Friday, May 19, 2023

Shah Mahmood Qureshi reluctant to give undertaking to IHC for release

Islamabad High Court on Thursday asked the PTI VC to sign undertaking before being released

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi being taken by authorities after being arrested under MPO. — Screengrab/YouTube/PTI
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi being taken by authorities after being arrested under MPO. — Screengrab/YouTube/PTI
  • Qureshi's release from jail contingent upon submission of undertaking.
  • Former FM reluctant to give undertaking in clear words.
  • His lawyer seeks respite from court from submitting undertaking.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday refused the Islamabad High Court's (IHC's) directive to sign an undertaking affirming that he would abstain from creating agitation and inciting workers.

His refusal to sign the undertaking means that the court cannot issue a written order directing his release from jail. 

Yesterday, the IHC quashed orders for Qureshi’s arrest and declared that he be released. However, the court had said that the PTI leader's release would be contingent on his submission of a written undertaking that he would not partake in violent protests and would refrain from inciting any kind of violence in the future.

Qureshi’s lawyers had informed the court that they would submit the undertaking after consulting with the PTI leader.

The directives were issued by IHC’s Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb while hearing a petition challenging Qureshi’s arrest. 

However, the former foreign minister, today, expressed reluctance to give such an undertaking in clear words. 

As a consequence of the non-submission of the undertaking, the court did not issue a written decision for his release.

Instead, Qureshi’s legal counsel today sought respite from the court from submitting the undertaking.

Qureshi was among the 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.

The former foreign minister was arrested by the police in cases of riots and arsons in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police said back then.

However, before his arrest, the PTI leader encouraged party workers to continue their struggle for "true freedom" in the country.

"As a foreign minister of Pakistan, I defended Pakistan's interests at every forum. I have been in practical politics for 40 years," he said.

Qureshi added that he has no regrets and has not made any provocative statements that could lead to lawsuits. He was confident that the PTI's movement will reach its destination.

Earlier, former state minister Ali Muhammad Khan had been directed to submit a similar undertaking.