The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court has given the Rawalpindi police a seven-day deadline to present former Interior Minister and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid in court. This decision was reached during a hearing related to a petition challenging the arrest of Sheikh Rashid, who was taken into custody by plainclothes personnel from a housing society in Rawalpindi on September 17.
Sheikh Rashid’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Razzak, stated that his client was arrested from a rented house in the housing society, and no case was registered against him in Punjab’s jurisdiction. He added that the politician was named in a case filed at Kohsar police station in connection with a protest rally organized by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on May 10 against the detention of its Chairman, Imran Khan.
The court questioned Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer (RPO) Syed Khurram Ali about the whereabouts of Sheikh Rashid and the others arrested with him. The police officer requested an additional 15 days to produce Sheikh Rashid, but the court deemed this timeframe excessive, granting a seven-day extension instead.
Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan warned that if Sheikh Rashid is not presented within a week, the court will order the registration of a First Information Report (FIR). The court also inquired about the released detainees and postponed the hearing for a week after considering evidence presented by Sheikh Rashid’s lawyer.
Additionally, Sheikh Rashid’s historic residence, Lal Haveli, in Rawalpindi, was sealed by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) on September 21. The ETPB deputy administrator stated that the residence was sealed because the documents submitted by Sheikh Rashid were found to be invalid, following an eviction order issued by the ETPB chairman. The eviction operation was carried out with the presence of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and a significant police contingent.
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