2-day physical remand of Sheikh Rashid granted

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): A local court in Islamabad has granted police two-day physical remand of Awami Muslim League (AML) leader and PTI ally Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, hours after the politician was arrested in connection with remarks he made against former president Asif Ali Zardari.
Ahmed was arrested on a police complaint filed by Raja Inayatur Rehman, the vice president of PPP Rawalpindi Division, wherein he said that the AML chief, in a television interview on Jan 27, alleged that Zardari got the assistance of some terrorists to plan Imran’s murder.
During the hearing presided over by Judicial Magistrate Omar Shabbir, the police requested Ahmed’s eight-day physical remand while the prosecution also requested the politician’s physical remand. The court announced the reserved verdict, granting the police 2-day physical remand of the AML chief.
At the outset of the hearing, the prosecutor presented the case record in the court and the police requested the court for Ahmed’s eight-day remand. The AML chief asked, “First, open my handcuffs.” He lamented, “I have been a minister 16 times. Why isn’t the handcuff being opened? They’ve put it on for the whole night.” Accepting his demand, the police opened the handcuffs.
Upon Prosecutor Adnan reading out the case registered against Ahmed, the judge asked, “Show me that sentence in the case where Section 120 is applicable.” The prosecutor asserted, “Sheikh Rashid is creating danger for Asif Zardari’s family. According to the sections, Sheikh Rashid can be sentenced to seven years in jail and be fined.”
He argued, “Sheikh Rashid gave the statement that Asif Ali Zardari has conspired to kill Imran Khan. In Pakistan, people can be ready to slit throats at the smallest things. “Imran Khan has been attacked previously as well. There has been an attempt to create incitement between the parties of Imran Khan and Asif Zardari. Asif Zardari and his family’s life is at risk.” The prosecutor then requested a physical remand of the AML chief.
The judge then asked, “Has Asif Zardari told you that he’s in danger?” The prosecutor responded that Ahmed has given the statement himself. Prosecutor Adnan then closed his arguments by asserting that Ahmed’s voice-matching test needs to be conducted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and a photogrammetric test is needed as well, emphasising that they were “incredibly important” during the trial.
Ahmed’s lawyers, Sardar Abdul Razik Khan and Intizar Panjhota, then presented their arguments. “The season of political vendetta is ongoing and Sheikh Rashid was made its target,” he said. “Political parties criticise each other every other day. If such cases keep being registered, then no politician will be able to talk.” He argued that cases registered under Sections 505 and 153 could only be registered by the federal or provincial government. He further said that a PPP worker had filed the case and not Zardari.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday strongly condemned the arrest of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed.
In his tweet, Imran Khan said: “Strongly condemn arrest of Sh Rasheed. Never in our history have we had such a biased, vindictive Caretaker govt appt by totally discredited ECP,” he said. The PTI chief also questioned if can Pakistan afford a street movement which we are being pushed towards at a time when we have been bankrupted by the ‘imported govt’. Awami Muslim League (AML) chief and former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed was arrested from his Rawalpindi residence in the early hours of Thursday. The arrest was confirmed by the former interior minister’s nephew, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq.