RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has warned that a case will be registered against police officers if former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed is not produced within one week.
Mr Rashid, the chief of Awami Muslim League (AML), was picked up by men “in plain clothes” last month along with his nephew Sheikh Shakir and servant Sheikh Imran, the AML chief’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan, said on September 17.
Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan of the LHC Rawalpindi bench on Monday took up a petition seeking Mr Rashid’s recovery.
Mr Raziq and Sardar Shehbaz Raza appeared on behalf of Mr Rashid’s counsels, while Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer (RPO) Syed Khurram Ali was present as the police’s representative.
Gives RPO one week to trace AML chief; seeks reply from IGP on Farrukh Habib’s detention
The police denied having the AML chief in custody and told the court that Mr Rashid’s nephew and servant had returned. It did not specify which agency had held them in custody.
The court ordered the RPO to trace Mr Rashid within a week and produce him before the court with a warning of legal action if the direction was not complied with.
A case would be filed against the senior superintendent of police (operations), the deputy superintendent of police and four station house officers who were allegedly involved in Mr Rashid’s arrest, the judge remarked.
Later, the proceedings were adjourned till Oct 11.
Mr Rashid’s whereabouts were still a mystery despite a court order on Sept 26 directing the police to “make an all-out effort for his recovery”.
He claimed the police had not presented Mr Habib, a former state minister, and his companions before any court and had kept them in unlawful custody.
Reply sought from Punjab IGP
In Lahore, the court sought a report from the Punjab police chief over the alleged illegal detention of PTI leader Farrukh Habib.The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition seeking recovery of the PTI leader filed by his brother.Advocate Abuzar Salman Khan Niazi, who appeared on behalf of the applicant, said Punjab police arrested the PTI leader, along with four relatives, from his home in Gwadar.
The counsel sought the recovery of Mr Habib and others from the “illegal detention of police”.
The court issued a notice to the Punjab IGP and directed him to submit a report by Oct 6.
Mr Habib and other PTI leaders had been declared a proclaimed offender in the corps commander house attack case.
Last week, Balochistan Caretaker Minister for Information Jan Achakzai said Mr Habib and eight other people were arrested by security forces from Gwadar.
Those arrested included Mr Habib’s brother and father-in-law. The three were later moved to an unknown place, while the six others were handed over to Gwadar police and released on bail after initial investigation.
Wajih Ahmad Sheikh in Lahore also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2023