Pakistani opposition leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi detained following election comments

Pakistani opposition leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi was detained on Saturday, according to a statement from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. The detention came just hours after Qureshi announced PTI’s intention to challenge any potential delay in the country’s upcoming election through legal channels.

“There exists a clear deadline of 90 days. It would be unconstitutional if this 90-day timeframe is violated,” Qureshi stated.

“We are observing what appear to be deliberate delaying tactics and attempts to advance the election date. In light of this, Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan opposition party) has reached a decision to contest this matter in the Supreme Court,” he added.

The specific grounds for Qureshi’s detention, a former foreign minister of Pakistan, were not immediately apparent, said party spokesman Zulfi Bukhari in a communication with Reuters.

As of now, the caretaker information minister has not responded to a request for comment.

Bukhari took to the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter) to denounce the arrest. He stated, “He has been apprehended for conducting a press conference and restating PTI’s stance against all forms of oppression and pre-poll manipulation currently underway in Pakistan.”

PTI Party Chairman Imran Khan, currently serving a three-year prison sentence due to graft convictions, remains ineligible to participate in elections for five years. Khan maintains his innocence.

Having secured victory in the 2018 elections, Khan assumed the role of prime minister until his removal through a no-confidence vote in 2022.