Riaz Fatyana, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and leader of PML-Q, is facing political victimization, humiliation and police threats.
On June 19, 2012, at around 11am, a group of his political opponents led by PML-N activists attacked his house. They were armed with pistols, iron rods, sticks and bottles of petrol. They damaged and looted his office and a portion of his house. During the attack hooligans burnt seven cars and 17 motorcycles parked outside Fatyana’s residence and set fire to the furniture and electronic equipment which was completely destroyed. His house was torched with all belongings but fortunately all of his family members including children and women were saved by courageous neighbours.
The police station was just half a kilometer from Fatayana’s residence but no one came until two hours after the incident when everything had been burned to ashes.
Before being attacked by the mob of hooligans, Fatyana had requested the District Police Officer (DPO), Mohammad Ahsan Younas, to take appropriate security measures. However, despite of being requested to provide security one day earlier no preventive measures were taken. The DPO, instead of providing him protection disarmed his guards and gave the attackers free access to his office which was then destroyed. In this riot many persons were injured.
This particular DPO has always been considered to be the most incompetent officer in the provincial police. He was in charge of the security for the Sri Lankan cricket team who was attacked in Liberty chowk Lahore, but being a puppet of the Regional Police Officer (RGO) Faislabad, he was never reprimanded or held in any way responsible for the attack.
The police officers with the backing of Justice Ramday’s (the retired Supreme Court judge) family managed to implicate him in FIR no.205/12, Police Station City Kamalia, District Toba Tek Singh (the attack and arson of his own house), which was, in fact, lodged many hours after his arrest.
Before this incident, the houses of two ministers from the PML-Q were also attacked in the cities of Chichawatni and Mianwali and it was alleged that the attackers were from the ruling party of the Punjab government in an attempt to punish its rivals.
On hearing the news of his detention, his supporters in Kamalia were furious and planned to organize a protest. Fearing public reaction the District Police did not register the arrest of Mr. Fatyana in the police daily diary (Roznamcha). After his arrest at 3 pm from his house in Kamalia, he was held in illegal detention in the Rajana Police Station before being shifted to Chutiana Police Station.
He was detained in police custody until the late evening of 21st June when he was allowed to attend the National Assembly session to cast his vote to elect the new prime minister. This was done on the directions of the National Assembly secretariat according to the privileges provided in the Constitution and rules of business.
After his release Mr. Fatyana tried to lodge an FIR on the attack and arson of his house and property and the murder of a child, Master Ramesh Masih (14), who was killed during the attack but the police initially refused to file the case and eventually did so after two days.
It is reliably reported that this all was done on the behest of ruling party, the PML-N, of the province whose workers in the past have carried out similar attacks and burned the houses of federal ministers from PML-Q in different cities. In the case of Fatyana, Choudry Asad ur Rehman, brother of Mr. Khalil ur Rehman, the former senior judge of Supreme Court is behind the whole drama including the attack on the Dera of Fatyana, the Dera is a term used for the guest house for meeting people. Choudry was defeated two times in the general elections by Fatyana from Toba Tek Singh constituency during the elections of 2002 and 2008 when he won elections with a good margin.
Justice Khalil Ramday is very close to the chief minister of Punjab province. After retirement in 2010, Justice Ramday is still using his position as the serving judge of the Supreme Court and has not yet left the official residence. When he was asked by the federal ministry of law to leave the residence he resisted and the chief minister allowed him to stay at the half amount of the rent. It is well known in the province that posting of the high police officials are decided with his consent.
Riaz Fatyana is a senior politician and has served on various important portfolios during his 35 years long political career. Currently, he is Member of National assembly of Pakistan and is Chairman of the National Assembly’s first ever Standing Committee on Human Rights , he has done a lot for promotion and protection of Human rights in the country.
This was Fatyana’s fifth time in the assembly. He served three times as Minister for Education, Finance and Information in the government of Punjab. His wife Ashifa Riaz Fatyana was also a member of the Provincial Assembly, Punjab on general seat from PP 88 in last term (2002-2007) and served as Minister for Women’s Development and Human Rights, Punjab. Both husband and wife were elected in National and Provincial Assemblies as independent candidates after defeating all major political and religious parties. In 2008, Ashifa Riaz lost the general seat election only with a margin of 287 votes.