IHC grants bail to Sheikh Rashid in Zardari remarks case

IHC grants bail to Sheikh Rashid in Zardari remarks case


Salman Akram Raja says his client's statement did not cause any confrontation between PTI, PPP

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday granted bail to Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in a case pertaining to murder plot allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani announced the verdict reserved earlier in the day after hearing arguments from Barrister Salman Akram Raja, the counsel for the former interior minister, and Islamabad Advocate General Jahangir Khan Jadoon in the case. The court has ordered the AML chief to submit surety bonds worth Rs50,000. 

During the hearing, Mr Raja said his client gave a statement that was broadcast on news channels, adding that there was no evidence that Sheikh Rashid’s statement caused confrontation between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The government lawyer said the AML chief was a senior politician and he should exercise extra caution while giving statements. He said Sheikh Rashid publicly abused Asif Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. At which, Mr Raja contended that the advocate general was giving irrelevant arguments.

An investigation officer in the case told the court that he obtained details of Sheikh Rashid’s statement from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), adding that the former interior minister said he received information about murder plot allegations against Asif Zardari from PTI Chairman Imran Khan. He said the AML chief could not provide evidence regarding the allegations.

The advocate general said if Sheikh Rashid submitted an undertaking of not repeating the crime, the court could decide on his bail plea.

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On Feb 10, Mr Ahmed had filed a bail plea in the high court after a judicial magistrate and the district and sessions court rejected the same. Mr Ahmed argued the case registered against him was politically motivated. He said the case was registered on a complaint by a third party.

Saying he was ready to submit surety bonds, the seasoned politician pleaded the court to grant him bail in the case.

The Islamabad police had arrested the former interior minister on Feb 2 after a case was registered at the Aabpara police station against him for accusing the PPP co-chairman of hatching a plot to assassinate PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Following his arrest, a court approved his two-day physical remand and later he was sent on the judicial remand for 14 days.

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Sheikh Rashid is currently detained at the Adiala Jail after a court in Islamabad approved his 14-day judicial remand in the Zaradri remarks case.