Monday Feb 13, 2023
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued notices to parties on Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed's bail plea pertaining to the murder plot allegations case filed against him.
The AML chief — who is an ally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan — is facing charges of levelling allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari of plotting to kill the former premier, threatening police personnel, and passing "offensive" and "filthy" comments against Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in multiple cities.
A local court had accepted Rashid's bail in the case of threatening Murree police, however, his bail pleas in the murder plot allegations case were rejected in both a judicial magistrate and a district and sessions court.
Upon the rejection of bail pleas from local courts, Rashid approached the IHC to seek his release on bail via a plea filed on February 10.
He is currently in the Adiala Jail on a 14-day judicial remand in the same case.
Today, the court took up the plea and issued notices to the parties for February 16, following a brief hearing.
Initially, Rashid, according to the police, was arrested in the case of levelling allegations against Zardari on February 2.
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. The minister 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].
An FIR was also registered against Rashid for using "filthy" language against Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto at the Mochko Police Station in Karachi. The case was filed under four sections of the 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).
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.
"A large number of people took to the streets and I, along with other members including Pir Buksh, son of Ali Murad, Muhammad Bux, son of Mola Buksh, and others, tried hard to stop them,” added the FIR.
It also said that the AML chief deliberately conspired to subvert peace, tried to instigate conflict and bloodshed and attempted to spread disorder.
"Legal action should be taken against him (Sheikh Rashid)," it said.
In a similar case filed in Lasbela, Balochistan, Rashid was booked for using "filthy" language against Bilawal. The FIR includes five sections of the PPC, including 500 (punishment for defamation), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions).