Farrukh Habib, a close associate of Imran Khan, a prominent leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), was arrested in Gwadar by security forces, along with eight other individuals.
The Balochistan Caretaker Minister for Information, Jan Achakzai, confirmed the arrest of Farrukh Habib and the eight others to Dawn newspaper.
According to officials, Habib had arrived in Gwadar and was staying at a local hotel. Acting on a tip-off about his presence, plainclothes security personnel conducted a raid, resulting in the detention of Habib and the eight others.
Among those arrested in the operation were Farrukh Habib’s brother and father-in-law, who were subsequently taken to an undisclosed location after their apprehension.
Jan Achakzai provided further details, stating that Farrukh Habib, accompanied by his brother, father-in-law, and six others, had come to Gwadar with the intention of crossing into Iran.
Following the transfer of Farrukh Habib, his brother, and father-in-law to an undisclosed location, the remaining six individuals were handed over to Gwadar police. After initial investigations, all six individuals were released on bail. These individuals hailed from Lahore, Karachi, and Bahawalpur.
In response to these developments, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) strongly condemned what it termed the “enforced disappearance” of Farrukh Habib, who also served as the President of PTI’s western Punjab wing and as a Minister of State for Information in the PTI government.
The PTI called on the Chief Justice of Pakistan to promptly take notice of what they characterized as the “shameful efforts to promote lawlessness by state kidnappers in the country” and to counter the rising fascism and inhumane practices within the nation.
The PTI’s Media Cell expressed outrage over the enforced disappearance of Farrukh Habib and stated that these actions were part of an alarming escalation in state operations and repression against the PTI in advance of the upcoming general elections. They viewed these actions as an attempt to sideline the PTI, the sole federal political party in the electoral race.
According to the PTI spokesperson, every possible means of cruelty, coercion, and brutality were being employed as part of a sinister plan to exclude PTI Chairman Imran Khan and the PTI from the electoral arena. They argued that these actions were driven by fear of the growing popularity of PTI leaders in the country.
The spokesperson further contended that after obtaining legal relief from the courts in what they deemed as politically motivated cases, the state apparatus had now resorted to the reprehensible practice of enforced disappearances and abductions of PTI leaders and workers, rendering the courts ineffective.