Thursday, July 07, 2022
The Lahore High Court (LHC) ruled the detention of Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh to be unlawful, granted him protective bail till July 18, and ordered his immediate release.
Sheikh, a central leader of PTI, was arrested in Lahore Tuesday night and moved to an unknown location, according to party leaders and his daughter, Ayesha Haleem.
CCTV footage of Sheikh's detention by men in plain-clothes had emerged. As evidenced in the video, the MPA showed no resistance and quietly followed the men. Later, the personnel secretary of the opposition leader petitioned the LHC via counsel Amir Saeed Rawn to make the Punjab's inspector general of police, the provincial government, and other parties respondents.
The defendant was brought before the court of Justice Baqir Najafi, where the prosecutor submitted the case file. After reviewing it, the judge asked if there was any evidence that the investigative team had come to arrest the defendant. “I do not see any document in the provided papers,” the judge noted.
In response to the court's question, Sheikh stated that he was arrested Tuesday evening and taken to the Gulberg police station and the CIA for raising his voice in the Assembly. He stated that he was willing to face any investigation.
The court then inquired as to when he wished to travel to Sindh, to which he responded that he wished to celebrate Eid ul Adha with his children. After hearing Sheikh's testimony, the judge said, “it should not be like this, give me the file and I will pronounce the verdict after some time”. The court then issued the reserved verdict and granted him bail until July 18.
A big number of PTI supporters and leaders staged a protest in front of the Karachi Press Club to demand the immediate release of Sheikh.
Former opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi, parliamentary leader Khurram Sherzaman, and other leaders, while addressing the protesters, stated that the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership was afraid of Sheikh because he had exposed their corruption and poor governance within and outside of the Sindh Assembly.
They claimed that in the past, the PPP-led Sindh government had "politically victimised" Sheikh by filing false charges against him. Leaders of the PTI also criticised the detention of journalist Imran Riaz Khan.
Previously, Asad Umar, the central secretary general of the PTI, stated on Twitter that Sheikh was arrested by “plain-clothed men in the middle of the night”.
Umar cautioned the authorities from allegedly employing brutal measures against those who had spoken the truth, and he displayed a mirror to them. At a protest staged by the PTI outside the National Press Club in Islamabad in response to the arrests of Imran Khan Riaz and Sheikh, he called on the government not to take the country in a dangerous direction. He asserted that millions of Pakistani patriots were concerned because they did not know where the current ruling junta was taking the nation.
He stated that those who were being persecuted never talked against Pakistan's integrity, since they were the ones who spoke in favour of the country. He stated that the voices being stifled were the voices of Pakistan and that the PTI would support them whenever patriotic journalists were persecuted or their voices were silenced. Umar deplored the filing of FIRs against patriotic Pakistani journalists. However, he made it clear that the Pakistani nation had risen and that such tactics would not silence the people.