PTI’s Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar released after suspension of MPO orders
LAHORE MIRROR — The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has suspended the detention orders against two politicians from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar, ordering their immediate release.
The detention, carried out under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance, was lifted after pleas seeking their release were heard by the court. The arrests were linked to their alleged involvement in the May 9 riots, which were triggered by the earlier arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan.
Afridi was initially arrested on May 16 under the MPO Ordinance and was re-arrested on May 30 despite a release order. He was later granted bail by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on August 3 but was taken back into custody by Rawalpindi police after his release from Adiala jail. In response, his lawyer filed a plea in the IHC for his release and the revocation of the MPO order.
Similarly, Gulzar was reportedly picked up by Islamabad police on August 9, prompting her mother to file a petition with the IHC. During the hearing, the court also initiated contempt of court proceedings against the deputy commissioner of Islamabad.
The court questioned Afridi about his residence in the capital, and upon confirmation, allowed him to return home. Gulzar was also ordered to be released but with restrictions on her movement within Islamabad. The judge cautioned that if any harm befell Gulzar, responsibility would lie with the Islamabad Inspector General and chief commissioner.
Afridi appeared in court alongside his lawyer, Sher Afzal Marwat, and carried a copy of the Holy Quran. Justice Babar Sattar of the IHC summoned the Islamabad deputy commissioner and requested information about the events of May 9. The deputy commissioner mentioned intelligence reports suggesting Afridi’s involvement in provoking people and planning the attack on the district courts as part of the party’s campaign against the judiciary.
Despite being incarcerated, Afridi was said to have provoked people according to the intelligence reports, which the deputy commissioner relied upon. The Special Branch’s report was criticized by Justice Sattar, who sought the notification justifying Afridi’s arrest. The court expressed dissatisfaction with the Senior Superintendent of Police’s response and ordered contempt of court action against both the SSP and the deputy commissioner.
During the proceedings, the court inquired about Afridi’s activities during his detention in Adiala jail from the jail superintendent. The case’s hearing was adjourned for a period of two weeks.
The Islamabad High Court’s decision to suspend the detention orders against PTI politicians Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar came after pleas were heard, leading to their immediate release. The court also expressed dissatisfaction with law enforcement’s handling of the case, ordering contempt of court actions against involved officials. The case will be continued after a two-week adjournment.