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IHC grants bail to Sheikh Rashid in murder plot case

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  • Lawyer says no evidence that shows Rashid’s statement triggered a fight between PTI and PPP.
  • Prosecutor says AML chief’s statements should have been parliamentary.
  • Bail granted against surety bonds of Rs50,000.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday granted bail to Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed against surety bonds of Rs50,000.

The former interior minister had approached the IHC for bail in the case registered against him for levelling allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari of plotting to kill former prime minister Imran Khan.

The veteran politician from Rawalpindi is currently in jail on judicial remand.

At the outset of today’s hearing, Rashid’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja told the court that his client is seeking post-arrest bail. He added that the additional sessions judge rejected the bail plea in the case filed on just one allegation.

“What was the accusation,” asked the court.

Raja told the court that a case against his client was registered based on his statement aired on news channels. He added that the former interior minister is currently on judicial remand.

The lawyer added that the court while rejecting the bail said it feared that Rashid after being released may issue such statements again.

The court then once again asked the lawyer what accusation Rashid had made and whether it was run on any news channels.

“Yes, he gave a statement that was aired on news channels. Evidence does not indicate that it triggered a fight between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Peoples Party,” argued the lawyer.

Once Raja completed his arguments, Islamabad advocate general Jahangir Jadoon came to the rostrum.

Jadoon contended that Rashid was a senior politician and his statements should have been parliamentary. He added that those who are in the government right now will be in opposition tomorrow.

The government lawyer told the court that Rashid had also abused Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

At this, Raja intervened and said that the government lawyer was referring to a different case.

Meanwhile, the investigating officer told the court that they had obtained details of Rashid’s statement from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority(PEMRA).

The officer said that Rashid had stated that he took this information from Imran Khan. However, he added when Rashid was probed, they were unable to find any evidence from him of the alleged conspiracy of Asif Zardari’s plotting to kill Imran Khan.

The court then reserved its verdict in the case which was announced later.

Cases against AML chief

Multiple cases were registered against the AML chief after he backed Khan’s allegations that Zardari was plotting to kill the PTI chief. 

Initially, Rashid, according to the police, was arrested in the case of levelling allegations against Zardari on February 2.

A day later, Muree Police also registered a case against him.

An FIR was also registered against Rashid for using “filthy” language against Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto at the Mochko Police Station in Karachi. A similar case was also registered against him in Lasbela.

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A joint parliamentary party meeting is called by PTI and SIC.

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A joint parliamentary party meeting was held on Thursday in Parliament House, Islamabad, by the Sunni-Ittehad Council and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

The sources state that representatives from both parties attended the meeting and discussed a range of topics.

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PTI will petition the SJC to stop the “arbitrary” selection of ad hoc judges.

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Barrister Gohar, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), declared on Thursday that the government would collapse if the PTI was outlawed.

After attending the PTI and Sunni-Ittehad Council (SIC) joint parliamentary party meeting, the PTI chief, along with PTI leaders Omar Ayub Khan, Shibli Faraz, and Asad Qaiser, spoke to the media. They announced that they would petition the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to stop the appointment of ad hoc judges to the highest court.

Since the PTI is widespread throughout the nation, he claimed that it represents 70% of Pakistanis and that it shouldn’t be treated unfairly in any setting.

The PTI head attacked the plan to nominate four ad hoc judges to the supreme court, claiming that doing so will undermine the judiciary’s independence.

“This choice is motivated by bad intentions. This is the moment to hear the rulings of the SC, not to make such choices. He stressed, “We demand that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) release our notifications immediately.

Moreover, Omar Ayub Khan, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, blasted the Chief Justice of Pakistan for appointing judges who share his views and urged the CJP to refrain from assigning the PTI’s cases to ad hoc judges.

Additionally, Senate Opposition Leader Shibli Faraz criticised the government for fabricating accusations against Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan.

Asad Qaiser, a former speaker of the NA, stated that Nawaz Sharif intended to leave the country for London, but he insisted that the former prime minister should apologise to the people before leaving this time. Additionally, he asked the administration to follow the constitution rather than enforcing anarchy throughout the nation.

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A party may be banned by the government under Article 17: Sana Rana

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Article 17 of the Constitution, according to PML-N senior leader Rana Sanullah Khan, gives the government the authority to declare a political party illegal.

During an appearance on a TV talk show, Sanaullah stated that the Supreme Court will review a decree banning a political party within 15 days of the cabinet’s approval.

Sanaullah stated that the government had just so far stated its intentions about the PTI’s prohibition, but that “a ban is imposed on that party if the apex court agrees to the declaration.”
The constitutional procedure will be followed, he said, whenever the administration makes a decision.

Like the PTI, the former minister remarked, the government has the right to voice its opinions and work towards achievement.

“There is no harm in making efforts if the government has an option to get the reserved seats through constitutional means,” he said.

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