ISLAMABAD: The release of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Vice Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), has been delayed due to his apparent reluctance to provide an undertaking to refrain from engaging in ‘unruly’ protests.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Auran­g­zeb had set aside the detention order of Mr Qureshi and the spouse of PTI leader Sheharyar Afridi. The judge also sought an undertaking from them, urging caution and a distance from violence.

Mr Qureshi’s daughter had filed the petition seeking to set aside detention order against her father issued by the district magistrate under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

The counsel argued before the court that Mr Qureshi is a 65-year-old man, and throughout his decades-long political career, he has never incited the public against the government or any institution.

The counsel argued that the PTI leader in a video message had advised party workers to refrain from engaging in sabotaging activities.

IHC issues notices to AG and IG Islamabad for re-arrest of Ali Mohammad Khan and Maleeka Bukhari

However, when the court was informed that Mr Qureshi was reluctant to provide a categorical undertaking, the defence counsel requested additional time to file the affidavit.

The same court issued notices to the Attorney General and Inspector General of Islamabad Police in response to petitions seeking contempt proceedings against both authorities for re-arrest of PTI leaders Ali Mohammad Khan and Maleeka Bukhari after the court set aside their detention orders.

The court was informed that despite the decision of the IHC for setting them free, both the leaders were detained in Adiala Jail.

Dr Mazari’s detention

Justice Aurangzeb also took up contempt petition against the police authorities for the re-arrest of Dr Shireen Mazari.

AGP Mansoor Usman Awan appeared before the court. Justice Aurangzeb pointed out that the court had ordered the release of Dr Mazari, but it seemed that the state was reluctant to comply with the court’s order.

The AGP conceded that Dr Mazari should not have been re-arrested.

The court directed him to place this matter before the competent forum.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2023

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