LHC seeks replies from Rawalpindi authorities over Rashid’s arrest

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RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court (LHC) sought on Tuesday replies from the Rawalpindi IGP, CPO and deputy commissioner over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ally Sheikh Rashid’s arrest.

Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan of the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench took up the plea challenging Rashid’s arrest.

The petitioner’s counsel informed LHC that Rashid has not been produced before any court despite being detained two days ago. The lawyer apprised that no case is registered against the veteran politician in the federal capital or in Punjab.

“This detention is illegal. It is not an arrest but abduction,” argued the counsel, praying the court to issue directives for Rashid to be produced before it.

The court directed the counsel to wait for the relevant officials to submit their replies before the case proceeds further.

Seeking replies from the aforementioned officials by September 22, the court issued a notice to the assistant advocate general as well and adjourned the hearing.

Rashid’s ‘arrest’

Rashid, who served as the federal interior minister during ousted prime minister Imran Khan’s tenure and heads the Awami Muslim League (AML), was at his home in a private housing society on the outskirts of Islamabad on Sunday (September 17) when purported Rawalpindi Police personnel and some officials in plain clothes, raided the place and detained him and three others.

Sources in the police revealed that after the arrest, the AML chief was transferred from Islamabad to Rawalpindi, Sheikh Rashid’s native town, amid heightened security.

However, in a statement issued later on Sunday night, a spokesperson of the Rawalpindi Police denied the arrest and claimed Rashid was not in their custody.

Shortly after, Rashid’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Razzaq, issued a video statement, asserting that Rawalpindi Police had indeed detained his client from his residence in the Lohi Bher area.

“The operation was led by Rawalpindi’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operation Faisal Suleman. SHO New Town, SHO Saddar Lines, and SHO Westridge were also part of the raiding team,” he said.

“They arrested Sheikh Rashid, his nephew Sheikh Shakir, employee Sheikh Imran and driver Sajjad, and transferred them to an undisclosed location.”

After today’s (Tuesday) hearing, Rashid’s lawyer told the media that his client’s driver Sajjad made it back home last night and his motorcycle was recovered as well. But Rashid, his nephew and employee still remain missing, said the lawyer.

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