RAWALPINDI: Lal Haveli, the ‘ancestral home’ of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the leader of the Awami Muslim League (AML) and a former interior minister, was sealed earlier on Monday by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).
In a tweet, Rashid lamented, “Lal Haveli was completely sealed in the dark of the night by the bloodthirsty, who first shed blood of the government and now of Lal Haveli”.
Talking to the media on the development, Sheikh Rashid claimed that when approached for assistance, the Rangers and FC (Frontier Corps) declined the request of ETPB, while the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the police then assisted the operation.
Besides, Rashid said that he would discuss the matter in a news conference later today at 5 o’clock.
رات کےاندھیرے میں حکومت پرشب خون مارنےوالوں نےلال حویلی پرشب خون مارا ہے5مرلہ سےکم لال حویلی ہماری ذاتی ملکیت ہےاورعوامی خدمت کا مرکزی سیکریٹیریٹ ہےانھوں نےرینجرزاورFCسےمدد مانگی انھوں نےانکار کردیاپھرFIAاورپولیس کی مدد سےلال حویلی کوسیل کردیا۔5 بجے لال حویلی پریس کانفرنس کروں گا
— Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (@ShkhRasheed) January 30, 2023
The sources confirmed that while the site was being sealed, a sizable number of police and district administration personnel were there.
Furthermore, the endowment department has installed official locks on all of its doors and will begin additional legal proceedings tomorrow.
According to the administrator of ETPB Asif Mehmood, the department has written to the authorities to validate the registration of one unit of Rashid’s residence and sealed seven properties, including Lal Haveli.
He argued that although Lal Haveli was on government property, it has long been ‘illegally inhabited’.
The sources informed that lawyers have been instructed to write a case and file a plea within the next two hours after the former minister opted to contest the decision at the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
As per the details, the case asking for Lal Haveli’s de-sealing will be heard by IHC Senior Judge Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan.
The AML leader’s attorney, Sardar Abdul Raziq, told the sources that he had received the video and pictures documenting the sealing of Lal Haveli.
It is relevant to mention that a civil court in Rawalpindi had dismissed Sheikh Rashid’s appeal the day before, which had contested the evacuation orders for Lal Haveli.
Judge Naveed Akhtar adjourned the case till February 15 after stating that the court could not prevent any department from acting by the law.
In his plea, the AML leader said that since the lawsuit involving the property was already in court, the evacuation of Lal Haveli amounted to ‘political victimization’.
Rashid pleaded for the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) to avoid acting in a way that, in his words, was ‘settling the score against him’.