PTI Leader Granted Bail by PHC Following Violent Protest

The Swat Circuit Bench of the Peshawar High Court granted bail to Sadidur Rahman. He is a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and Bisham Tehsil Council chairman. Police arrested Rahman recently following a violent protest after the general elections in Shangla. The court considered the arguments presented by the petitioner’s lawyer. Later, it ruled in favor of granting bail to Rahman and ordered his immediate release. 

The police had apprehended approximately two dozen PTI workers who were participating in a protest in Alpuri. The demonstration became violent, resulting in three fatalities and numerous injuries. Subsequently, the police filed charges against about 1,200 PTI workers in connection with the incident. In a separate development, the district magistrate postponed the bail application hearing for another PTI leader, Said Rahman, until February 20. Said Rahman had been detained under Section 3 of the Maintenance and Public Order Ordinance and was being held at the Peshawar Central Prison.

The PTI demanded the immediate dismissal of the Punjab and Sindh chief secretaries, as well as the police chiefs of both provinces. They were allegedly facilitating electoral fraud and undermining the people’s mandate.

According to the PTI’s central media department, the party’s senior leadership has requested the removal of these four officials due to their involvement in tarnishing democracy and promoting lawlessness in their respective provinces.

The PTI’s senior leadership emphasized the need for these officials to be held accountable for their actions.

Earlier that day, the PTI organized protest rallies in various cities, including Islamabad and Lahore. This was an effort to denounce the alleged rigging in the recent general elections. The election results suffered delays and invited allegations of rigging from parties, including the PTI, across Pakistan. However, the protest in Lahore faced police resistance, particularly against party leader Salman Akram Raja.

In Lahore, the police cracked down on the rally, arresting dozens of protesters, including PTI-backed independent candidate Raja for NA-128 and several women.

The protesters in the nationwide rallies included individuals of various demographics, including men, women, and a significant number of young people. The youth were seen waving PTI flags and voicing slogans against “rigging.”

In Islamabad, a protest march was led by PTI’s Sher Afzal Marwat. Despite PTI Islamabad’s application for permission to organize the rally the deputy commissioner declined it. This led to the imposition of Section-144 in the federal capital, the party proceeded with the protest.

The rally commenced at F-9 Park and concluded in front of the National Press Club before dispersing. Shoaib Shaheen, Seemabia Tahir, Shehryar Riaz, and other PTI leaders also took part in the event.

During his address to the rally attendees, Marwat emphasized that the resignation of Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha revealed how unscrupulous individuals had fraudulently manipulated the people’s mandate.

Earlier that day, Chatha admitted that the tempering of February 8 general election results during his tenure. Leading independent candidates, who were significantly ahead in votes, were to lose due to the use of counterfeit stamps. Consequently, he resigned from his position.

Various other PTI leaders also delivered speeches at the gathering.