‘Move On’ chief’s arrest ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday summoned the inspector general of police (IGP) Islamabad and the station house officer (SHO) of the Secretariat police station based on a petition filed by Move on Pakistan (MoP) against the arrest of party chairman Mohammad Kamran.
Mr Kamran was arrested on Wednesday on the charges of attempting to spread anarchy and defaming the army and the government. Kotwali police produced him before a judicial magistrate and sought a 14 day physical remand, in a case registered against him based on a complaint filed by Aamir Shahzad in Chiniot Bazaar. The magistrate granted a two day physical remand.
However, a police official told Dawn that Mr Kamran was arrested in Islamabad, but his arrest was shown from Chiniot Bazaar in Faisalabad.
The IHC bench also directed the police to produce Mr Kamran before the court at 11am on Thursday. The bench granted Asif Iqbal and Ali Raza, who are also MoP members, interim pre-arrest bail against surety bonds of Rs20,000 each. Prior to this, Mr Iqbal, Mr Raza and Mr Kamran were also granted protective bail, on July 15.
Party head Mohammad Kamran was granted protective bail until July 22
On July 14, an FIR was registered against MoP officials at the Secretariat police station under sections 120(b), 124(a), 505(ii) and 34 of the PPC. The FIR said the aforementioned individuals hung banners within the jurisdiction of the Secretariat police station that aimed to entice people to rebel against the government.
The three aforementioned suspects are Faisalabad natives, and members of a political party that hung banners across the country that were emblazoned with pictures of Gen Raheel Sharif and the inscription “jaaney ki baatein jaaney do, khuda ke liye a baa jao”.
Mr Kamran, Mr Iqbal and Mr Raza were granted protective bail until July 22 to appear before the district court.
In a contempt of court petition the petitioner, Mr Raza, the central organiser of the MoP said the party chairman was arrested on July 22 despite having been granted protective bail by the court. The petition seeks contempt of court proceedings against the police.
The petitioner cited the Secretariat SHO and the Islamabad IGP as respondents. He said that as soon as the government was informed that the petitioners were granted protective bail, it had similar FIRs lodged across the country to ensure they were arrested, and two such FIRs were lodged in Lahore and Faisalabad.
The petitioner’s counsel, Taimoor Alam Khan, adopted before the court that Mr Kamran was on protective bail until July 22, and he had filed his bail prior to his arrest at the district court along with a petition asking for the suspension of various FIRs lodged against him.
On July 20, Mr Kamran was arrested at a guesthouse in F-6/1 after two people – one in police uniform and the other in civilian clothing – entered his room at 3:30am. At the time, Mr Kamran was accompanied by Mr Iqbal, who told the police officials that all three MoP members were on protective bail granted by the IHC. The police tore the attested copy of the court order, and left with Mr Kamran after threatening Mr Iqbal. They also took mobile phones, credit and debit cards and Rs70,000 in cash with them.
The petitioner then searched for Mr Kamran at all of the city’s police stations but could not locate him because the police had taken him to an unknown location.
The petitioner asked the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the respondents and direct them to produce Mr Kamran in court. The petitioner also said the allegations levelled against them in the FIR were baseless, and were a case of political victimisation aimed at humiliating the petitioner.
The petitioner claimed that the MoP’s banners only requested the chief of army staff to accept an extension, if offered.
He added that PPC section 505ii could not be applied to this case as the banners contained neither rumours nor alarming news, and had no intention of creating or promoting hatred or ill will related to language, race, ethnicity, caste, creed or religion and so the offence does not fall under the clause.
The petitioner said that the banners were misinterpreted, and only wanted Mr Sharif to accept an extension to his service and were not inviting him to impose martial law. He said the party members only wished to express their opinion, which is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution. They hung banners across the country legally and did not aim to entice the people to breach peace in the country.