Ishaq Dar shuns centre's link to raid on Elahi's house

Ishaq Dar shuns centre's link to raid on Elahi's house


Punjab govt conducted raid, says Dar

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday said the federal government had no link to the raid on PTI president Parvez Elahi’s house residence in Gujrat.

His clarification came as the raid had drawn severe criticism by PTI members amid talks between the PDM-led government and the PTI. Both Mr Dar and Mr Qureshi are part of the teams holding negotiations.

In a telephonic conversation with PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, he expressed his sorrow at the breach of the sanctity of Mr Elahi’s house. “Mr Elahi’s house was raided by Punjab interim government and not the centre,” he clarified.

He added that he would get back to the PTI after conveying their reservations to the PDM leadership.

Earlier, a Punjab police and Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team had raided Mr Elahi's residence, but after six-hour long operation, failed to apprehend the former chief minister.

The police action came to a halt when ACE Punjab Director General Sohail Zafar Chattha left the scene along with the police contingent.

Mr Chattha, while speaking to the media at the former chief minister's residence, denied committing any wrongdoing. He said the security forces acted in accordance with law, claiming that a petrol bomb was thrown at the police party who was there to arrest Mr Elahi. He added that the action was started by the people present at Mr Elahi's residence and they were not cooperating with police.

The PTI had challenged appointment of Mr Chattha as the ACE head. Imran Khan-led party also challenged the decision of the Punjab caretaker government in court in February this year.

The anti-corruption team conducted the operation late at night at the residence of the former chief minister of Punjab in a case registered in Gujranwala and detained 27 people. Sources said those detained by the police from the residence of Parvez Elahi were his employees.

As a heavy contingent of police, along with anti-corruption officials, raided Mr Elahi's house, police also cordoned off Chaudhary Zahoor Elahi Road outside the residence during the operation. An armoured personnel carrier (APC) of police broke the main gate of the residence after the people inside the house resisted the law enforcers and tried to stop the arrest. Police claimed that stones were pelted at them, which injured police personnel and journalists covering the incident.

SP Ammara Shirazi, accompanied by a team of women police officers, entered Mr Elahi's house. Parvez Elahi's lawyer Amir Saeed said police officials intended to arrest his client despite the fact that he was granted bail in the case by the Lahore High Court (LHC). Officials of the ACE demanded to see court's bail order during the raid.

PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry, after concluding the second round of talks, had said arrests would sabotage the process of negotiations. "If you want matters to settle, arrests must be stopped," he added.