In another jolt to former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), party vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was arrested minutes after being released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on Tuesday evening.
Senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi was re-arrested by Punjab Police from outside Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail minutes after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ordered his release on Tuesday. Qureshi was arrested in the aftermath of the violent protests by PTI workers following former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
The court had ordered the release of the former foreign minister after the PTI leader submitted an undertaking to the court assuring that he would refrain from creating agitation and inciting party workers, reported Geo news. The orders were issued by Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb.
Pakistan’s former foreign minister was arrested by the police in cases of riots and arsons in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police had said.
Ahead of his re-arrest, Qureshi, also the vice-chairman of PTI, stressed that he was still a part of the party and would remain so. The former minister was then taken away by police to an undisclosed location, the report said.
This comes hours after Shireen Mazari, a former minister and Imran Khan’s close aide, quit the PTI and condemned the actions of the 70-year-old leader’s supporters who attacked and torched sensitive military installations across Pakistan on May 9.
His arrest comes as a blow to PTI chief Imran Khan as many of his party leaders and workers have either quit or have been arrested in recent days.
‘WILL STAY WITH THE PARTY’
“I am not leaving the party. I am with the party, I will stay with the party,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the PTI, reported Express Tribune. The party also shared the video of his re-arrest on Twitter.
Party leader Musarrat Jamshed Cheema was also re-arrested immediately after her release.
On May 18, the IHC declared Qureshi’s arrest “illegal” as it issued orders for his release. The court declared the arrest null and void and instructed the concerned authorities to ensure his release after he signs an undertaking.
According to reports, the PTI leader encouraged the 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 had no regrets and has not made any provocative statements that could lead to lawsuits. He was confident that the PTI’s movement would reach its destination.
‘GOVERNED BY LAW OF JUNGLE’
After his party worker was re-arrested, Imran Khan slammed the ruling dispensation, saying “Pakistan is now being governed by the law of the jungle”.
“Vice Chairman PTI Shah Mehmood Qureshi rearrested after getting bail just like PTI workers and supporters. We are now being governed by law of the jungle, might is right and the only thing standing in its way is our judiciary. The constitution is being brazenly violated along with SC rulings. Police being used to crush PTI, our leaders forced to quit the party,” the PTI chief said in a tweet.