RAWALPINDI: Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid challenged on Monday the notice to vacate Lal Haveli, which is the political hub of the former interior minister, in court.
Eviction notices were served to the AML chief and his brother Sheikh Siddique by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB). ETPB Deputy Administrator Asif Khan had warned that Rashid and his brother will be evicted from the occupied property with the help of police if not vacated within seven days.
He had also written a letter to the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner for police assistance on October 19. The ETPB official had said that several hearings had been held in this regard; however, Rashid and his brother have failed to submit any authentic documents.
After Rashid approached the court of additional sessions judge Khursheed Alam Bhatti on Monday, a notice was issued to the director of the ETPB to appear before it.
The court ordered the director to present himself on Tuesday with a complete record and warned the ETPB from taking any illegal action.
The petition said that Lal Haveli is the former interior minister's property and the eviction notice has been sent on the basis of a political vendetta. The petitioner's lawyer claimed that Lal Haveli has been owned by Sheikh Rashid for several decades.
The AML chief's nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafique also appeared before the court.
The court said that the hearing will take place on October 24.
Rashid, who has held 16 ministries, said that all the agencies could not find anything against him during the investigation of those ministries.
"They have now targeted Lal Haveli," he said, adding that "this is not Nine Zero" — a reference to MQM's headquarters in Karachi which was raided by the Rangers in March 2015.
The former interior minister said that the "incompetent" rulers are giving us recognition while dishonouring themselves. "Lal Haveli is a history that no one can erase," he added.
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