Shortly after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) ordered his release, former PTI MNA Ali Muhammad Khan was re-arrested in Mardan on Friday for the fifth time since protests took place in the wake of party chief Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9. Ali was first arrested by the Secretariat police on May 11 under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order Order (MPO) in connection with the violence that took place on May 9. Earlier in the day, ATC Judge Syed Obaidullah Shah ordered the PTI leader’s release in all cases connected to the violent protests and instructed authorities to set him free if he was not implicated in any other case. In an order, the court rejected the prosecution’s plea for Ali Muhammad’s 14-day custody and noted that the record “reveals that the accused […] is not directly charged in the FIR and has subsequently been charged on heresay”. It observed that on the record there was no “direct or circumstantial evidence which could connect the said accused with the commission of the offence”. “The accused has already remained in police custody for sufficient time but even then nothing incriminating has been brought on the record showing his involvement in the occurrence,” the order added. However, immediately after his release, officials of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) arrested Ali Muhammad in a case pertaining to alleged fake hirings to the fisheries department and causing losses to the treasury. A video posted on PTI’s official Twitter account showed the former MNA being taken away by officials in a police van from outside the ATC premises. Talking to the media outside the court, Ali Muhammad said that he did not support those who engaged in vandalism on May 9, as their actions harmed the country. At the same time, he contended that the PTI was a peaceful political movement that began 27 years ago, emphasising that party leader Imran Khan has consistently advocated for the rule of law. A day earlier, the Peshawar High Court had also set aside the orders of the provincial capital’s deputy commissioner for the PTI leader’s detention under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance and ordered his release.