The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led federal government Saturday “expressed regret” over the Friday night raid at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi's residence in Lahore, shifting the blame on Punjab caretaker setup for the incident.
A heavy contingent of Punjab Police Friday night stormed Elahi's residence to arrest him, drawing strong criticism from the party, which has been voicing concerns against the arrests of its workers and leaders.
The more than six-hour-long police action came to a halt after Sohail Zafar Chattha, the Director General of Punjab's Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), left the scene along with the police contingent.
In this regard, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held an important meeting with PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who is also spearheading negotiations with the ruling alliance to evolve consensus on holding elections across the country on the same date.
Dar expressed regret over the raid on the PTI president’s house and violation of the sanctity of chadar and char dewari — a phrase used to describe family’s dignity.
During the meeting, Qureshi apprised Dar of the sentiments of the family of Elahi regarding the “illegal attack” at their residence.
“The federal government has nothing to do with the attack on the house of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi,” Dar was quoted as saying in the meeting.
The finance minister added that the raid was conducted by the Punjab caretaker government.
Dar said he would inform the ruling alliance's leadership about the reservations of the PTI regarding the police action and would get back to the opposition party on the matter soon.
Meanwhile, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal criticised the PTI leaders for “using women and children” as a shield to evade arrest.
Speaking on Geo News' programme "Naya Pakistan", the federal minister said both PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Elahi were not arrested when police conducted a raid at their residence.
“We never used wheelchairs or cried on TV,” he said while criticising the PTI’s leaders for raising hue and cry over arrests.
He said PML-N leaders — including its supremo Nawaz Sharif — faced "bogus cases and political victimisation" during the tenure of the PTI-led government.
Speaking on the same programme, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, PML-Q leader and the nephew of Elahi, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the police raid in a phone call with him.
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