Former interior minister of Pakistan Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was arrested on Thursday, reports said. A complaint was lodged against him for claiming that former President Asif Zardari was hatching a plot to assassinate PTI chief Imran Khan.
New Delhi,UPDATED: Feb 2, 2023 07:19 IST
Pakistan’s Former Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid (Photo: File)
By India Today Web Desk: Former Interior Minister of Pakistan and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was arrested from Murree Expressway in the early hours of Thursday, Geo TV reported. Police said a bottle of liquor and a weapon were recovered from Sheikh Rashid’s possession, adding that the minister was intoxicated, the report said.
The arrest comes after the former minister was summoned by police over a complaint lodged against him at Aabpara police station for claiming that former president Asif Ali Zardari was hatching a plot to assassinate Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.
A spokesperson, on behalf of Ahmed, said in a video message, “Around 12.30, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was arrested from his residence in Punjab province. Around 300-400 people of Islamabad Police entered the minister’s house, broke its windows, beat him and took him into their custody. I request PTI workers to reach court by 7.30 am today.”
The minister posted a picture on Twitter with the caption, “At Aapara police station” (sic).
The AML chief would be handed over to Islamabad Police, reports said. Ahmed claimed that the police took him into custody from his residence and not the expressway.
“Police thrashed up my children. At least 100 to 200 armed people barged into my house with the help of ladders, broke the doors and windows of the house, beat his servants and searched my residence,” Sheikh Rashid was quoted by Geo TV as saying.
He claimed that he was taken forcibly by the police and alleged current interior minister Rana Sanaullah’s role behind his arrest. He said the police arrested him despite Mian Tahir’s court granting him bail, the report said.
Former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan took to Twitter to condemn the arrest of his close aide. “Strongly condemn arrest of Sh Rasheed.Never in our history have we had such a biased, vindictive Caretaker govt appt by totally discredited ECP. Question is can Pak afford a street movement which we are being pushed towards at a time when we have been bankrupted by Imported Govt?”, he wrote on Twitter.
Ahmed had reportedly failed to appear before the Aabpara police multiple times. When he failed to appear on Monday and Tuesday, the cops asked him to appear again on Wednesday.They said the former minister is not cooperating with police in an inquiry being conducted in response to the complaint.
The police claimed Ahmed resiled from his earlier allegation levelled at Asif Ali Zardari. According to him, he gave the statement on the basis of Imran Khan’s statement, and he does not know if there was any conspiracy, The Dawn said in a report.
Raja Inayat-ur-Rehman, the vice president of PPP Rawalpindi Division, lodged a complaint stating that Ahmed, in an interview on a news channel, alleged that Asif Zardari got the assistance from some terrorists to kill Imran Khan. Ahmed wanted to create conflict and enmity between two groups – PPP and PTI – with this fabricated and baseless conspiracy so that the peace of the country could be disturbed, the complainant said in his police complaint.