The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court has given the Rawalpindi police a seven-day deadline to present former interior minister and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid in court.
This development came during a hearing for a petition against Rashid’s detention. He was taken into custody on September 17 by "individuals in plain clothes" from a housing society in Rawalpindi.
Sardar Abdul Razzak, the lawyer for Rashid, said that his client and his nephew were both arrested in a rented house inside the housing community.
After Rashid's arrest, his attorney stated that no case had been brought against the AML leader within the limits of Punjab. He continued by saying that the politician had been named in a complaint filed at the Kohsar police station in relation to a protest march organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against the imprisonment of its Chairman Imran Khan on May 10.
"As of now, we are unaware of Rashid's location. His attorney had stated in the days following his detention that efforts were being made to find him.
The court also asked Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer (RPO) Syed Khurram Ali where Sheikh Rashid and the others who were detained with him were.
When Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan questioned if the police would appear in court with the AML chief or submit a written statement, the police official said that they would want an extra 15 days to prepare.
It was observed by the court that even a two-day extension would be excessive because this was not an ordinary affair. The judge gave the police an additional seven days' time after hearing Rashid's lawyer's request.
The court will order the filing of a first information report (FIR) if Sheikh Rashid is not brought before it within a week, remarked Justice Khan.
The court also inquired about the two individuals arrested, along with Sheikh Rashid. Justice Khan inquired as to what the released inmates were saying.
As for the two freed people, Razzak said, "Both have remained silent and are not making any statements."
The lawyer continued to provide evidence to the court on the arrest of his client by the Rawalpindi police, and the court then decided to adjourn the case's hearing for a week.