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IHC orders authorities to produce Shireen Mazari at 11:30pm, explain ‘why her rights were violated’

Islamabad, MAY 21: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the interior secretary to produce PTI leader Shireen Mazari before the court at 11:30pm tonight, hours after she was manhandled and arrested from outside her residence in Islamabad by police officials over a land ownership and transfer case.

The IHC reopened outside its usual working hours after Mazari’s daughter Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir filed a petition against her mother’s arrest. the high court said that when it has already given orders that no MNA can be arrested without the permission of the Speaker of the National Assembly, and since Mazari is still an MNA on account of not having been de-notified form her seat, then “under what authority of law the fundamental rights of Dr Shireen Mazari were violated?”.

The IHC issued directives for the interior secretary and also summoned Islamabad Inspector General of Police Dr Akbar Nasir Khan and Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon.

The court said that its order should also be sent to Islamabad Advocate General Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon and Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali.

Earlier today, Mazari’s daughter, in a tweet, claimed Mazari was “beaten and taken away by male police officers”, adding: “All I have been told is that Anti-Corruption Wing Lahore has taken her.”

Officials of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) confirmed to that Mazari had been taken into custody.

Islamabad police disagreed with the version of Mazari’s daughter, saying: “Dr. Shireen Mazari was arrested by female police officers as per the law on the request of the anti-corruption department. News of any mishandling is baseless.”

In available footage of her arrest, which was aired by broadcasters, Mazari could be seen being dragged out of a car by female police personnel while she could be heard protesting: “No. Don’t touch me.”

Unidentified voices in the footage could be heard telling her that “there is no issue” and the matter could be discussed “peacefully”. “You are using violence. Don’t you take my phone … you b*****d,” Mazari could be heard saying in response.

Allegations against Mazari

A first information report of the case against Mazari, filed by Anti-Corruption Unit in Dera Ghazi Khan on April 11, said that Mazari had inherited land from her father Ashiq Mohammad Khan. Of that land in Rojhan, the FIR alleges, Mazari transferred 800 kanals to Progressive Farm Limited by way of “forgery”.

The FIR claims that according to assistant commissioner Rojhan, there was no trace of these companies in the record of department of revenue and thus, “these companies are bogus.” In the FIR, Mazari has been accused of conspiring with local land authorities to make “fake” land transfers.

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