The Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court has issued notices to the Punjab caretaker setup, the provincial police chief and the regional and city police officers, giving them one week to submit details of cases registered against Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the former interior minister and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief.
Justice Chaudhary Abdul Aziz issued the notices while hearing Rashid’s plea as his lawyer argued that he was a victim of political vengeance.
At the onset of the hearing, the judge made a reference to Rashid’s remark about being on a ‘chilla’ (spiritual retreat) when he resurfaced after disappearing for almost a month.
He went missing after he was ‘arrested by men in plainclothes from his residence in Rawalpindi’ on September 17, according to his nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafique.
Read LHC admits Rashid’s plea, seeking case details
Rawalpindi police denied arresting him with Rashid’s wheretabouts until he resurfaced on October 20 and said he had been on a chilla where he was treated ‘well’.
A number of politicians who supported the PTI were either harassed or went mysteriously missing.
A large number of them were constantly rearrested in another case after acquiring bail in one case.
A majority of these politicians disavowed the PTI.
Rashid has also been in legal crosshairs over the registration of his Rawalpindi residence Lal Haveli which also serves as his political headquarters. It was been sealed multiple times this year.
In Friday’s hearing, the judge inquired what the problem was now as Rashid had already returned from the ‘chilla’.
Rashid’s lawyer Sardar Abdul Razaq said that Rashid wasn’t afraid of going to prison but he was taken for a ‘chilla’ instead.
Read further Sheikh Rashid gets interim bail in May 9 case
He argued that Rashid was implicated in May 9 incidents on supplementary statements, which he said had no legal status.
He has been nominated in at least 13 cases pertaining to rioting on May 9 across four different jurisdictions in the Rawalpindi division.
The court issued notices to the respondents and ordered to present the details of the cases within a week.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th2023.