Dr Yasmin Rashid, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and former Punjab health minister, has been released by the Lahore High Court (LHC), a day after her arrest. Justice Safdar Saleem Shahid ordered her release, provided she is not wanted in any other cases.
The LHC also suspended the detention of 17 other female workers of the PTI in a separate hearing.
Dr Rashid’s arrest followed the police crackdown on PTI leaders, and raids taking place in Islamabad and Lahore after increasingly violent party supporter protests. She was arrested under section three of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), and a number of cases have been filed against her, including an attack on the Lahore Corps Commander’s residence.
Andaleeb Abbas, PTI leader, explained that the former minister had been hiding to avoid arrest. Her close family members were taken into custody, with her husband being released due to his health deteriorating. Her brother-in-law remains in police custody.
PTI demands immediate release of other incarcerated members
The PTI is calling for the immediate release of other senior members who remain incarcerated. These currently include Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhary, Ejaz Chaudhary, Ali Mohammad Khan, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, and Omar Sarfaraz Cheema, all of whom were arrested under section three of the MPO.
Defence Minister expresses remorse
The Defence Minister, Khawaja Asif, expressed remorse for violating the sanctity of families during recent events. He apologised to those affected, stating that the word ‘revenge’ does not exist in politics and that no matter how much these actions are condemned, it is not enough. He further stated his willingness to go to the homes of the women whose honour was violated to apologise.