PTI lawmaker Arsalan Taj (right) stands alongside his partys Chairman Imran Khan in this photo. —  Facebook/Arsalan Taj

PTI lawmaker Arsalan Taj (right) stands alongside his party’s Chairman Imran Khan in this photo. —  Facebook/Arsalan Taj
  • PTI claims Arsalan kept at unknown location.
  • Plain-clothed men arrested lawmaker, party alleges.
  • Homes of MPAs Khurram Sherzaman and Raja Azhar also raided, as per PTI.

With the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) speeding up its preparations for a rally led by Chairman Imran Khan in Lahore, its Sindh lawmaker Arsalan Taj Hussain was arrested from his residence in Karachi, the party’s provincial spokesperson claimed on Sunday.

Hussain, PTI’s member provincial assembly from PS-102 Karachi East 4 and the party’s general secretary in the city, had slammed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon in a presser a day earlier. He also claimed that the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) was, in fact, the “PPP’s B team”.

Hussain was apprehended by “men in plain clothes” from his residence in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, the party alleged.

The spokesperson also claimed that the police raided the MPA’s house and ransacked it. The PTI has condemned their party member’s arrest.

Meanwhile, a raid was also conducted at PTI lawmakers Khurram Sherzaman and Raja Azhar’s residences, the party’s spokesperson. The two MPAs weren’t apprehended, as they were not at home; however, the party claimed that Azhar’s family was harassed while he was not home.

Following Hussain’s arrest, his mother claimed that the police raided their home and arrested her son without warrant.

“No female officer accompanied the policemen. The police ransacked our house. [We] don’t know where they have taken Arsalan,” she alleged while adding that some 20 to 25 people picked the lawmaker.

Police unaware about ‘arrest’

The police, meanwhile, said that they have received a complaint that the MPA has gone missing.

“We are investigating Arsalan Taj’s disappearance,” the police said.

PTI demands lawmaker’s release

Even though the party has been claiming that the lawmaker was arrested by men in plain clothes.

The party, on Twitter, has shared a video of the MPA being taken by the police.

“PPP has repeatedly showed their true colours, will the media now speak up!?” the party wrote on the microblogging site.

Reacting to the raids on PTI lawmakers’ residences, the party’s Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry took to his Twitter to condemn the lawmaker’s arrest and demanded his “immediate release”.

“PTI Karachi General Secretary and MPA Arsalan Taj Ghuman. has been abducted by authorities PTI strongly condemn this abduction and demand release of Arsalan immediately,” he tweeted.

PTI MPA Firdous Shamim Naqvi has alleged that the lawmaker has been arrested without a warrant.

“I have been to three police stations, but there is no one anywhere. The Gulistan-e-Johar police station refused to take the application,” he said.

Naqvi added that Hussain’s family is worried at this time and the party will protest against his arrest.

The party’s leader Shehzad Qureshi also condemned the illegal action carried out by police at night.

“Arsalan Taj has been kept at an unknown location. The police are threatening the families of leaders,” he claimed while questioning the police if its sees parliamentarians as terrorists.

Sherzaman, on the other hand, asked if the police had sought permission from the speaker before arresting Hussain.

“Rules are set before arresting a member of the assembly. I demand immediate release of Arsalan Taj,” the lawmaker said.

In November last year, Hussain — in addition to PTI Sindh President Ali Zaidi and five MPAs, leaders and workers — was booked in two identical cases for their alleged involvement in violence, arson, assault on policemen, and terrorism at the Numaish intersection on May 25.

According to the prosecution, the PTI leaders in violation of the ban imposed on public gatherings under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) had taken out a rally of 600 to 700 workers and gathered at Numaish.

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