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In Hot Waters
Sheikh Rashid

In Hot Waters

PML-N registers three FIRs against AML chief and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government is good at making cases against political leaders and arresting them for revenge. This time, Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed is on target, as three FIRs have been registered against him in different cities.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who is a close aide of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, was arrested on allegations that he wants to cause a fight between the PTI and the PPP and disrupt the country’s peace. The FIR sections include 150 and 151, 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

After his arrest, Rashid was produced before the local court in Islamabad, and he was sent on two days of physical remand last Thursday by the court.

The AML chief failed to get relief from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) last Friday. Rashid’s nephew filed a contempt of court plea in IHC, and the court summoned the station head officer (SHO) along with relevant records in the former interior minister’s arrest case.


During the hearing, the court asked the applicant to convince the court how contempt is committed by the police. He noted that the court had only cancelled Rashid’s summons and had not barred police from registering a case against him.

The IHC bench, while directing the plaintiff’s counsel to convince the court of the contempt proceedings, decided to hear the matter with the main plea and adjourned the hearing till Monday.

Later, two more FIRs were registered against Rashid in Muree Police Station under Section 154 (interfering in official affairs and resisting his arrest) and then in Karachi over his immoral comment against foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto under Sections 500 (punishment for defamation), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace), and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups).

Rashid was granted a two-day physical remand by an Islamabad lower court in a case filed against him for making allegations against former President Zardari.

Rashid’s lawyer argued in a lower court that his client was targeted in a politically motivated case. The police had arrested Rashid against the high court’s orders. The police, instead of arresting Rashid, should have called Zardari to the station.

The lawyer added that the FIR mentions that the ex-minister wanted to create a conflict between the two groups. However, the names PPP and PTI have not been mentioned, he said.


He maintained that the political parties criticise each other every day. “If such cases are registered, then no politician will be able to speak.” “Only a provincial or federal government could register cases under Sections 153A and 505 and not a political party’s worker,” he added.

The prosecutor then told the court that Rashid tried to create “threats” for the family members of Zardari. He added that, in line with the charges, Rashid could face up to seven years in prison.

“Rashid had alleged that Zardari was hatching a plot to assassinate Imran,” he said, adding: “We must note that several conflicts occur in Pakistan on smaller accusations, and Rashid made the statement to incite workers of both parties.”

Rashid’s arrest

Rashid was allegedly apprehended in the early hours of last Thursday on Murree Road. However, the former interior minister and his nephew, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, contradicted the police’s version and said that the authorities took him into custody from his house in Rawalpindi and not the motorway.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Rawalpindi Division President Raja Inayat Ur Rehman had filed a case against Rashid in Islamabad’s Aabpara Police Station, alleging that former President Zardari was hatching a plot to assassinate the PTI chief.


In the FIR, the PPP divisional president stated that the AML chief tried to badmouth a former president and cause a “permanent danger” to the PPP co-chairman and his family.

Moreover, police told the media that a bottle of liquor and a weapon have been recovered from Rashid’s possession. Police also said that the former interior minister was “intoxicated” when he was arrested.

Initially, the Murree Police had arrested him, and later they handed him over to the Islamabad Police, who shifted him to the Aabpara Police Station, where the case has been registered. Then Rashid was shifted to the Secretariat police station after his medical checkup at the Polyclinic hospital.

Rashid, while talking to the media outside the Polyclinic hospital in Islamabad, said that my crime is that I’m standing with Imran Khan. I have been a minister 16 times. I haven’t been charged with corruption in these ministries.

Rashid said the police arrested him despite the fact that a court granted him bail and ordered the inspector general of police to appear before the court on February 6. He alleged that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah was behind his arrest.

Earlier, Rashid had been embroiled in another case of “illegal occupation,” as the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) had sealed his residence, “Lal Haveli,” and five adjoining units on January 30. Later, the Lahore High Court ordered him to de-seal his property.


Almost every close aide of PTI chairman Imran Khan and other outspoken political leaders is facing politically motivated cases against them. Azam Sawati, Shahbaz Gill, Faward Chudhary, and now Rashid are not only being arrested but also being badly humiliated during police custody.

Not only political leaders, but the PML-N government is retaliating against the media by arresting and threatening journalists and media outlets, requesting that they not highlight its failures and refrain from covering PTI chairman Imran Khan.


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