Sheikh Rashid’s post-arrest bail plea dismissed

News Desk
Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad on Tuesday dismissed Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid’s post-arrest bail plea in the case registered against him for levelling murder plot allegations against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.

However, the court in its verdict allowed the AML chief to sign his nomination papers for NA-60 and NA-62 by-polls.

Speaking to the media, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, the former interior minister’s nephew, said they would challenge the verdict in a sessions court.

At the outset of the hearing, the court asked Rashid’s lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzik whether their stance was that their client was not part of the conspiracy claimed to kill Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.

The counsel told the court that his client had referred to Khan’s statement and was not part of the conspiracy. “The police should have investigated Asif Zardari but the opposite happened,” the lawyer said, adding the PTI chief’s statement was based on facts.

“There is a conspiracy to kill Imran Khan for which a case is not being registered. However, a case has been registered for the defamation of Asif Zardari,” said the lawyer.

Razzik also told the court that the case was registered on a private complainant’s request and not a state officer.

“A common citizen, who is a PPP worker, had made allegations against Sheikh Rashid,” said Razzik, adding the case would have been different had former president Zardari filed the complaint.

“There is no need to investigate Sheikh Rashid. The bail plea should be approved. [The] Islamabad High Court in its verdict had also prohibited further action,” said Razzik as he wrapped up his argument.

Intizar Panjotha, Rashid’s other counsel, urged the court to accept the bail plea, saying the sections added in the FIR against Rashid can only be included if a state officer was the complainant.

However, the prosecutor contended that Rashid was committing an offence repeatedly with his statements during detention. He contended that Rashid wanted collision between PTI and PPP, adding there was a chance of anarchy spreading in the country with the AML chief’s statement.

The prosecution also told the court that the high court in its order had only stopped the summoning of Rashid, adding the former interior minister’s attitude during detention was also unusual. “Sheikh Rashid was arrested with a lot of difficulty. If he is granted bail, he will run away,” said the prosecutor as he opposed the bail plea.

The AML chief is currently in Adiala Jail on judicial remand for 14 days.