Fawad Chaudhry, the leader of the PTI, was detained in an appalling manner by the government and then appeared before an Islamabad district and sessions court hours later. The allegation of ECP Secretary Omer Hamid Khan led to the registration of a case against Fawad last night at the Kohsar Police Station in the federal capital, according to Islamabad Police. The PTI leader has been charged with violating sections 153-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (sedition), 506 of the Criminal Intimidation Act, 505 of the Statements Contributing to Public Mischief Act, and 506 of the Criminal Intimidation Act. Charges under sections 124-A and 153-A are not subject to bail, however charges under sections 505 and 506 of the PPC are.
Politicians speak for political purposes; they shouldn’t be detained for their statements. According to Fawad, anybody who join the caretaker administration would be hunted down and punished. He has stated that those in government positions will be pursued to their homes. The increasing use of sedition case should stop and seditious statements catch politicians off guard. Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest in the early hours of Wednesday in Lahore is neither stunning nor unexpected given the present dynamics in power corridors.
We have Shehbaz Gill, Azam Swati, Imran Riaz, Arshad Sharif, and others who have been hunted, jailed, (supposedly) tortured, and eventually released on sedition accusations. Since the news of Fawad Chaudhry’s imprisonment broke, the cash-strapped country has been making the rounds in the international media. While the ruling coalition’s activists have decided to remain silent, the majority of the population has expressed worry about the charges and the way in which the former minister was apprehended.
Such actions demonstrate how the nation has been transformed into a “banana republic,” and Fawad’s imprisonment for accurately describing the CEC leaves little room for dispute about the absence of the rule of law in Pakistan. In the same way that they did in the cases of Azam Swati, Shahbaz Gill, and some journalists, courts must now defend our fundamental rights. Because people were let go as a result of the courts’ participation in each of these cases, the government has damaged its reputation and will eventually pay for it. Although Mr. Chaudhry may have been held accountable for cheering on several unwarranted detentions and the detention of his political rivals while in office, this does not give the government the right to imprison him.
These arrests produce heroes out of thin air. Fawad claims he is “proud” of the charges brought against him because Nelson Mandela dealt with a comparable situation. He asserted that I was accused of treason. He would have shown up in front of the police if they had contacted him, thus the manner in which he was detained was inappropriate.
It seems more arrests would be made after Fawad Chaudhry.