Sheikh Rashid’s bail plea rejected

February 08, 2023

There was a risk of his escape if he was granted bail, says the prosecutor

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Police officials escort former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (centre) to present him before a court in Islamabad on February 2, 2023. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A local court on Tuesday dismissed the post-arrest bail petition of Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in an FIR pertaining to levelling allegations on former president Asif Ali Zardari for hatching a conspiracy against Imran Khan.

Judicial Magistrate Umar Shabbir heard the bail petition of the former interior minister filed through his lawyer Abdul Razzaq, Advocate.

At the outset of the hearing, the investigation officer submitted the record to the court.

The counsel for the accused also submitted the written order of the high court on the direction of the judge.

The prosecutor opposed the bail petition and said that the accused had claimed in his statement that the services of some terrorists had been hired for the conspiracy.

He said that it was a very big statement, adding that in the history of Pakistan, former prime ministers including Benazir Bhutto and Liaqat Ali Khan had been murdered.

He said that the allegation was levelled against a former president and it could have serious impact.

Such irresponsible statements could spread unrest in the society, he said.

The prosecutor further said that the attitude of Sheikh Rashid in custody was extraordinary, adding that he had tried to influence the court proceeding with the statement regarding his previous positions.

He said the accused was arrested with great efforts and there was a risk of his escape if he was granted bail.

The counsel for the complainant, Salman Munir, said that the accused had been giving provoking statements in the past as well. The FIR was registered against him in 1990s and he was convicted in the Kalashnikov case.

He argued that Sheikh Rashid could spread anarchy if he was given bail.

He prayed the court to set aside the bail plea of the accused.

Petitioner’s lawyer argued that Sheikh Rashid had only given the reference of Imran Khan’s statement and declared it as correct. He claimed that the FIR was registered against his client before airing of his statement. He prayed the court to grant his client bail as he had to take part in elections. He said the legal team was not allowed to meet the accused in jail. The court reserved judgment after listening to arguments and later dismissed the bail petition.

The court, however, said that Rashid could give an application to sign his nomination papers for NA-60 and NA-62.

Meanwhile, the court instructed the Murree police to complete the legal procedure to get the transit remand of Rashid in another FIR.

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