ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday declared the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law “illegal” and ordered his release.
The directives were issued by IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb while hearing a petition challenging Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s arrest. The court while issuing release orders directed the PTI leader to submit an undertaking similar to the one given by former state minister Ali Muhammad Khan.
Qureshi’s lawyers informed the court that they would submit the undertaking after consulting the PTI leader. Qureshi was among top PTI leaders arrested from Islamabad within 24 hours of the outbreak of violent protests by PTI workers following former prime minister Imran Khan’s arrest — as the government tightened the noose around the party.
“As a foreign minister of Pakistan, I defended Pakistan’s interests at every forum. I have been in practical politics for 40 years,” Qureshi said, adding that he had no regrets and not made any provocative statements that could lead to lawsuits. He was confident that the PTI’s movement would reach its destination.
The IHC also ordered the release of PTI leader Shehryar Afridi’s wife, who was also arrested under the MPO. Afridi’s wife was presented before in the court of Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir. During the proceedings, the Islamabad IG informed the court the suspect and her husband were involved in the attack on General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Meanwhile, the judge admonished the Islamabad police chief and told him to take action after taking advice from his legal team.
The Islamabad deputy commissioner was also summoned before the court and he told the judge that Afridi and his wife had been arrested on information received from the Special Branch.