IHC orders Qureshi’s release after declaring arrest ‘illegal’

ISLAMABAD, May 18: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s arrest illegal as it issued orders for his release.

Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb heard the PTI leader’s plea against his arrest under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order Act (3MPO).

The court declared the arrest null and void and instructed the concerned authorities to ensure his release after he signs an undertaking.

“Have a look at the undertaking submitted by [PTI leader] Ali Muhammad Khan yesterday,” the judge told Qureshi’s counsel, “you may submit one like that as well.”

The lawyer responded that he will consult the ex-minister and submit the document accordingly.

Justice Aurangzeb had issued orders for the release of PTI leaders Maleeka Bokhari and Ali Muhammad Khan on Wednesday after it declared their arrest under 3MPO as illegal as well.

Despite relief from the courts, however, there appears to be no respite in the crackdown on PTI leaders.

After a local court ordered the release of the party’s female leaders Shireen Mazari and Senator Falak Naz arrested in a case registered at the federal capital’s Tarnol police station, the former was rounded up again for a third time yesterday.

Separately, a PTI spokesperson claimed that party leader Maleeka Ali Bokhari had been arrested again after her release from Adiala Jail and taken to an undisclosed location.

PTI chief Imran Khan has strongly condemned the ‘illegal arrests and abduction’ of his party’s workers and leaders.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, the former premier on Wednesday highlighted that PTI Vice Chairperson Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Secretary General Asad Umar were still incarcerated “for more than a week now”.

He also stated that “despite court orders, journalist Imran Riaz Khan was not presented in court” with “confirmed” reports of torture against him.

Imran also demanded the “immediate release” of all women PTI leaders, workers, and the women family members of PTI leaders and questioned why Shehrayar Afridi’s wife was in jail.

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