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Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi arrested in Islamabad

Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (Image courtesy: Twitter/@SMQureshiPTI)

Former Pakistan Foreign Minister, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi was on Thursday arrested by the Islamabad police and transferred to an unknown location.

“Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been arrested by the Islamabad Police and transferred to an unknown location,” the party tweeted on Thursday. The PTI leader was taken into custody from the Gilgit-Baltistan House in Islamabad after a failed attempt by the police on Wednesday afternoon, according to Pakistan based The Express Tribune newspaper.

Qureshi is wanted by the police in cases of riots and arsons in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Before his arrest, Qureshi called upon PTI workers to keep up their struggle for true freedom in the country. In a message, he said that he had no regrets as he had done nothing wrong. The PTI leader expressed grief and shock over the 50 casualties in the recent violent protest that erupted after the arrest of party chairman Imran Khan.

He noted that a worthwhile cause requires sacrifices and the PTI and its workers will continue their work for such a worthy cause. He asked PTI workers to keep up their struggle for real freedom and to remain on their marks in this great cause until Imran Khan is freed.

Qureshi emphasised that the allegation of the Corps Commander Lahore incident is a wrong charge against him and Imran Khan, calling upon party activists to remain calm and stick to their cause.

The PTI leader also recorded a statement when a police contingent arrived at his place, saying that PTI is a movement for real freedom and everyone has contributed to it.

“All organisations, ticket holders, and office-holders are requested not to lose heart and stay put in the field. We have not taken the law into our hands before and we will not do so in the future as well,” he advised party cadres.

According to The Express Tribune, Qureshi highlighted his message by reminding PTI workers that he defended Pakistan’s interests as a foreign minister at every forum. He added that he had been in practical politics for 40 years and was sure the PTI’s struggle would reach its destination.

Meanwhile, PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry was arrested outside the Supreme Court (SC) in Islamabad on Wednesday, Geo News reported.

The development comes amid the ongoing crackdown on the PTI leaders and workers. Fawad Chaudhry was present inside the Pakistan Supreme Court since 11 am (local time) in a bid to evade arrest, as per the news report.

Chaudhry was arrested after he came out of the apex court premises. The Islamabad police arrested Chaudhry under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Ordinance (MPO) and shifted him to the Secretariat Police Station.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf tweeted, “SVP @fawadchaudhry has been arrested outside Supreme Court despite having protective bail from IHC till 12th May. Law of the jungle is ruling in Pakistan.”

Speaking to reporters before his arrest, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said the lawyers’ community had become weak as there was infighting among them. He said, “Never has a petitioner been arrested in such a manner,” Geo News reported. He further said that Islamabad High Court had a day earlier, approved his pre-arrest bail which he had shown to Islamabad police earlier in the day.

Chaudhry said Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest has resulted in a division in the country, as per the Geo News report. He said that space should be given to political opponents to pave the way for dialogue. Before Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested PTI Secretary General Asad Umar from the premises of the Islamabad High Court.

On Tuesday, PTI chairman Khan was arrested in a graft case, and presented before the accountability court at the Police Lines Headquarters. The accountability bureau will investigate the former premier at the Police Lines. Protests have erupted in Pakistan after Imran Khan’s arrest. The protests have led to widespread destruction of properties.