ANI Photo | Pakistan: Lahore court orders police to present Sheikh Rasheed within a week

The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Rawalpindi police, directing them to present Pakistan’s former interior minister and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed in court, Pakistan-based Geo News reported. 
The court announced the decision during a hearing related to a petition challenging the arrest of Sheik Rasheed who was apprehended by “individuals in plain clothes” from a housing society in Rawalpindi on September 17, according to Geo News report. 
Rasheed’s lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzak said that his client was taken into custody at a rented residence within the housing society and his nephew was also detained. After Rasheed’s arrest, his lawyer said no case was lodged against the AML chief in the limits of Punjab.
He said that Rasheed was nominated in a case registered at Kohsar police station in connection with a protest rally held by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) over the arrest of former Pakistan Prime Minister on May 10. 
Rasheed’s lawyer said, “We do not know the whereabouts of Rasheed so far. Efforts are being made to trace him.”
Meanwhile, the court asked Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer (RPO) Syed Khurram Ali regarding the whereabouts of Sheikh Rasheed and those arrested with him, Geo News reported. 
Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan asked whether the police would present the AML chief or write a letter to the court. In response, the police officer requested the court to grant an additional 15 days of time.
The court said, “Fifteen days are a lot. This is not an ordinary matter,” noting that even a two-day extension would be too much. After the request of Rasheed’s lawyer, the court gave an additional seven-day time to the police. 
Justice Khan said, “If Sheikh Rasheed is not presented within a week, the court will issue orders for the registration of a first information report (FIR).” The court also asked about the two individuals arrested along with AML Chief. 
During the hearing, Sheikh Rasheed’s lawyer spoke about possessing evidence regarding the Rawalpindi police arresting his client, after which the court postponed the hearing of the case for a week, Geo News reported. 
On September 21, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) sealed the Lal Haveli residence of Rasheed. Speaking to reporters, ETPB deputy administrator Asif Khan said the former interior minister’s residence has been completely sealed as the documents submitted by Rasheed were not valid.

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