A Pakistani court has issued a directive to the police, instructing them to locate and recover Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid within a week. The former interior minister and key ally of ex-premier Imran Khan was reportedly detained on September 17 by individuals described as "plain clothes men" from his residence in Bahria Town, Rawalpindi, and subsequently moved to an undisclosed location, according to his lawyer Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan.
The lawyer also stated that Rashid's nephew, Sheikh Shakir, and a houseworker named Sheikh Imran had also been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location. However, a report submitted by City Police Officer Khalid Hamdani to the court claimed that Rashid was neither in their custody nor was he arrested by Rawalpindi police, PTI reported.
This conflicting information led the court to intervene, directing the police to ascertain Rashid's whereabouts and urging the law enforcement agency to make every possible effort for his recovery. Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan of the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench resumed proceedings on Monday, responding to a plea against the former interior minister's arrest. The court explicitly ordered the police to find and present the AML chief before the court within the next week.
Sheikh Rashid, at 72 years old, has been a longstanding ally of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and served as the interior minister during Khan's government. Notably, in June, Rashid had alleged that the Islamabad police forcibly entered his residence and assaulted his servants.