Sheikh Rashid moves LHC against Lal Haveli's sealing

Sheikh Rashid moves LHC against Lal Haveli's sealing


The sealing operation was conducted in association with the FIA and police

RAWALPINDI (Dunya News) - Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Monday moved an application before the Lahore High Court s (LHC) Rawalpindi bench against the sealing of the Lal Haveli by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB). 

Advocate Sardar Raziq Khan, on behalf of the AML chief, submitted the plea and urged the court to hold an urgent hearing, which was accepted. 

According to ETPB Deputy Commissioner Asif Khan, two units of the Lal Haveli and five adjoining units were sealed after teams of the board, along with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) personnel, arrived there early in the morning. He said Mr Rashid’s ownership of these Lal Haveli units had been cancelled over illegal occupation of land. Several notices had been issued to Mr Rashid and his brother in this regard, he added.

Taking to Twitter, the former minister claimed that Lal Haveli was his “personal property” and it had a “central secretariat for public service”. He said he didn t receive a notice prior to the action, adding that sealing the Lal Haveli was an act of fascism and terrorism.

“If it is proven that Lal Haveli is not our personal property, we should be declared national criminals,” Mr Rashid said, claiming that the government took this step after it failed to find anything against him.

The former federal minister said a case pertaining to the ownership of the Lal Haveli was already fixed for hearing on Feb 15. 

Earlier today, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) sealed seven units -- two units of Lal Haveli and five adjoining units -- during operation.

-- Rashid tells media about importance of Lal Haveli --  

Addressing media outside the Lal Haveli, Mr Rashid said Lal Haveli was a part of the "history" which was against [former military leaders] Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan and was also against the current government. He said the haveli s security was withdrawn earlier, adding that "the [government] first gathered all the forces and then planned to arrest me". 

The seasoned politician alleged that Asif Khan was following the instructions of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and warned the authorities concerned that he could stage a sit-in outside Lal Haveli and could shut down the entire city if he wanted. 

Meanwhile, the ETPB disputes Sheikh Rashid’s ownership claims of Lal Haveli. It said the property was owned by the trust in the record books.

“Previously, we were of the view that the registry of a 3.5-marla unit (out of the eight) as claimed by Rashid may be genuine. But when we probed into it, it was revealed that the legal owner of unit No D-158 is the ETPB. This is the same property against which Sheikh Rashid’s brother moved an application in 1995 with the ETPB for renting it out to him under the law,” a senior official explained while talking to Dawn.

“The registry is in the name of Rashid’s brother. We have asked the revenue department to provide further details,” he added.