Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Qaiser was apprehended at his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad, as revealed by his brother.
Sources indicate that the arrest was made by police and the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) due to allegations of corruption connected to medical equipment procurement for Gajju Khan Medical College in Swabi.
The former National Assembly speaker, a fervent supporter of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, is now being transferred to Bani Gala Police Station to be handed to the ACE Swabi officials.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) against him, Qaiser, alongside four health department officials, allegedly misused funds at the medical college. As stated in the FIR, a reported loss of Rs16.456 million was caused to the treasury through malpractices involving the said equipment and the purchase of inferior quality furniture for the institution.
PTI’s Response and Political Ramifications
In response to the arrest, PTI vehemently criticized the move, deeming it a tactic to hinder the integrity of the upcoming elections scheduled for February 8, 2024. The party’s spokesperson expressed concerns about the election commission’s role in ensuring fair elections. The spokesperson remarked, “Asad Qaiser’s arrest raises doubts about fair polls. The wave of leader arrests seems like a plot against PTI’s election participation.” Furthermore, the party plans to contest Qaiser’s arrest legally.
The arrest has added to PTI’s existing challenges. The party’s top members, including PTI chief Imran and vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, face trials in separate cases.