- Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed Khan bars authorities from arresting ex-interior minister till May 18
The Lahore High Court (LHC) granted on Friday pre-arrest bail to former interior minister Sheikh Rashid bail in connection with several cases filed against him and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders over the Masjid-e-Nabwi incident, Aaj News reported.
Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed Khan has barred authorities from arresting Sheikh till May 18 and directed the former minister to submit surety bonds worth Rs 100,000.
Sheikh Rashid's nephew Rashid Shafique has already been arrested from Islamabad airport by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), as he was returning from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah.
This is despite the Islamabad High Court (IHC) telling the interior secretary to make sure PTI leaders were not arrested by the police or any other investigation agency.
Shafique was nominated in a case filed against PTI leaders related to an incident in which members of PM Shehbaz Sharif's cabinet were alledgedy harassed while on an official trip to Saudi Arabia.
Last week, PM Sharif’s delegation was greeted with derogatory slogans from Pakistani pilgrims on their arrival at the Masjid-e-Nabwi in Madinah.
Videos of the incident went viral on social media where Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti appeared to be harassed, while Federal Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb endured verbal abuse.
Following the incident, Qazi Muhammad Tariq Advocate registered an FIR at New Airport Police Station under sections 295 (harming or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult a religion), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 296 (disturbing religious assembly).
Along with former PM Imran, top PTI leadership including Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Fawad, Shahbaz Gill, and Murad Saeed were named in the case.