On Thursday, Senator Ejaz Chaudhry, the additional secretary general of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was rearrested soon after being released from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. His arrest under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Ordinance (MPO) had earlier been declared illegal by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
As Chaudhry’s family waited for his release outside the jail, he was arrest again after leaving through the back gate. Security officials took him away in a private vehicle. Chaudhry had been initially arrested, along with other senior party leaders, following violent countrywide protests after the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case on May 9.
PTI workers had attacked both private and public properties including military installations such as the Lahore Corps Commander House or Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) entrance. The protests continued for days and ended when Khan was released.
An audio leak, allegedly featuring Chaudhry, came to light during the protests. In the tape, Chaudhry can be heard telling another person, believed to be his son Ali Chaudhry, that the protesters had ransacked the Corps Commander House, everything in the house, including the flowerpots, had been destroyed, and three people had sustained bullet injuries.
After the May 9 vandalism, thousands of PTI workers and leaders were arrested. Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir announced that legal action had been initiated under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act against all those involved in the attacks on military installations.
Earlier this week, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who had been released from Adiala jail on the IHC’s order, was also rearrested shortly afterwards. As a result of the May 9 violence, a slew of leaders has left PTI, including senior vice presidents Fawad Chaudhry and Shireen Mazari. Separately, secretary general Asad Umar announced his resignation from the position, and he will no longer be a part of the core committee as well.