A Pakistani high court on Thursday granted bail to former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in a case linked to his allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari for plotting to assassinate ousted prime minister Imran Khan.
Ahmed had approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for bail where Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani presided over the hearing of his post-arrest bail plea.
He was arrested by the Islamabad police on February 2 in connection with remarks he allegedly made against Zardari, accusing him of hatching a “murder plot to eliminate Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan”.
An ally of Khan's PTI party, Ahmed is the chief of the Awami Muslim League (AML).
Ahmed was arrested on a police complaint filed by Raja Inayat-ur-Rehman, the vice president of Pakistan People’s Party's (PPP) Rawalpindi division.
In his complaint, Raja said that the AML chief, in a television interview on January 27, alleged that PPP’s co-chairman Zardari got the assistance of some terrorists to kill Khan.
After hearing from his lawyer Salman Akram Raja, the judge granted the bail plea and ordered Ahmed to deposit a surety bond of Rs 50,000. The judge also warned him to not repeat such allegations without strong proof.
“We will have to start training from the primary school curriculum itself,” Justice Kayani said while talking about the statements of politicians.
Ahmed was an ally of Khan in his government which was toppled through a no-confidence vote in April last year.
In the past, as an ally of Nawaz Sharif, he used objectionable remarks against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Recently, he gave offensive statements against leaders of the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). He has been particularly using demeaning words like “Billo Rani” against foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
A separate case has been registered against him at Mochko Police Station in Karachi for using such unparliamentary language against Bilawal.
Being historically close to the powerful establishment, Ahmed in the past escaped the law for using such foul language. But since the military establishment has recently declared its “neutrality” vis-a-vis politics of the country, he was arrested and also probed.