary, Islamabad IGP, and deputy commissioner.
The IHC orders came after a petition was filed against Mazari’s arrest by her daughter Imaan Zainab Mazari.
Case registered against Mazari
Earlier in the day, a case was registered against Mazari under Section 409 (Criminal breach of trust by a public servant or banker, merchant or agent) of the Pakistan Penal Code on April 1, according to details acquired from Kohsar Police Station. Dera Ghazi Khan anti-corruption police reached Kohsar police station at 9am on Saturday to arrest her and move her to Dera Ghazi Khan.
By the afternoon her daughter had filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court to have her mother produced.
“I do not know where my mother is and she was forcefully abducted. All I want to say is I will not spare anyone if something happens to my mother,” said Shireen’s daughter Imaan Mazari while speaking to media.
The HRCP said that it condemned the arrest that smacked of political victimization.
The case The Anti-corruption department of DG Khan filed FIR No. 5/2022 after an investigation.
The deputy commissioner of District Rajanpur sent a reference to the anti-corruption DG in Punjab on April 9 about the misplacement of a Jamabandi 1971-72 for Mouza Katcha Mianwali No 2 and recommended arrests.
The anti-corruption teams started looking into the case and the involvement of two patwaris. During the course of the investigation, a tehsildar, land reforms clerk and other officers were summoned for questioning.
The ACE alleges that when the land records were scrutinised, it emerged that Shireen Mazari had allegedly connived with revenue officiers to fraudulently get a fake mutation dated Jan 6, 1972 to transfer 800 kanal of land in the name of a fake company (M/S Progressive Farms). The thumbprints and signatures were missing and certain documents were never submitted to the Muhafiz Khana of the DC’s office in Rajanpur.
The Federal Land Commission had declared the mutation bogus in 1975.
Shireen’s daughter, lawyer and human rights activist Imaan Mazari also took to Twitter to share the news. She said policemen beat her mother and dragged her away.
“Shireen is a respected individual in the world and she has been working for human rights in the country since General Ziaul Haq’s time,” PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry told the press outside Kohsar Police Station in Islamabad.
“The government’s goons beat her up, tore her clothes and dragged her away. It is necessary for a woman police officer to be present during a woman’s arrest. There were none, hence this is abduction and not an arrest,” he said.
Aaj News has come across a video that rebuts the allegations from Iman Mazari. Imaan had earlier claimed that Shireen Mazari was arrested by male officers and manhandled in the process, to a point where her clothes were torn. The exclusive footage reveals that women officers were not only present at the scene but were the only officers involved in arresting her.
“This is the first big arrest for our movement and we will move the Islamabad High Court,” said Fawad.
“The police is giving us mixed information, telling us she is being transferred to DG Khan or Lahore. This is a call for war from the government and if that is what they want, that is what will happen,” Chaudhry said.
“There can’t be anything crueler than arresting Shireen on corruption charges,” he added.
“The government is panicking, hence they have attacked a female leader. She is an integral part of our party as well as an asset to our country,” PTI leader Shibli Faraz said addressing the same press conference.
“We cannot deny the role she has played to further human rights in the country and we condemn the way she was abducted. We will soon share what the next step will be,” he added.