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ISLAMABAD: A local court on Wednesday granted one-day transit remand of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief former interior minister Sheikh Rashid to Murree police in a case registered against him for threatening police personnel.

Duty magistrate, Rafat Mehmood, while hearing the case approved Sheikh’s transit remand and directed police officials to present Rashid before a Murree court on Thursday (today). Earlier, police produced the former interior minister before the court amid tight security arrangements.

The AML chief was arrested by the city police on February 2 for levelling allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari. Later, another case was also registered against him at the Murree police station on charge of manhandling a police official at the time of his arrest.

At the start of the hearing, Rashid came to the rostrum and said that a false case had been registered against him. “They want to change his political loyalties but he will not change his loyalties at this age,” he said.

He said that he had handed over the passwords of both of his mobile phones to the police. “The Murree police have interrogated me for hours,” said Rashid, adding that his money, cell phone and watches had been taken by police.

During the hearing, the judge asked the Murree police if they had requested a transit remand before. For the first time they had filed a request for granting of transit remand, the police told the court.

Rashid’s counsel Ali Bukhari, while objecting to Murree police’s request for granting of transit remand, said the AML chief was in custody, adding that Murree police’s request for a transit remand was rejected recently by a judicial magistrate.

The investigation officer (IO) of Murree police said the request for transit remand was rejected as the procedure was not followed. Bukhari also questioned why the police were requesting a transit remand when they had already recovered everything from the former federal minister’s house.

He said Murree police did not file a plea against the rejection of the transit remand. The judge asked the defence counsel that did you have a copy of the order regarding the rejection of transit remand. Bukhari further told the court that to take my surety and reject the police’s request regarding transit remand.

An official of Murree police told the court that the court had only issued verbal orders and did not release a written judgment.

Rashid told the court that he had appeared in the case of the FIR registered at Murree police station. The police had investigated him in the case registered against him at Murree, he said.

Adnan Ali, Deputy District Prosecutor told the court that the suspect was on judicial remand and had to be produced before the Murree court due to which they were seeking transit remand.

Another lawyer of the former interior minister, Intezar Panjhota said the investigation in the Murree case could also be carried out in the absence of his client. “A fake case has been registered against my client,” he said.

Panjhota said the case was registered against his client for taking political revenge. “The main purpose of registration of the case against my client is to mentally torture him,” he said, adding that his client had been pressurised to change his statement.

The court after hearing the arguments of both parties reserved its judgment. Later, while announcing its reserved judgment, the court handed over Rashid to police on one-day transit remand.

Rashid, while informally talking to reporters outside the court, said they had decided to disqualify Imran Khan. “I was told that the provincial and central elections would be held together,” he said, adding they wanted to create another party from within the PTI. “They did not investigate me regarding the present cases and they are asking political questions,” he said, adding they told him for meeting with an important personality that he refused.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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