Tuesday, May 02, 2023
Police late Monday night raided the residence of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a former Punjab chief minister and the president of the opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), almost two days after they conducted a similar operation at his house in Lahore.
Kunjah House, the former CM's residence in Gujrat, was searched by the police for a brief period, with the anti-corruption department — which was involved in the Lahore raid — denying any involvement.
In the Friday night raid, anti-corruption and police officials used an armoured vehicle to break open the main gate of the PTI president's Gulberg residence and arrested 12 people, mostly his employees, from the house.
The police action comes just hours before the crucial talks on elections between the PTI and the multi-party ruling alliance in the centre Pakistan Democratic Movement. The opposition party had already warned that the negotiations could derail if the arrests and raids did not stop.
Moonis Elahi, the former CM's son, alleged that although the police did not have the search warrant to conduct the raid, he allowed them access to the premises.
Moonis informed the media that the Punjab Police had conducted a similar search on his father's residence in the past.
Sources told Geo News that law enforcers from six to seven police stations had cordoned off the area prior to the raid.
However, the police officers reportedly entered the residence by jumping over the walls. They claimed that their repeated door knocks went unanswered, forcing them to enter the house.
The authorities have not disclosed the reason for the raid nor have they informed the media about any evidence found at the residence so far. Police, however, stated that the person they were looking for was not present at the residence.
During the search of the house, the police briefly detained three employees of the house for interrogation.
Police personnel ended the siege of Kunjah House after conducting a thorough search of the PTI president's residence. The police reportedly searched all the rooms of the house and repeatedly inquired about Elahi's whereabouts, who was not present at the time of the search.
The Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab has distanced itself from the raid, saying that it was an exclusive police action.
Following the search at Kunjah House, the police moved to Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain's residence, where they remained present but did not make any arrests.
According to police sources, the household staff was questioned about Elahi during the search.