Federal govt denies involvement in late-night raid on Elahi’s residence

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Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Saturday denied any involvement of the federal government in the last night’s raid on the residence of former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi — a key ally of deposed prime minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Central President.

A team of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Punjab, and the Lahore police conducted the raid to arrest the PTI leader. The raiding teams remained on the premises of the former CM’s residence for more than three hours during which they took around nine people into custody, but were unable to find Elahi.

The ACE team, led by Additional Director Waqas Hassan, along with heavy contingents of the Anti-Riot Force (ARF), raided the residence of the former Punjab chief minister in a case reportedly registered at the ACE Gujranwala.

Read more: Police break into Elahi’s residence

According to a statement issued today, Dar contacted senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi and denied any involvement of the Centre in the police action, saying that it was instead carried out by the caretaker Punjab government.

Dar expressed sorrow over the raid and the violation of the sanctity of the “veil and the four walls”. Qureshi informed Dar about the emotions of Elahi’s family as well as the sentiments within the party.

“We will inform our leadership about the emotions of the PTI,” Dar assured Qureshi, adding that his party will soon contact the opposition party again in this regard.

Earlier in the day, Punjab police booked Elahi on terror charges. The case has been registered against 50 individuals including the former chief minister in Lahore’s Ghalib Market police station.

The FIR invokes Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and has 13 other charges included pertaining to attempted murder, rioting and assault on government officials.

According to the FIR, filed on an anti-corruption officer’s complaint, the raiding team was attacked with petrol bombs, stones and batons. The complaint added that Elahi assisted in escaping arrest during the raid.

 

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