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LHC Pindi bench orders immediate release of PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi

LHC Pindi bench orders immediate release of PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi

The Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi and barred police from arresting him under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

Qureshi was arrested last month by the Islamabad police on multiple charges, including “inciting violent protests”, following PTI chief Imran Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case on May 9.

On May 18, the Islamabad High Court had ordered the former foreign minister’s release. However, his release was delayed due to his apparent reluctance to provide an undertaking to refrain from engaging in “unruly” protests.

When Qureshi was finally set free on May 23, he was again taken into custody by Punjab police from outside Adiala Jail after his detention orders were issued by the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner.

Last week, the PTI leader’s daughter approached the LHC seeking details of all the “undisclosed” cases registered against Qureshi and requested the court to restrain police from arresting her father in any other case.

During today’s hearing, Punjab Assistant Attorney General Abid Aziz Rajouri represented the government while lawyer Taimoor Malik and Qureshi’s daughter were present on behalf of the PTI leader.

Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz presided over the hearing during which the government lawyer requested the court to grant more time for preparing his arguments.

The judge accepted his request and adjourned the hearing for an hour. “If you have evidence against Shah Mahmood Qureshi, present them in court within an hour,” he directed.

However, when the hearing resumed, Rajouri sought another two days to present evidence against Qureshi.

“Leave whatever happened in the past and move forward now,” Justice Aziz said here. “Everything is not a joke,” he added.

The judge then ordered Qureshi’s immediate release and barred police from arresting him in any case under the MPO. “No affidavit should be taken from Shah Mahmood Qureshi,” he added.

Meanwhile, Qureshi’s son Zain said his father had been kept in “solitary confinement” at Adiala Jail for 27 days.

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