After bail in cipher, Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrested in May 9 case

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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday was taken into custody by Rawalpindi police from Adiala jail in connection with a case related to May 9 violent protests.

A day earlier, Qureshi was detained under the maintenance of public order (3-MPO) after his bail was approved in the cipher case last week.

Speaking to the media outside the prison, Qureshi said he was being arrested in a bogus case. “I am innocent and being politically victimised,” he added.

“Oppression, injustice. This is a mockery of the Supreme Court’s order. I am being subjected to political victimisation without any reason,” he added

Qureshi was implicated in cases related to May 9 riots that broke out following the arrest of PTI founder Imran Khan in a corruption case from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) earlier this year.

According to sources, Qureshi was arrested in a GHQ attack case and will be produced in an anti-terrorism court (ATC).

They said Qureshi was arrested by Rawalpindi police in the case after deputy commissioner Rawalpindi revoked the 3-MPO detention order issued a day earlier.

The PTI leader was shifted to a police station in Rawalpindi in an armoured vehicle by RA Bazar and Saddar police station officials.

Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Hasan Waqar Cheema issued Qureshi’s detention order a day earlier over his alleged involvement in the May 9 violent protests.

The detention was issued shortly before the issuance of his release orders by the Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain in the cipher case as the Supreme Court approved his bail in the state secrets case last week.

In a statement, the Rawalpindi police said they were asked to interrogate Qureshi in connection with May 9 cases, adding that the PTI leader was booked in cases related to the violent protests.

The police said Qureshi was granted bail in the cipher case but his 15-day detention order had been issued.

The detention order said the city police officer (CPO) had intimated via a letter that Qureshi was a member of a political party involved in anti-state activities and causing damage to public and private property.

The letter said it was “probable that after his release from jail, he will again continue his above activities which may lead to law and order situation, harmful to life and property of general public.”

The letter said the Rawalpindi CPO recommended that Qureshi be detained for 45 days to prevent him from his unlawful activities.

The letter added that the Rawalpindi District Intelligence Committee had also endorsed the police department’s stance and agreed to Qureshi’s detention.

Qureshi has been arrested several times since the alleged PTI protesters and supporters ransacked state properties including military installations in many parts of the country earlier this year in May.

Qureshi, who served as foreign minister of the country during the previous PTI-led government, was in August this year booked in cipher case under Official Secrets Act wherein he along with ex-PM Imran Khan accused of leaking the contents of diplomatic cipher during a public gathering.

PTI condemns ‘torture’ on Qureshi
The PTI condemned “torture” on Qureshi during arrest from Adiala jail, saying attempts being made to keep him out of race from electoral race.

The party said the crackdown on its leaders and workers has intensified following the issuance of election schedule.

It said the arrest of the PTI leader was a violation of Supreme Court’s directions regarding level-playing field.

“Chief justice should immediately issue release orders of Shah Mahmood Qureshi,” the party demanded.