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Saturday, July 20, 2024

PTI Vice Chairman Qureshi Alleges Jail Torture and Harsh Conditions

The former foreign minister described the harsh treatment he allegedly endured in jail for several months, questioning the justice of such actions.

On Thursday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Vice Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), claimed to have endured mental and physical torture while being detained. He asserted this during a hearing related to the GHQ attack case before Duty Magistrate Syed Jahangir Ali. Qureshi stated that despite police attempts to take his statement, he insisted on doing so in the presence of his legal representatives.

The former foreign minister described the harsh treatment he allegedly endured in jail for several months, questioning the justice of such actions. Qureshi swore on the Holy Quran, asserting that he was not present in Rawalpindi on May 9; instead, he claimed to be in Karachi with his wife at Aga Khan Hospital, suggesting that records from PEMRA could verify his location.

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Qureshi requested the magistrate to have his handcuffs removed, and the judge instructed the police to comply. He informed the court that he had been acquitted by three Supreme Court judges but was arrested under MPO 3. Qureshi criticized the inconsistency in the legal proceedings, stating that he was arrested one night and released the next morning due to a supposed loophole in the case.

He further claimed that he was ordered to be arrested on December 26, and then the date was changed to 27. Qureshi recounted being within the jail premises when Punjab police arrived to arrest him. He alleged mistreatment by the police, including physical abuse by SHO Ashfaq, resulting in chest pain. Qureshi claimed to have pleaded with the superintendent police for hours before being taken to the hospital, where only a blood pressure checking machine was available.

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Rawalpindi Police reportedly restricted media coverage of the GHQ attack case against Qureshi, barring journalists from entering the judicial complex. Qureshi’s counsel expressed concern about the in-camera trial, questioning the restriction on media.

Meher Bano Qureshi, the daughter of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, expressed disappointment over the media restriction, emphasizing the need to decide the direction in which the situation was heading.

Qureshi’s hopes for freedom were initially dashed on December 26 when he was detained under Maintenance of Public Order (3-MPO), despite securing bail in the cipher case. The detention order was later withdrawn by the deputy commissioner but was followed by Qureshi’s rearrest on December 28 on charges related to the GHQ attack on May 9. Qureshi accused the rulers of violating the apex court’s order and claimed to be targeted without reason.