ISLAMABAD: Appre­hending serious threats to his life, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday petitioned the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against handing over his physical custody to Sindh and Punjab police in identical FIRs registered in connection with his statement about a conspiracy allegedly hatched by ex-president Asif Zardari to murder PTI chief Imran Khan.

The IHC bench comprising Justice Tariq Meh­mood Jahangiri will hear the petition next week.

The former interior minister in his petition alleged that the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led coalition government had got identical FIRs registered against him in different parts of the country on ‘flimsy’ reasons.

In addition to Islam­ab­­ad, FIRs were registered in Punjab and Sindh, the petitioner added.

Claims he fears for his life; ex-minister remanded to jail; another case registered in Hub

Mr Rashid, who heads the Awami Muslim League, stated the allegations for hatching murder conspiracy by Mr Zardari was initially levelled by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, but the police arrested him for reiterating Mr Khan’s statement in a TV interview.

While the ex-minister of Imran’s cabinet said he was in the custody of Isl­a­mabad Police, Sindh Poli­­ce ‘planned’ to take him to the southern province, where he apprehended serious threats to his life.

In his petition, he also referred to a Supreme Court judgement that had barred registration of more than one FIR of a particular incident. He requested the court to set aside the FIR registered against him by the Aab­para police station of Isla­mabad. He requested the court to restrain the Isla­mabad Police from handing over his custody to the police of other provinces.

In the petition, Mr Rashid cited top and senior officials of Islamabad, Sindh and Punjab police as respondents.

Remanded to jail

Meanwhile, the judicial magistrate of Aabpara rejected the prosecution’s request to extend physical remand of the AML chief in the same case.

Judicial magistrate Omar Shabbir sent the former minister to Adiala jail on judicial remand for 14 days.

When he was produced before the court of judicial magistrate, he was handcuffed.

On court’s direction, however, the police removed the handcuffs.

FIR in Hub

On the other hand, the Balochistan police registered an FIR against the AML chief on the charges of using objectionable and abusive language against the foreign minister and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at the Saddar police station of Hub district.

Police said the FIR was registered against the ex-minister under sections 504, 506, 500 and 186 of Pakistan Penal Code on an application of a PPP worker, Ali Asghar.

Abdul Wahid Shahwani from Khuzdar also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2023

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