The home of Dr Arslan Khalid, recently ousted prime minister Imran Khan’s focal person on digital media, was allegedly raided in Lahore by 11 unidentified men in the wee hours of Sunday, according to Azhar Mashwani, the former focal person for digital media in Punjab.
The alleged raid, which took place in the city’s Wapda Town area and followed former PM Imran losing his government, was first reported through the official Twitter account of the PTI before Mashwani added: “Dr Arslan’s home attacked by 11 men during Sehri time. All phones and laptops taken away.
[They] threatened family members, including 80 years old mother.
“He was continuously receiving threats in the past four weeks from the people who didn’t like the online feedback coming from masses,” he added.
“He has never abused anyone on social media and never attacked any institutions,” the PTI tweeted as it requested the FIA to look into the matter.
While Mashwani said that he was unable to make contact with Dr Khalid, PTI leader and former SAPM Dr Shahbaz Gill tweeted that the raid was anticipated and so Dr Khalid was sent somewhere else.
“All I have to tell you is that Arsalan Khalid is a patriot and he has to live in this country.
We anticipated that you would do this so last night I spoke to him and sent him some place else from his house.
The laptops and mobiles you have taken have nothing else but professional work,” Gill tweeted but did not specify who he was addressing.
It remains unclear if a first information report of the incident was filed.
The purported raid drew reactions from senior PTI leadership, with former minister Asad Umar calling it “highly condemnable” and describing Dr Khalid as “an asset for the nation”.ormer education minister Shafqat Mahmood said he was “distressed to learn that Dr Arsalan Khalid’s home was raided and his family harassed”.
Former human rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari said the raid was unsurprising “because ‘deep-seated’ intolerance for criticism leads to irrational rage.
But criticism on social media is often spontaneous unlike coups”.