Sunday Feb 05, 2023
Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rashid — a close aide of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PIT) Chairman Imran Khan — has been shifted to the Adiala Jail after a local court in Islamabad rejected an appeal for his physical remand.
The former interior minister is facing serious charges as he levelled allegations against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for plotting to assassinate Khan and bankrolling the attempt.
The district and sessions court sent him on judicial remand for 14 days.
According to jail sources, Rashid's medical checkup was conducted in accordance with the jail manual and his condition is stable, although he has a history of high blood pressure.
The sources said that he had been moved to the high-security barracks along with his medicines.
The court dismissed the plea seeking Rashid's physical remand in a case regarding allegations against PPP leader Zardari over a murder plot and sent Rashid to jail on judicial remand.
The court also rejected the Sindh police's appeal for corridor remand and issued directives to seek permission from the relevant court and submit the order to court.
Besides Islamabad, Sheikh Rashid has also been indicted in a case in Karachi. A PPP's worker has filed a case against the former interior minister for using inappropriate language against PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. There are two separate FIRs filed against him for passing offensive remarks against Bilawal.
A case has been lodged against him in Muree also for threatening police personnel.
Meanwhile, the district and sessions court will hear the former interior minister's plea for bail on Monday (February 6).
After the Karachi police filed a second case against Rashid, the ex-interior minister filed a plea in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through his lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzaq Khan. Rashid sought restraining orders against his transfer from the federal capital to Karachi.
"The respondents be restrained from shifting the petitioner from Islamabad to Karachi till the final disposal of the instant constitutional petition," the plea stated.
The petitioner also requested the court to quash the case registered at Aabpara Police Station in Islamabad after declaring it as "illegal, unlawful and without lawful authority", and restrict the respondents from lodging more cases against him.
Moreover, the FIRs registered at Murree and Karachi should "be declared as illegal, unlawful, result of abuse of powers and misuse of authority or in the alternate".
The petition also requested the court that the case registered in Karachi "be ordered to be shifted to Islamabad in accordance with section 234, 235 and 239 of Cr.P.C where the case was already registered".
Initially, Rashid, according to the police, was arrested in the case of levelling allegations against Zardari. Just a day later, Muree Police also registered a case against him.
The FIR was lodged at the complaint of investigation officer Ashiq Ali, from the Aabpara police station, Islamabad. Rashid threatened the police personnel and stated that he would not spare them, according to the FIR.
The FIR was registered under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Pakistan, charging Rashid with interfering in official affairs and resisting his arrest. The FIR states that the former minister physically pushed and abused the police officers and threatened them with serious consequences at gunpoint.
Besides the former minister, his two employees have also been implicated in the case.
The FIR stated that when the police arrived at Rashid's residence, he came out with his armed servants and resisted police efforts while threatening them. He was told that he was booked under three sections of the Pakistan Penal Code — 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), read the FIR.
After that, he started resisting and interfering in the official affairs of the police, while threatening them with serious consequences at gunpoint.
Abusing the policemen, Rashid said he had been a minister several times and that he would not spare them, read the FIR. Hence, he committed an offence under Section 506ii (threatening to cause death or grievous hurt], 353 [Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty] and 186 [Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions].
In Karachi also, an FIR under four sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) — including 500 (Punishment for defamation), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) — was registered against him.
According to the FIR, the AML chief used "highly offensive and disgusting" words against party chairman Bilawal during a media talk at the Polyclinic Hospital which led to anarchy among thousands of PPP workers.