Police officers raided the residence of Parvez Elahi, former chief minister of Punjab province and president of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, late on Friday evening. At least 27 people, not including Elahi, were arrested. The police said that they arrived to arrest Elahi in connection with a corruption case, but were pelted with petrol bombs and stones by those inside the residence. An armoured personnel carrier broke the main gate of the residence after those inside resisted the police’s order to open the gates. This was the third time this year that Elahi’s residence has been raided.
Elahi’s legal team claimed that his pre-arrest bail was still in effect until 6 May, but the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team refused to acknowledge this. Experts have suggested that such action will only increase support for the PTI, and have noted that other politicians facing charges have not been subjected to late-night raids. Imran Khan, former prime minister and PTI chief, condemned the raid and accused authorities of dismantling democracy in Pakistan. He has also claimed that such raids are part of the “London Plan,” referring to his predecessor Nawaz Sharif.