Qureshi implicated in a dozen May 9 cases

Published December 29, 2023
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi presented in Rawalpindi court amid tight security on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi presented in Rawalpindi court amid tight security on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

RAWALPINDI: Police have implicated PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi in at least 12 different cases registered by the district police in connection with the May 9 violence — erupted after the arrest of former PTI chairman Imran Khan — as a magistrate on Thursday sent him to Adiala Jail on a two-week remand in a case regarding the attack on the General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi.

The court rejected the Punjab police request for a 30-day remand of the former foreign minister and sent him to prison for two weeks.

The former foreign minister, who was whisked away by the police from prison, claimed that he was “mentally and physically tortured” on Wednesday night. He was detained in a case regarding the attack on the General Headquarters (GHQ) on May 9. Sources said the Rawalpindi police have implicated the PTI leader in 12 different FIRs registered with the district police in connection with the May 9 violence.

The PTI leader was brought to the court of Magistrate Syed Jhangeer Ali in the judicial complex in an armoured police vehicle. He was handcuffed when produced before the court, but the magistrate ordered the police to remove his handcuffs.

PTI leader sent back to Adiala, tells magistrate police tortured him; party seeks SC intervention

The former minister was produced in the judicial complex amid high security measures and the media persons were also not allowed to enter the courtroom. After the court ordered his judicial remand, the police drove him to the jail.

At the outset of the proceedings, Mr Qureshi said he wanted to record his statement. He informed the judge that the Supreme Court had appro­ved his bail in the cipher case, but he was detained under the Maintenance of Public Order before his release.

Later, he was detained from the prison in a fresh case. The PTI leader claimed that the police officials had kicked and ridiculed him, and said that he was not taken to a hospital despite chest pains.

“A team came to me saying that they wanted to record a statement in connection with the May 9 violence. These people want to nominate me in cases related to May 9,” he said. “I was in Karachi on May 9 … my wife was undergoing surgery.” He claimed that he was kept in a cold cell last night and was not allowed to sleep. “I was [also] tortured mentally.”

PTI seeks SC notice

The PTI strongly condemned the “unconstitutional, illegal and unrepresentative caretaker government” for physical and psychological torture inflicted on Shah Mehmood Qureshi during his “unlawful detention”.

A PTI spokesperson demanded that cases should be registered against the IGP Punjab, the IG of Punjab Prisons, the province’s chief secretary, the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner and the police personnel involved in the arrest of Mr Qureshi.

The statement said the PTI leader was a target of “political revenge for his unwavering and unflinching commitment” to Imran Khan.

The spokesperson stated that after attempts to crush the PTI through “state coercion and torture and deprivation of basic constitutional rights”, another attempt to keep the PTI out of the electoral race would further add fuel to the fire and aggravate the situation.

The PTI spokesperson called upon the Supreme Court to take notice of the situation and hold the state officials accountable.

The statement added that in light of the “vision and training by Imran Khan, they would not take the law into their hands, but they would never forget the cruelty meted out to their leaders, workers and citizens”.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2023

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