Pakistan

PTI calls on Supreme Court to take suo motu on Qureshi’s arrest

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday condemned the “torture” and arrest of the party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, calling on the Supreme Court to take a suo motu notice of the matter.

The senior politician was taken into custody earlier in the day by Rawalpindi police from Adiala jail in connection with a case related to May 9 violent protests, a day after being detained under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (3-MPO) following approval of his bail in the cipher case last week.

The former ruling party maintains that Qureshi’s latest arrest was “illegal” as he had been bailed out by the apex court and the orders for his detention under the 3-MPO were also withdrawn soon after being issued.

Speaking to media outside Adiala jail, where PTI founder Imran Khan has been incarcerated, Barrister Gohar Khan said “Shah Mahmood Qureshi was pushed and tortured yesterday”.

The former foreign minister was implicated in cases related to the May 9 riots that broke out following the arrest of PTI founder Khan in a corruption case from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) earlier this year.

Qureshi was presented before an anti-terrorism court (ATC), which sent him on 14-day judicial remand in May 9 cases including the one pertaining to an attack on GHQ and directed to transfer him to the Adiala jail, earlier in the day.

‘No decision on electoral alliance with Sheikh Rashid’

Talking about any possibility of forming an electoral alliance or supporting any other party, Barrister Gohar said that no decision has been made in this regard.

“Sheikh Rashid has his own party. No decision has yet been made regarding an alliance with him,” he said referring to Awami Muslim League (AML) chief, who is PTI supremo’s close ally in politics.

 

As the electioneering picks up pace with less than two months left in general elections, PTI complains about the absence of a “level playing field” for it to participate in the electoral process.

“This caretaker setup is subjecting us to injustice,” Gohar said.

He, however, added that PTI supremo Khan has reiterated the pledge to “fight till the last ball”.

The PTI leader further stated the party wants Khan to contest in elections.

‘PTI deserters not being considered for ticketing’

Speaking about the ticketing of candidates, he said that the party is finalising the tickets and will reach a decision in a few days.

Barrister Gohar also ruled out the possibility of giving tickets to “those who held press conferences” to announce their detachment from PTI, saying that the party was not considering such individuals.

Nomination papers of all PTI leaders have been submitted, he added.

He also expressed dissatisfaction over the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) performance and called on the body to ensure free and fair polls in the country.

The ECP is all set to stage the much-awaited general elections across the country in less than two months.

As per the polls schedule issued by the electoral body, scrutiny of the nomination papers will be carried out till the 30th of this month.

Appeals against the acceptance or rejection of nomination papers can be submitted until January 3 and decisions on these appeals will be made by January 10.

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