In a recent development, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has refused to sign an undertaking required for his release from jail, resulting in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) withholding the issuance of a written order. The IHC had made the undertaking a prerequisite for Qureshi’s release, expecting him to commit to abstaining from instigating workers and engaging in disruptive activities.
Qureshi’s legal counsel appeared before the court and requested relief from submitting the undertaking during the hearing. The IHC had earlier deemed Qureshi’s arrest under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) as “illegal” and ordered his release. However, the court specified that his release would be contingent upon providing a written assurance that he would refrain from participating in violent protests and inciting any form of violence in the future.
The lawyers representing Qureshi informed the court that they would submit the undertaking after consulting with their client. However, in a recent development, Qureshi expressed his reluctance to sign such an undertaking explicitly.
As a consequence of Qureshi’s non-compliance with the requirement, the court refrained from issuing a written decision regarding his release.
Qureshi, along with several other senior PTI leaders, was arrested in Islamabad within 24 hours of violent protests breaking out following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The police detained the former foreign minister on charges related to riots and arson in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Prior to his arrest, Qureshi had encouraged PTI party workers to continue their struggle for what he described as “true freedom” in the country. He highlighted his four decades of experience in practical politics and emphasized his defense of Pakistan’s interests during his tenure as foreign minister.
Qureshi maintained that he had no regrets and had not made any provocative statements that could lead to legal action against him. He expressed confidence that the PTI movement would ultimately achieve its goals. Previously, former State Minister Ali Muhammad Khan had also been directed to submit a similar undertaking.
The outcome of this development holds significant implications for Qureshi’s legal status and the ongoing political landscape in Pakistan. It remains to be seen whether Qureshi will reconsider his decision or if further legal proceedings will ensue.