–Siddiqui says ‘such an incident cannot take place in democratic and just country’
–NA speaker seeks report on handcuffing of ‘senior journalist and teacher’, summons IG to parliament
ISLAMABAD: Irfan Siddiqui, an advisor to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was released on a bail on Sunday two days after he was arrested by police for violating the tenancy act in a late-night raid.
Siddiqui, who served as the special assistant to the prime minister on national affairs during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.
As per details, Magistrate Mehreen Baloch approved his bail application on Sunday.
The bail plea filed by Siddiqui’s counsel was supposed to be heard on Monday. Baloch, however, commenced court over the weekend and granted Siddiqui a post-arrest bail even before his lawyers reached her office.
Siddiqui’s legal team then headed to Adiala jail with the magistrate’s order to secure his release.
Speaking to reporters after his release along with PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb, Siddiqui said, “Such an incident cannot take place in a [country that has a] democratic government that is just and values democratic norms.”
He said that he was busy writing late at night when the police came to arrest him. “Dozens of policemen had surrounded the house.”
“I was dragged into a car and was treated like a terrorist,” he lamented, adding that he will write about the incident.
NA SPEAKER CONCERNED:
Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has summoned Islamabad Inspector General of Police to parliament along with a report on the incident.
He expressed concern over the handcuffing of Siddiqui terming it as “condemnable”. “It is condemnable to handcuff [him] for disobeying the tenancy law,” he told Interior Minister Ijaz Shah in a phone conversation.
“Irfan Siddiqui is a senior journalist and teacher,” Asad said. “We have to respect the sanctity of knowledge and freedom of expression.”
“I cannot tolerate injustice with anyone on any level,” the speaker declared and said that the matter must be probed.
Police in the federal capital late on Friday had arrested Irfan Siddiqui. Police had said Siddiqui was arrested for violating tenancy laws and renting out his house without informing the police. The case was registered under Section 188 at the Ramna police station.
In the FIR No 243/19, the police said that they had received a complaint and on verification of the agreement signed between the owner and tenant Under this law, all property owners have to inform local police stations about the details of their tenants.
Another man named Javed Iqbal, who was a tenant at the house, was arrested along with Siddiqui.
Siddiqui was shifted to the Crime Investigation Agency police station after being kept at Islamabad’s Ramna police station. He was remanded into judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday.