PTI’s Azhar Mashwani returns home safely after 8 days

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PTI leader Azhar Mashwani returned home on Friday, he announced on Twitter, more than a week after he was picked up.

“Alhumdullilah I have just returned home safe and sound,” Mashwani tweeted. “Your prayers, efforts, and support in these eight days have left us forever indebted.”

Mashwani added that he prayed that other “captive workers” also return home soon and they get to break their fasts with their families.

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry confirmed to Dawn.com that Mashwani had returned home.

Yesterday, the Lahore High Court ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to recover and produce Mashwani in court on April 3. Justice Aalia Neelum had passed the order on a habeas corpus petition filed by Mazharul Hassan, Mashwani’s brother.

That same day, PTI’s Insaf Youth Wing had called for a countrywide protest for the immediate release of Mashwani and his immediate production in the court.

He was picked up last week, apparently on charges of criticising the Punjab police and the caretaker government for allegedly using high-handed tactics against party workers.

The arrest of Mashwani, a former focal person for digital media in Punjab, prompted PTI chief Imran Khan to say, “enough is enough”, as he accused the authorities of abducting the party activist.

On March 26, after a sessions court had issued notices to the Lahore police chief on a petition seeking the registration of a case over the alleged abduction of Mashwani, city police had registered a case over the weekend against unidentified persons for kidnapping the PTI activist.

The FIR had stated that Mashwani went missing outside his house last week on March 23 when he was going to Zaman Park in a cab. However, his mobile phone was switched off after some time and his family and friends were not able to contact him.

His brother had claimed that some unidentified people kidnapped his brother and took him to an undisclosed location.