PHC seeks reply on arrest, whereabouts of Hassan Niazi

Hassan Niazi

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has sought a reply from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on a plea against the arrest of lawyer and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activist Hassan Niazi, whose whereabouts were yet unknown.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Syed Arshad Ali and Justice Fazal Subhan, heard the petition filed by Niazi’s counsel Saroor Shah on Tuesday.

Shah told the court that Niazi was arrested by Abbottabad police on August 13 but his current whereabouts were unknown since then.

The additional advocate general told the court that an FIR had been registered against Niazi for his alleged involvement in the May 9 riots that rocked the country following the former prime minister’s arrest in an alleged corruption case.

PTI worker Hassan Niazi ‘arrested’

The court adjourned the hearing till August 18 and sought a reply from the government on Niazi’s arrest and detention.

Who is Hassan Niazi?

Hassan Niazi is a barrister and a human rights activist who is known for his outspoken views on social media. He was also the focal person for the PTI chief.

Niazi, who is also the nephew of the PTI chief. had been vocal in his criticism of the previous government led by Shehbaz Sharif. He has also defended the PTI chief in various legal cases, including the Al-Qadir Trust case that led to the arrest of the former prime minister on May 9.

What were the May 9 incidents?

The May 9 incidents were a series of violent protests that erupted across Pakistan after the PTI chief was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court. He was accused of being involved in money laundering and misappropriation of funds through a charity organisation called Al-Qadir Trust.

The PTI supporters took to the streets and clashed with the police and security forces. They also attacked and vandalised several government and military installations, including Jinnah House, the residence of Lahore’s Corps Commander, Yadgar-e-Shuhada, a memorial for martyred soldiers, and models of fighter jets and nuclear tests.

The government responded by imposing a mobile internet blockade and launching a crackdown on the PTI leaders and workers. Thousands of people were arrested and charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Some of them were also being tried under the Army Act in military courts.

The PTI alleged that the incidents were a false flag operation orchestrated by unseen forces to discredit the former prime minister and his party. They claimed that their workers were peaceful and did not resort to any violence.

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