Chaudhry, a close aide of ex-Premier Imran Khan, will be presented before a court in Islamabad for police remand after he was arrested for allegedly threatening the country's election authorities.

Chaudhry will be presented before a court in Islamabad for police remand later in the day.
Chaudhry will be presented before a court in Islamabad for police remand later in the day. (Anjum Naveed / AP Archive)

Police in Pakistan have arrested Fawad Chaudhry, the country’s former information minister and a senior leader of a key opposition party, for allegedly threatening the country's election authorities, officials and family members have confirmed.

Chaudhry, who served as information minister from 2018 to 2022, was arrested at his home in the city of Lahore hours after he openly criticised the government for plotting to detain Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan.

A case against Chaudhry was opened on Tuesday night at the Kohsar police station in Islamabad after a complaint was filed against him by the secretary of the Election Commission, Umar Hameed.

The former minister, a close aide of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and vice-president of the PTI, is accused of threatening the chief election commissioner and other members of the Election Commission with consequences during a press conference Tuesday, according to the case record.

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Chaudhry and other PTI leaders have been criticising the Election Commission for appointing a media tycoon, Mohsin Naqvi, as caretaker chief minister of Punjab, the country's most populous province, last week.

The PTI accuses Naqvi of being "pro-government".

Khan and other party leaders condemned Chaudhry's arrest and warned that the party would take to the streets if he was not released.

Hassan Khawar, a PTI spokesman, told reporters that Chaudhry will be presented before a court in Islamabad for police remand later in the day.

On Tuesday night, Hundreds of PTI workers gathered outside Khan's Zaman Park residence in Lahore as the party fears the ex-premier could himself be arrested.

The former prime minister, who was ousted through a no-confidence vote in April last year, has been calling for early elections, which are currently scheduled for late this year.

In an attempt to further push for his demand, he had the provincial assemblies of Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the PTI and its coalition partner ruled, dissolved earlier this month.

The coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected his demand and stated that the elections will take place as scheduled.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies