Imran Khan’s ally arrested for accusing Zardari of plotting to kill former premier
Islamabad, Feb 2 (PTI) Pakistani police on Thursday arrested former Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed from his house for accusing former President Asif Ali Zardari of plotting to kill former Prime Minister Imran Khan, media reports said.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party ally, Ahmed Awami, is the leader of the Muslim League (AML).
Confirming the incident, his nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafiq told Geo News that the AML chief was arrested from his house in a private housing society in Islamabad.
He was arrested early Thursday by Islamabad police in connection with his alleged comments against former president Zardari, accusing him of hatching “an assassination plot to eliminate PTI chief Imran Khan”.
He was arrested on a police complaint filed by Raja Inayat-ur-Rehman, vice-president of the PPP Rawalpindi unit, in which he alleged that the AML chief had access to Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Zardari in a television interview on January 27. Help some terrorists to kill Khan.
In a televised address on January 27, Khan accused Zardari of being behind a new assassination plot – “Plan C” – and a terrorist group working towards that end. He has no evidence to support his allegation.
In comments quoted by BBC Urdu, Ahmed said around 300 to 400 policemen barged into his house, assaulted and forcibly took away the staff.
He alleged that some (workers) used ladders inside his house. He said he was arrested despite seeking relief from the Islamabad High Court.
The AML chief promised to challenge his arrest in court.
In a video message shared by PTI on its official Twitter account, Ahmed told reporters that the police ransacked his house and assaulted the domestic workers when they tried to arrest him.
Lawyer Mian Tahir said he was granted bail and accused Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of being behind the incident.
Reacting to the arrest, Khan said: “Never in our history has such a biased, vindictive caretaker government been appointed by the totally discredited ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan). The question is: Can Pakistan afford a street movement that we are being pushed at a time when we are bankrupted by an imported government?” The FIR registered against the AML chief said Ahmed’s statement was published as part of a conspiracy to defame the former president and create permanent threat to his family.
“He wants to create conflict and enmity between the two groups PPP and PTI through this fabricated and baseless conspiracy to disturb the peace of the country,” it added.
Islamabad police had sent a summons to Ahmed yesterday to appear today in connection with this case. However, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stayed the notice.
The court issued a notice to the Islamabad police chief and asked him to nominate a senior officer who could present the facts of the case to the high court. The former interior minister said he had “insider information on the assassination plot” and that the former president had hired “assassins to kill Imran Khan”.
In the petition, Sheikh Rasheed challenged the notice issued to him by the local police and cited the notice as contravening various provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Further hearing has been adjourned till February 6.
The arrest comes amid legal action against PTI leaders and their associates. Last week, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry was arrested for threatening the families of Election Commission members. He later got bail. A sedition case was registered against former PTI MLA Shantana Gulzar Khan. PTI NSA AKJ NSA