ISLAMABAD: Rawalpindi police took Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi into custody from Adiala jail on Wednesday concerning his involvement in the May 9 violent protests.
Qureshi had been detained under the maintenance of public order (3-MPO) a day earlier, following the approval of his bail in a cipher case the previous week.
Addressing the media outside the prison, Qureshi claimed innocence, asserting that his arrest was baseless and politically motivated. He criticized the situation as a violation of the Supreme Court’s directives, expressing dismay at being targeted without valid cause.
Linked to the May 9 riots triggered by the arrest of PTI founder Imran Khan earlier that year in a corruption case at the Islamabad High Court, Qureshi faces charges in a case related to an attack on GHQ and is scheduled to appear in an anti-terrorism court (ATC).
Rawalpindi police took Qureshi into custody after the deputy commissioner revoked the 3-MPO detention order issued the day before.
Transported in an armored vehicle by officials from RA Bazar and Saddar police stations, the PTI leader was relocated to a Rawalpindi police station.
The deputy commissioner had issued Qureshi’s detention order due to alleged involvement in the May 9 violent protests, just before the release orders were issued by Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain in the cipher case, subsequent to the Supreme Court granting bail in the state secrets case.
Rawalpindi police stated that they were tasked with interrogating Qureshi in connection with the May 9 cases, citing his involvement in the violent protests.
While Qureshi had obtained bail in the cipher case, a 15-day detention order was issued against him, citing concerns from the city police officer (CPO) regarding his potential to engage in activities detrimental to public life and property.
The detention order aimed to prevent alleged unlawful activities that could disrupt public order, with the Rawalpindi District Intelligence Committee concurring with the police department’s stance on Qureshi’s detention.
Qureshi, a former foreign minister during the previous PTI-led government, had been previously arrested multiple times in connection with alleged PTI-led protester actions that resulted in damage to state properties, including military installations earlier that year.
In August of the same year, he was booked in a cipher case under the Official Secrets Act, accused alongside ex-PM Imran Khan of disclosing diplomatic cipher contents during a public gathering.