Court orders release of Ghazi Abdul Rasheed’s sons

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A local court on Thursday granted bail to Haris and Haroon Rasheed, the sons of deceased Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, in a case pertaining to the recovery of licensed weapons being carried without a permit.

Haris Rasheed, Haroon Rasheed and their driver were released after depositing surety bonds worth Rs 30,000 each.

The duo along with their driver was arrested by a joint team of the Police and Rangers from the F-6 sector late on Tuesday, during a routine patrol.

An army uniform and a handgun were seized from their vehicle.

A case was registered against the three men under sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 170 (impersonating a public servant) and 171 (wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent) of the Pakistan Penal Code and the Arms Ordinance, police said.

They added that the three men were later produced before a court, where they were handed over to police custody on a one-day physical remand.

When contacted, Kohsar police officials said that they were in the process of verifying the arms licence, adding that if it were found to be genuine, charges under the Arms Ordinance would be dropped. However, they maintained that the men had committed a crime by carrying a weapon without a permit.

Talking about the uniform that was recovered from them, police officials said that the two siblings admitted that they had purchased the jacket around four years ago but had not disclosed where they got it.

Describing the jacket, the police official said, “It bore the print of an army uniform, but was without any shoulder pips or badges.”

The trio were presented in the court of Judicial Magistrate Amir Khalil who accepted the police plea to send them to prison, while the brothers’ Counsel Tariq Asad filed a bail plea arguing that the sections under which the case was registered are ‘bailable’

The judge accepted the bail plea and ordered all three to deposit surety bonds worth Rs 30,000 each for their release. All three were released after they deposited the surety bonds.

A spokesperson of the Lal Masjid-led Shuhda Foundation Trust, in a statement released yesterday, claimed that the police arrested Haroon in order to force him to withdraw a complaint against Gen Musharraf.

The statement claimed that in 2004, Police had implicated Abdul Rashid Ghazi in an identical case as they recovered ‘fake’ weapons from his vehicle. According to the statement, Ghazi was later acquitted by the courts.

Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi’s body was found in the basement of Jamia Hafsa after the security forces conducted Operation Silence in 2007.

A large number of people, including militants, seminary students and military troops were killed in the operation.

Despite strong concerns from religious quarters, a clean-up operation against seminaries and terror-funding outfits has expanded into the federal capital.