Court orders Qureshi’s ‘immediate’ release

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RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Tuesday declared the detention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairperson Shah Mehmood Qureshi as ‘illegal’.

The former foreign minister was taken into police custody in the aftermath of the May 9 attacks on sensitive state installations.

High court judge Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz announced the verdict and ordered Qureshi to submit an affidavit to the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner within three days of his release.

The verdict maintained that the ex-minister would be able to conduct peaceful political activities according to the Constitution and law, and could address peaceful protests. It mandated that he stay away from protests that include vandalism, sieges and burning.

The superintendent of the Adiala jail was ordered to immediately release Qureshi.

Meanwhile, the court told the law officer to bring forth any speeches or protests Qureshi led, adding that no political leader could control their words in a political gathering.

The judge told the law officer to produce any evidence against the PTI VC before the court. To this, the law officer asked for two days before they could present the evidence.

Separately, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday directed the Punjab caretaker government to disclose details of all cases registered against Qureshi by June 6 (today).

On May 23, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the release of Qureshi after he submitted an undertaking to the court. However, hours later he was re-arrested by the Punjab Police from outside the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

Subsequently, his daughter, Meher Bano Qureshi had approached the LHC seeking details of all undisclosed or new first information reports (FIR) registered against her father.

The Punjab chief secretary and inspector general police (IGP) had been nominated among the respondents in the petition.

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