PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi Arrested in Connection with May 9 Protests
“I’m innocent and being politically targeted,” says the PTI leader while being transferred from Adiala prison.
Rawalpindi police arrested PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi from Adiala jail on Wednesday in connection with cases related to the violent protests on May 9.
Yesterday, Qureshi was held under the maintenance of public order (3-MPO) after receiving bail approval in the cipher case last week.
Speaking to the media outside the prison, Qureshi stated that he was being arrested in a false case. He added, “I am innocent and being politically victimized.”
“I feel like I’m being treated unfairly. It’s like making fun of what the Supreme Court said. I’m going through political mistreatment for no good reason,” he said.
Qureshi was accused in cases connected to the May 9 riots that happened after the arrest of PTI founder Imran Khan on corruption charges at the Islamabad High Court earlier this year.
Sources report that Qureshi was arrested in connection with a GHQ attack case and will be brought before an anti-terrorism court (ATC).
They mentioned that Rawalpindi police detained Qureshi in the case after the deputy commissioner of Rawalpindi canceled the 3-MPO detention order issued just a day earlier.
The PTI leader was moved to a Rawalpindi police station in a heavily protected vehicle by RA Bazar and Saddar police station officials.
Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi, Hasan Waqar Cheema, had issued Qureshi’s detention order a day earlier due to his suspected participation in the violent protests on May 9.
The detention order was issued just before Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain released him in the cipher case. The Supreme Court had granted bail in the state secrets case the previous week.
In an announcement, the Rawalpindi police mentioned they were instructed to question Qureshi regarding the May 9 cases. They clarified that the PTI leader was charged in connection with the violent protests.
The police explained that Qureshi received bail in the cipher case, but a 15-day detention order was still issued.
According to the detention order, the city police officer (CPO) conveyed through a letter that Qureshi, as a member of a political party, was allegedly engaged in activities against the state, causing harm to public and private property.
The letter stated that there is a possibility that, after being released from jail, Qureshi might resume the mentioned activities, which could result in a disturbance to law and order, posing a threat to the life and property of the general public.
Accordingly, the Rawalpindi CPO recommended a 45-day detention period to prevent Qureshi from engaging in unlawful activities.
The letter further mentioned that the Rawalpindi District Intelligence Committee supported the police department’s position and concurred with Qureshi’s detention.
Qureshi has faced multiple arrests since the purported incidents in May, where PTI protesters and supporters allegedly damaged state properties, including military installations, in various parts of the country.
Qureshi, the former foreign minister during the previous PTI-led government, was charged in August of this year in a cipher case under the Official Secrets Act. In this case, he and ex-PM Imran Khan are accused of disclosing the contents of diplomatic codes during a public gathering.