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Saturday July 13, 2024

Shah Mahmood Qureshi refuses to sign undertaking for release

IHC had set the undertaking as a pre condition for Qureshi's release from jail

By Awais Yousufzai
May 19, 2023
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi leaving Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office after the decision of former prime minister Imran Khan in Toshakhana case on October 21, 2022 in Islamabad.. — Online
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi leaving Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office after the decision of former prime minister Imran Khan in Toshakhana case on October 21, 2022 in Islamabad.. — Online

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday did not issue a written order directing the release of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi due to his reluctance to abide by the directive to give an undertaking affirming that he will abstain from creating agitation and inciting workers.

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

In a hearing yesterday, the IHC declared the PTI vice chairman's arrest under Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) "illegal" and ordered his release. 

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.

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.