MANSEHRA: The police raided the residence of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Mufti Kifayatullah in the Tarangri Sabir Shah area here early Saturday to arrest him on the charges of maligning the army but instead nabbed his four family members, including two sons, as he was not present there.
The official sources said police had booked Mufti Kifayatullah, a former provincial lawmaker of the JUI-F headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, under Section 6 of the Constitution on treason charges after receiving an official letter from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home Department.
Mansehra’s District Police Officer Sadiq Baloch was silent over the issue when approached by the media repeatedly.
The police arrested Mufti Kifaytullah’s two sons, Shabbir Kifayat and Hassan Kifayat, his elder brother, Qazi Habibur Rehman, and brother-in-law, Qari Abdul Manan. Those arrested were shifted to the Baffa Police Station.
“We have been kept under illegal confinement since early morning as the police did not tell us what our crime was,” Qazi Habibur Rehman told reporters.
A group of JUI-F leaders and workers gathered at the Baffa Police Station after the police raid on the residence of Mufti Kifaytullah.
The JUI-F activists held talks with Deputy Superintendent of Police, Raja Tahir, demanding the release of the detained family members of Mufti Kifayatullah.
The sons, brother and brother-in-law of the JUI-F leader, according to sources, were booked as harbourers and police warned them to produce the accused (Mufti Kifayatullah) or else face the law.
A press release issued by the JUI-F here demanded the release of detained family members of Mufti Kifayatullah.
It said Prime Minister Imran Khan should be booked under treason charges, not Mufti Kifayatullah, for maligning the army in the past.
The federal cabinet in a recent meeting chaired by the prime minister had decided to mobilise law-enforcement agencies to arrest Mufti Kifayatullah under Section 6 of the Constitution for allegedly maligning army and other state institutions.
Mufti Kifayatullah had refuted the charges levelled against him. His comments in a TV talk show were cited as the reason for booking him on treason charges.
In a subsequent statement, Mufti Kifayatullah argued that he had stated in the TV show that retired Lt Gen Asim Bajwa too should be arrested and punished on corruption charges if the prime minister was true in establishing the state of Madina and if his government was even-handed in taking action against the JUI-F head and other opposition leaders through NAB on charges of involvement in corrupt practices.
He claimed the government was putting pressure on him to change his loyalty but he won’t do that and would remain loyal to Maulana Fazlur Rahman.