ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said on Monday that Sindh government had arrested Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh on political grounds to victimise him for exposing corruption and its inefficiency.
Speaking at a press conference in the federal capital, he demanded his immediate release and said that the “inefficient and corrupt” Sindh government had politicised the police by inducting its own people.
He said that arrest of Haleem Adil was also an effort to influence the upcoming Senate elections.
He said that the in the recent by-election in Tharparkar, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers were harassed and intimidated by misusing government institutions.
ATCs’ administrative judge will hear arguments on opposition leader’s post-arrest bail pleas today
He said that the plight of Sindh was proof of inefficiency and corruption of the government and Haleem Adil was the person who had been exposing the Sindh government’s corruption.
The minister said if an elected member and opposition leader was not safe in Sindh one could imagine the situation that a common man had been facing there.
He said former president Asif Zardari used to claim that there were no political prisoners during the PPP’s rule but this was the worst example of political victimization.
To a question, he said that the case against Haleem Adil was politically motivated and not based on law but misuse of power, which could not be accepted.
The minister alleged that the Sindh government was protecting the interests of only one class whereas the poor people especially in the rural areas were facing great hardships and even they did not benefit from PPP’s slogan of roti, kapra aur makan.
He said that politics of bullying, violence and terrorism could not be called democracy.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had a principled stance since the past over two decades that neither the economy nor democracy or society’s ethical values could improve without ending the role of money in politics.
He recalled that the PTI was the only party which expelled its MPAs for selling their votes in 2018.
He said that Imran Khan wanted transparency and fairness whereas his opponents comprising Pakistan Democratic Movement represented the corridor of darkness, corruption and horse trading and time had come to defeat this mentality.
Hearing adjourned on Sheikh’s bail plea
The administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts on Monday asked the special public prosecutor to advance arguments on bail applications filed by Haleem Adil Sheikh in cases pertaining to violence, rioting, attempted murder and causing terror during the recent by-elections in the PS-88 constituency of Malir.
On Monday, the PTI leader moved applications seeking grant of post-arrest bail in two cases registered at the Memon Goth police station.
Defence counsel Amir Mansoob Qureshi argued that there was no direct allegation against his client except for instigating people for violence, firing, attempting to murder and causing terror during the by-polls on Feb 16.
He contended that all the sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) under which the FIR was lodged were bailable offences, except for Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
However, the counsel argued that there was no evidence to prove that Mr Sheikh had instigating anyone to cause terror during the electoral process, thus he was liable to be granted bail.
In the second plea, the counsel argued that officials of the anti-encroachment department and police had attempted to demolish a farmhouse, owned by Mr Sheikh, in the Solangi Goth area on Feb 6.
The counsel contended that both the FIRs were lodged under false allegations.
After hearing his arguments, the judge fixed the matter for Tuesday (today) directing the special public prosecutor to advance arguments on the bail pleas.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2021