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Saturday June 15, 2024

PTI's Hammad Azhar comes out of hiding on 'Khan's instruction'

Islamabad police raid PTI's central office, fail to arrest former minister

By Haider Sherazi
May 22, 2024
PTI leader Hammad Azhar speaking to the media at party central secretariat in Islamabad on May 22, 2024. — X/@balochi5252
PTI leader Hammad Azhar speaking to the media at party central secretariat in Islamabad on May 22, 2024. — X/@balochi5252

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) acting Punjab Chapter President Hammad Azhar, who went into hiding to dodge arrest following May 9 riots, came to the fore on Wednesday.

“Yesterday, I received a message from the PTI founder [Imran Khan] that it’s time to come out of hiding,” said Azhar as he visited the PTI’s Central Secretariat office in Islamabad.

The PTI leader said he would go to Peshawar to secure pre-arrest bail as he has been booked in several cases in connection with May 9 riots that broke out in the country last year after the arrest of PTI founder in corruption case.

“All leaders including Murad Saeed will come out of hiding,” he added.

As soon as the authorities came to know about the PTI leader’s whereabouts, Islamabad police personnel surrounded the party’s secretariat in the federal capital to arrest him.

However, Azhar left the party’s office before the arrival of the police.

In a post on X, PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub condemned the police raid on the PTI’s office.

“Rauf Hassan sahib's attackers have not been traced or arrested yet, but the police 'miraculously ' came to know that Hammad Azhar had visited PTIs Central Office,” he said.

Azhar also posted a picture of him with PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, who suffered facial injury after alleged transgender persons attacked him in the face using blade.

“You attack one, you attack all!” he wrote in the caption.

Hammad, the acting president of PTI Punjab chapter, did not contest the February 8 general elections as his nomination papers were rejected.

He served as energy minister during the tenure of PTI-led government from 2018 to 2022.