The judicial magistrate’s court in Quetta has handed over Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi, a leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the nephew of former prime minister Imran Khan, to Punjab police on a seven-day transitory remand. This comes after Niazi was arrested by Quetta police under Section 3 of the MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) late Saturday, hours after being granted bail for attacking police officers and causing chaos near the Judicial Complex in G-11, Islamabad.
The Punjab police had reached Quetta to take Hasan Niazi into custody in an attempted murder case registered against him at Lahore’s Race Course police station. The Balochistan government released orders for handing over Niazi to Punjab police after receiving a request from the Punjab Home Department via a letter for Niazi’s custody.
During a hearing at the judicial magistrate’s court in Quetta, Niazi was summoned to the judge’s chamber and later given into Punjab police’s custody. The PTI leader was given transitory remand to present him in a Lahore court.
Niazi, speaking to media persons in district kachehri, said Punjab is his home and it doesn’t matter wherever the police take him. He also said he doesn’t understand why he was locked up under three MPO after the release order, adding that this too shall pass. Niazi congratulated the PTI chief on holding a “successful” public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan a day earlier and said the people who attended the jalsa once again showed Imran Khan was the most popular leader.
The arrest of Niazi is part of an ongoing crackdown on PTI workers who the police claim have assaulted law enforcement personnel while they were performing their duties in Islamabad. On March 18, the Quetta Airport police station filed a case against Niazi on charges of inciting violence and interfering with police affairs, based on a complaint by Inspector Abdullah. It should be noted that Niazi was not named in the FIR by the Quetta police.
In conclusion, the arrest and subsequent handover of Hassaan Niazi to Punjab police on transitory remand mark a significant turn of events in the ongoing crackdown on PTI workers. It remains to be seen what the outcome of Niazi’s case will be and how it will impact the political landscape of Pakistan.