'Escorting James Bond': Ex-Pakistan Information Minister Arrested
17:24 25.01.2023 (Updated: 19:07 25.01.2023) Subscribe
Former Minister Fawad Chaudhry was arrested on charges of threatening electoral commission members.
Pakistan's former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has lashed out at the Shehbaz Sharif-led government for taking him into custody from his Lahore home early on Wednesday.
The politician, who belongs to former prime minister Imran Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), denounced the heavy police presence, alleging that they treated him like a "terrorist".
"They have deployed so much police as if they are escorting James Bond," Chaudhry told reporters in Lahore city. "It is being said that I have committed sedition […] I am a former Supreme Court lawyer and federal minister […] I should be treated with respect," he added.
The arrest of Chaudhry came after a report was lodged against him by an Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) employee, alleging that he had threatened the members of the constitutional body at a police station in Islamabad.
A court granted police permission to take the senior PTI politician to Islamabad. However, after a lower court approved his transit remand, a plea challenging his arrest was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The petition placed the Punjab government, the province's deputy inspector general of police, the provincial police officer, the station house officer, and the counter-terrorism department as witnesses in the case.
As the hearing on the matter began, Punjab Advocate General Chaudhry Muhammad Jawad Yaqub informed the LHC that the former minister was taken to Islamabad following his arrest and he was in the custody of the capital's police.
Following the Punjab Advocate General's revelation, the LHC directed the police to bring Chaudhry back to Lahore and present him in front of the bench hearing the plea against his arrest.
Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, who was presiding over the case, also summoned the inspector generals of Islamabad and Punjab to testify.