PML-N Deputy General-Secretary Attaullah Tarar had a brief run-in with police on Friday, with he and party workers spending some time at Wazirabad's City Police Station.
Contradictory versions of the episode have emerged, with the PML-N terming it an act of "kidnapping" and unlawful "arrest" and the government claiming the party leader accompanied police to the station "voluntarily".
Tarar, in a video message after leaving the station, vowed that he will respond to "every injury in kind", adding: "[Police] attacked us after stopping [our convoy] for checking of weapons licenses."
Tarar claimed that as he tried to resolve the matter, police nabbed him as well.
"Police thrashed my driver and bystanders who were filming the incident."
Later, the PML-N leader "thanked" Punjab Police, as owing to the event, there was now a "rally" in Wazirabad in support of the party.
The SSP Operations in Gujranwala said that "only the people carrying weapons were arrested", whereas the PML-N leaders came "voluntarily".
'Tarar was kidnapped'
When the episode first came to light, Uzma Bukhari said that PML-N leaders from Lahore were in Daska to campaign for by-polls when police came and took Tarar away.
She said it is not known why he was taken away, adding that the party had not violated coronavirus safety measures.
Later party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb also confirmed, what she termed as Tarar's "arrest".
Aurangzeb further termed it an act of "kidnapping" as the police booked him "without an arrest warrant".
The spokesperson, speaking to Geo News, said that the "fascist government" is taking such steps as they are aware of their "failure" in the by-elections.
Aurangzeb said that Tarar had "no case pending against him anywhere", adding that the authorities had "nabbed him as he was an active member in organising the by-election campaign".
She said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should take notice of the episode, claiming that this was "pre-poll rigging." The PML-N spokesperson demanded Tarar's immediate release.
Aurangzeb said that PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz is also scheduled to address a public rally in Daska, tomorrow. "This is why they are afraid and have arrested Tarar."
Responding to PML-N's claims, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan claimed that Tarar had voluntarily gone with police, therefore, "there is no question of a release, as it was not an arrest".
Awan said it was a "planned drama" on the part of the PML-N and they have "always faced embarrassment after such tactics".
In response, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that the way police "arrested" Tarar showed that the government was confused and in disarray.
"The way Ataa Tarar was arrested and released is reflective of extreme fear, confusion and disarray in the jaali govt camp," she said.
The PML-N leader added that the government's "time is up".