Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday strongly condemned the arrest of Awami National Party central general secretary and ex- provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain over the death of a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf worker.
Hours after Hussain’s arrest, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed concern over the alleged arrest and manhandling of veteran ANP leader.
The premier sought a report from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General and intelligence bureau as well as other intelligence agencies regarding the incident.
“The prime minister directed that political personalities be treated with respect within the parameters of law,” a PM House statement read, according to Radio Pakistan.
The ANP leader was arrested during the early hours of Sunday over the death of a PTI worker Habibullah.
Habibullah, was killed during aerial firing outside Hussain’s residence in Pabbi tehsil of Nowshera district.
Further, ANP provincial president and former K-P CM Amir Haider Khan Hoti termed the case against Hussain as ‘political victimization.’
“Hussain is a pacifist and is against all kinds of violence, he has never committed a heinous crime, nor he will,” Hoti said.
“Hussain is innocent in this case and it’s a conspiracy against him.”
Separately, Mian Iftikhar Hussain while speaking to The Express Tribune said, “I am not involved in any case, its just a political stunt from my rivals (PTI’s leadership).”
“I am innocent and will get out of this,” he added.
Further, condemning the arrest, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar directed the secretary interior to ask the provincial government to represent an immediate report in this context.
“We hope that there will be a timely and transparent investigation in the matter,” he added.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said Hussain’s arrest is the worst example of political vendetta. ”There are large scale irregularities in local bodies election process in K-P,” he added.
Joining the condemnations, former president Asif Ali Zardari termed the move a dictatorial action of the provincial government, Express News reported.
Zardari demanded K-P government to release Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Liaquat Shabab, quashing “fake cases” registered against them.
The former president also warned K-P Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak to be aware of the consequences of ‘political vendetta’ and not to be blinded by power.
Hussain was presented to a judicial magistrate in Nowshera earlier during the day and he was handed over to the police on a one-day remand for further investigations.
JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman also condemned Hussain’s arrest.
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