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Monday, July 15, 2024

PTI Leader Sher Afzal Marwat Released on LHC Order

Marwat, known for his passionate speeches at PTI events, has recently gained prominence as the party's senior vice president.

PTI Senior Vice President Sher Afzal Marwat was released on Monday following the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) order, overturning his detention under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) last week.

Marwat was apprehended outside the LHC on Dec 14 while intending to join a protest. Video footage shared by the PTI on X (formerly Twitter) depicted his forceful arrest by policemen, with lawyers attempting to intervene. He was subsequently taken to an undisclosed location.

Read more: Latif Khosa from PPP announces joining PTI at Imran Khan’s request

According to police sources, the arrest was made under the MPO, which allows the police to detain individuals deemed “prejudicial to public safety or the maintenance of public order.”

The PTI and legal bodies strongly condemned the arrest. The party, in a statement, blamed the caretaker government for facilitating “unabated lawlessness.” On Friday, the LHC issued notices to the police and Lahore deputy commissioner in response to a petition filed by Marwat’s brother seeking the annulment of his detention orders.

The Punjab government, in its court response today, stated that the notification challenging Marwat’s detention was issued by the deputy commissioner, and the petitioner should approach the relevant forum for the PTI leader’s release.

Advocate Mohsin Abbas, representing the government, argued that the plea for Marwat’s release should have been submitted to the Punjab government first. He requested the petition’s disposal.

Read more: Pakistan Restricts Internet Access Amid PTI Online Jalsa

However, Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry rejected the government’s request and ordered the release of the PTI leader against surety bonds.

The written order, available to Dawn.com, mentioned that Marwat had assured not to engage in activities contrary to the constitution and not to exceed the legal mandate. Consequently, the petition was allowed, and Marwat was directed to be released immediately, subject to providing personal surety bonds.

The PTI later shared a picture of Marwat on social media, announcing his release. Marwat also posted on X, expressing gratitude for the support he received.

Marwat, known for his passionate speeches at PTI events, has recently gained prominence as the party’s senior vice president. Despite other leaders being in hiding or parting ways, he has remained vocal. Earlier this month, Marwat accused the police of attempting to “abduct” him in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Peshawar High Court had subsequently ordered the KP government not to arrest him until further notice in four cases registered against him. In October, a case was filed against Marwat in Dera Ismail Khan for allegedly inciting the public against state institutions through social media.