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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rashid Arrested

AML Chief Sheikh Rashid faces arrest in connection to the May 9 riots after securing bail in 11 related cases, including the GHQ attack, highlighting the complex interplay of legal maneuvers and political implications.

In a turn of legal developments, Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid faced arrest on Tuesday in connection to the May 9 riots, shortly after securing bail in 11 related cases, including the GHQ attack. The court, having reserved judgment on bail requests from 24 individuals, including three PTI candidates, granted interim bail to former deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi and other PTI workers implicated in the riot cases. Rashid’s bail was contingent upon posting a surety bond worth Rs100,000.

Advocate Sardar Abdul Razzaq, the AML chief’s lawyer, confirmed that bail was granted in two cases, expressing confidence in the fairness of ATC judges. However, the decision on the remaining 10 cases was anticipated soon, given the similarity in allegations and evidence.

Legal Proceedings and Displeasure in the Courtroom

During the proceedings, the public prosecutor requested additional time for the ongoing investigation, prompting the court’s displeasure due to the absence of case records. The court directed authorities to complete the investigation and submit the records by the next hearing.

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The former interior minister, Sheikh Rashid, and his nephew were present in the courtroom. When prosecutors sought more time, Rashid approached the rostrum, holding a pocket-sized Quran, and swore by Almighty Allah that he had no involvement in the events of May 9. The ATC judge deemed such a statement inappropriate in court, while Rashid’s counsel argued that the prosecution lacked evidence.

Background and Allegations

Rashid and his nephew faced allegations in 12 cases related to the May 9 riots, originating from attacks on state installations following the arrest of then-PTI chairman Imran Khan in a corruption case. The targeted installations included the army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the corps commander’s house in Lahore. Rashid’s legal battles included cases related to the GHQ attack, the army museum attack, the intelligence agency office attack, and setting a metro bus station on fire.

This recent arrest adds another layer to Sheikh Rashid’s legal challenges, marking a complex interplay of legal maneuvers and political implications. As the legal proceedings unfold, the intricacies of the cases surrounding the May 9 riots continue to shape the political landscape.