Court asks Rawalpindi police to present Sheikh Rashid in 7 days

Court asks Rawalpindi police to present Sheikh Rashid in 7 days

In Rawalpindi, the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench has granted the Rawalpindi police a seven-day ultimatum to produce Sheikh Rashid, the former interior minister and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief. This development unfolded during a hearing in response to a petition challenging the arrest of this senior political figure. Sheikh Rashid had been apprehended by individuals in plain attire from a housing society in Rawalpindi on September 17.

His legal representative, Sardar Abdul Razzak, asserted that his client’s detention took place at a rented residence within the housing society, and his nephew was also detained. Interestingly, no official case against the AML chief was registered within Punjab’s jurisdiction. Instead, he was implicated in a case originating from a protest rally held on May 10 by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against the detention of their Chairman, Imran Khan, at the Kohsar police station.

Remarkably, Sheikh Rashid’s whereabouts remained unknown, prompting his lawyer to emphasize ongoing efforts to locate him. During the proceedings, the court probed Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer (RPO) Syed Khurram Ali regarding the locations of Sheikh Rashid and his fellow detainees. In response, the police requested an additional 15 days, which the court found excessive. Ultimately, the court granted a seven-day extension. If Sheikh Rashid isn’t presented within a week, the court will initiate the registration of a First Information Report (FIR), as announced by Justice Khan.

Moreover, the court inquired about the two individuals arrested alongside Sheikh Rashid upon their release. Surprisingly, both detainees chose to remain silent and refrained from disclosing any information. Rashid’s legal counsel also presented evidence of the Rawalpindi police’s involvement in the arrest, leading to the postponement of the case’s hearing by a week.

Notably, on September 21, the historic Lal Haveli residence of AML chief Sheikh Rashid in Rawalpindi was sealed by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB). The ETPB’s deputy administrator, Asif Khan, cited invalid documents submitted by Rashid as the reason for this action. The decision to vacate Lal Haveli was authorized by the ETPB chairman and executed early in the morning in collaboration with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and a substantial police presence.