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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.

Elections

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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Elections

NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns

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Details indicate that in response, the federal government informed Dr. Arif Alvi that Article 91 of the 1973 Constitution does not grant the president the “discretion or power” to adjourn the National Assembly session.

The sources quoted the federal administration and said, “Nowhere in Article 91 is it written that if the House is incomplete, the National Assembly session cannot be convened.”

It further said that Article 54 of the constitution allowed the president to adjourn the National Assembly’s “ordinary” session alone. According to the summary, the president was requested to call an extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that the newly elected members may take an oath of office.

Dr. Arif Alvi was asked to reconsider his choice and call a meeting of the National Assembly by the acting federal government on February 29.

The sources quoted the federal government and stated, “It is not written anywhere in the constitution that if specific seats are not allotted, the session cannot be called.”

It further said that the National Assembly must be called within 21 days following the election in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution.

The caretaker administration responded, saying, “Even if the President does not call the National Assembly session by February 29, it would still be held on the same day.”

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, February 29th, in order to administer the oath to the newly elected Members of Congress earlier on Monday.

According to specifics, President Arif Alvi declined to call a meeting under clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution, arguing that the lower body is still unfinished because a decision on certain reserved seats has not yet been made. Consequently, the Speaker National Assembly called the meeting.

The National Assembly’s maiden session was called by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The freshly elected members of the National Assembly would take the oath of office from the Speaker. During the first session, the election schedules for speaker and deputy speaker will also be released.

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Pakistan

Maryam Nawaz honours ASP Shehr Bano For His Extraordinary Courage

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Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N’s nominee for chief minister of Punjab, honours young police officer Shehr Bano for displaying extraordinary bravery, insight, and courage.

According to Maryam Nawaz, if the female police officer hadn’t arrived in time, a catastrophe may have happened.

The country is proud of you, she said as she praised Shehr Bano.

According to Maryam Nawaz, Shehr Bano maintained humanity and the law in the face of pressure, numbers, and circumstances.

She stated that it is required of every police officer to contribute to the defence of individuals’ lives and property.

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