LHC seeks details of FIRs against Qureshi by tomorrow

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday directed the Punjab caretaker government to disclose details of all cases registered against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairperson Shah Mehmood Qureshi by June 6.

The former foreign minister has been in police custody in the aftermath of the May 9 attacks on sensitive state installations.

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.

She had requested the court to direct the concerned quarters to give protection of law to Qureshi and not to arrest him in any new criminal case without prior permission of the court.

The petition also stated that Qureshi’s family had learned that a number of undisclosed criminal cases have been registered against him and there is an apprehension that he may again unjustifiably be arrested in the mentioned undisclosed new criminal cases.

Permitting the petition during the proceedings today, LHC’s Justice Ali Baqar Najafi directed the caretaker government to submit details of all registered cases, disclosed or otherwise, before the court by June 6.

Despite relief from the courts, however, there appears to be no respite in the crackdown on PTI leaders.

In a fresh statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif continued to lash out at the PTI over the May 9 incident, terming it a “brazen attack on the state of Pakistan” with “sinister objectives”.

Shehbaz took to Twitter to clarify nonetheless that “the culprits [of May 9] are being dealt with under the law” and assured that he will ensure “no rights violations take place”.

The prime minister accused the PTI chief and his party of attempting to destroy the country’s “integrity” and resorting to acts that “no country in the world would tolerate”.

Shehbaz vowed that “Pakistan fully respects and is committed to all its constitutional and international obligations on human rights [sic]”.

He also dismissed claims of human rights abuses and restrictions on the right to political protest with regard to May 9 and the events that have followed. Such rhetoric, according to the prime minister, is “aimed at manipulating and swaying opinion-makers outside the country”. Shehbaz insisted that every case associated with May 9 “will be dealt with due process under the law”.

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