An Islamabad District and Sessions Court on Wednesday sent former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain to jail on 14-day judicial remand in a case registered against him for allegedly taking a bribe against the promise of employment.
The former minister was taken into custody from his brother’s residence in Islamabad last week, with the court initially granting investigators two-day physical remand of him before extending it by a day on Tuesday. During today’s proceedings, the judicial magistrate granted Fawad permission to consult with his legal team. Subsequently, Fawad came to the rostrum and noted that the complainant had yet to appear in court despite three hearings.
“Has he been threatened? I have police guards with me,” he said, reiterating that he had never met the complainant, nor had any knowledge of him. “Arrest me if you want to. If money needs to be recovered, take Rs. 5,000 or Rs. 7,000 from me,” he said. Subsequently, the court reserved its verdict before sending him on judicial remand.
According to the FIR registered against Fawad at the Aabpara Police Station, he is accused of soliciting a Rs. 5 million bribe in exchange for a job. It further alleges that Fawad had “threatened” to kill the plaintiff when he demanded the promised employment against the bribe.
Earlier, speaking to media before entering the courtroom, Fawad called for all political parties to commit to dialogue to “lower the temperature.” Claiming “no one” would accept PMLN leader Nawaz Sharif as prime minister if he came to power “in this manner,” he advised the former prime minister to bring all parties together. “Talks can still succeed,” he maintained, while claiming talks between the PTI and the former government had proven successful “but then something happened.” Various PTI leaders—former and current—have claimed that the talks, which had agreed to hold general elections in September, fell apart after PTI chief Imran Khan reneged on the accord and refused to move forward.
Fawad was among the first PTI leaders to announce he was quitting the party after a brief arrest linked to the crackdown launched against the party following the May 9 riots. While he has not formally announced rejoining politics, he attended the launch ceremony of the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) in June, leading many to believe he had shifted allegiances. However, since the event, Fawad has not made any official announcements confirming his role in the party, with its spokesperson saying they remain unsure if is within their camp.