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Wednesday, May 22, 2024  
13 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Jinnah House attack: Punjab police to challenge Yasmin Rashid’s acquittal

Finality of the ATC will be determined by the high court’s decision, police assert

The Punjab police have made the decision to challenge the acquittal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Yasmin Rashid, granted by the Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) just a day ago in the Jinnah House attack case.

Taking to Twitter, the Punjab police stated, “All conspirators, planners, and perpetrators of the May 9 incident, including Dr. Yasmin Rashid, will be brought to justice.”

The police assert that they were not given the opportunity to present crucial forensic evidence in the case, leading to their decision to challenge the court’s order.

It should be noted that the finality of the court order will be determined by the high court’s decision. The police maintain their right to investigate the case and to present the truth before the public.

The police further emphasized that any premature assumptions or interference at this stage are likely to be misleading.

May 9 accused says he was led by PTI’s Yasmin Rashid

Another accused has been apprehended in Lahore, shedding light on the alleged involvement of PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid in the planned vandalism at Jinnah House Lahore.

The accused, identified as Raees Ahmed from the Shangla district in Swat, made shocking confessions during the investigation.

Ahmed claimed that he was part of a PTI protest after Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9 under the leadership of Dr Yasmin Rashid. He stated that he arrived at the Corps Commander House in Lahore, executing the premeditated plans formulated by the PTI in Zaman Park.

“We ransacked Jinnah House and shattered the pots. Then, alongside other PTI workers, we deliberately set fire to the premises,” Ahmed admitted.

Raees Ahmed cited Imran Khan’s relentless speeches against the army as a driving factor behind his involvement in the violent protest. “The continuous speeches by the PTI chairman against the army over the past year influenced my mindset, ultimately leading me to participate in these destructive acts,” he explained.

Yasmin Rashid gets relief

Earlier in the day, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore discharged PTI leader Yasmin Rashid in the Jinnah House attack case and ordered her release. The court rejected the police request to extend the physical remand of the former provincial health minister by 14 days.

“Perusal of record reveals that neither Dr Yasmin Rashid is nominated in FIR nor involved through supplementary statement and she was summoned on the disclosure of co-accused which has no evidentiary value in the eye of the law,” said court order of May 29 proceedings.

The order was written by ATC, Lahore Administrative Judge Abher Gul Khan.

Several PTI leaders and supporters were arrested following events of May 9 after former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested by paramilitary forces within the premises of Islamabad High Court.

Khan was later released, but the top-tier leadership of his party was arrested for the riots. Rashid was one of them as the provincial government claimed that she had incited the supporters to take the streets if the party chief was held.

Moreover, several audio leaks apparently involving PTI leaders last month purportedly suggested the party leadership was instigating its workers to attack the Jinnah House (Lahore’s Corps Commander’s House in Cantonment).

The ATC denied police further physical remand of Rashid on May 29 and allowed her physical remand to the police for two days.

“Since no incriminating material is available on record to connect her with the commission of offence, therefore, request of [the] Investigation Officer is turned down and she is accordingly discharged from [the] instant case. She be released forthwith, if not required in any other case,” read the court order released on Saturday.

In reaction to the development, the PTI wondered who would be punished for keeping Rashid and other party leaders in jail for 24 days.

“Dr Yasmin Rashid is an elderly woman with cancer, who spent her whole life as a doctor saving people’s lives and as a minister, saved millions of lives during the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.

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