ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) stayed the first information reports (FIRs) filed in Mochko and Lasbela against Awami Muslim League (AML) president and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday.
Rashid’s appeal to block his deportation to Karachi and to charge the police in contempt of court was considered by Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri.
Although the court barred further action on the summons issued by the Aabpara police station, the police registered a case and arrested the AML chief on the same application, according to the AML chief’s counsel.
According to the lawyer, another FIR was filed against Sheikh Rashid in Mochko, Karachi. When the statement was made in Islamabad’s Polyclinic Hospital, the court wondered how the case was registered in the port city. The court ordered the police not to investigate the cases filed against Sheikh Rashid in Mochko, Karachi, and Lasbela, Balochistan.
Furthermore, the IHC issued notices to the attorney general, advocate general, and bar councils suspending the ex-FIRs ministers in Mochko and Lasbela. During the hearing, the court asked how FIRs could be filed in different cities for the same incidence. According to the lawyer, a third FIR was also filed in Murree.
When asked if an arrest had been made in any of the three cases, the lawyer stated that Sheikh Rashid had been arrested in one of them. According to the law, when an arrest is made in one case, it is also made in others, according to Justice Jahangiri.
Rashid was also strapped to a chair in an undisclosed place for six hours while on physical remand, according to the lawyer. During this time, Rashid was asked political questions and exposed to assault, according to the AML chief’s counsel.
The judge questioned where “this series will stop” and reminded the attorney that “you had filed terrorism cases against the information secretary and the PTV MD and now the same thing is happening against you”.
“Imagine what would have happened if the female information secretary had been arrested,” he said. Last week, a lawsuit was filed in Karachi against Sheikh Rashid for making “immoral” statements about Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
According to sources, the former minister’s comments against the party chairman prompted a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) worker to file a complaint at the Mochko police station. According to the sources, a police squad has been created and will travel on Saturday to arrest the AML head, who would then be taken to Karachi.
Sheikh Rashid had previously been arrested by Islamabad police in a late-night raid on his private housing society apartment. The former minister was detained after publicly accusing PPP Co-chairman and former President Asif Ali Zardari of planning an assassination conspiracy against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
Sheikh Rashid was remanded to police custody for two days by an Islamabad court, after which the police requested an extension of the AML chief’s physical remand.
The judge, however, refused the police request and ordered the senior lawmaker to be transported to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on judicial detention for ten days.