The president of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, has been arrested in the eastern city of Lahore on charges of corruption, according to officials.
Elahi, the former chief minister of Punjab, and the president of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, was taken into custody as he was leaving his residence, Zahoor Palace, in the provincial capital of Punjab, after a non-bailable warrant was issued on May 26 by the district court in Lahore.
Elahi’s spokesperson alleged that authorities “misbehaved” with the women accompanying Elahi.
His close aide, Khan, took to Twitter to condemn the violent crackdown against Elahi.
“I strongly condemn the arrest of Ch Pervez Elahi on completely frivolous charges. The manner in which he was arrested & manhandled is also shameful & reprehensible,” Khan wrote on Twitter.
“Shameful how the regime doesn't stop their fascism. The inflation has skyrocketed to 38 percent, and their response is to arrest former CM Punjab Parvez Elahi. Absolutely ridiculous!” the party tweeted along with a video in which the 77-year- old leader was seen being dragged by security personnel from his residence.
Elahi’s arrest comes amidst the ongoing crackdown against PTI members. During the past few weeks, several key PTI leaders have been arrested ever since the violent protests of May 9.
“Pervez Elahi is wanted in several corruption cases,” Amir Mir, caretaker information minister in the eastern province of Punjab, told Reuters.
Mir also said that Punjab's anti-corruption department had been looking for Elahi for many days, while, Elahi previously denied accusations of corruption.
Many PTI leaders decided to quit the party after being released, while others remain on the run to avoid arrest.
Meanwhile, Khan accused the government of running a campaign to break his party. However, the government denies the accusations and states that the party members are quitting the party on their own free will.
Khan has directly accused the country’s powerful military of owning and running the country’s government.