FAISALABAD: Police on Sunday registered a case against 150 people, including former prime minister Imran Khan, for allegedly harassing and stopping Pakistani pilgrims from performing their rituals at Masjid-e-Nabawi earlier this week.
The case has been registered against the suspects at the Madina Town Police Station in Faisalabad on the complaint of a citizen named Muhammad Naeem.
Those nominated in the case include former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, ex-special assistant to the prime minister for political communication Dr Shahbaz Gill, National Assembly former deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri, MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique, Aneel Mussarat, a British-Pakistani businessman, and others.
Two separate groups, a 150-member group from Pakistan and another group from London, had been sent to Saudi Arabia, who harassed Pakistani pilgrims and stopped them from performing their religious rituals at Masjid-e-Nabawi, read the FIR.
Referring to the statements of Sheikh Rashid and Rashid Shafique, the complainant said that the incident took place under a premeditated conspiracy.
Condemning the FIR against the former prime minister, PTI leader Asad Umar said that no one in recent history has fought the case against Islamophobia with more passion, logic and deep conviction than Imran Khan.
Taking to Twitter, Umar wrote: “To file a ridiculous FIR against him trying to show that he had anything to do with disrespect of masjid e nabavi, is condemnable and reprehensible.”
Sheikh Rasheed’s nephew apprehended
Meanwhile, former federal minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafiq was arrested at the Islamabad airport upon his arrival from Saudi Arabia in the wee hours of Sunday (today).
The arrest was made in connection with the incident of slogan chanting at Masjid-e-Nabawi against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation.
Sources affiliated with the airport staff said that Shafiq travelled to Pakistan through a private airline.
Rashid confirmed his nephew’s arrest, saying that he had just landed in Pakistan after performing Umrah when he was arrested.
“None of us were in Saudi Arabia, but cases were still registered [against us]. Residences are being raided after the registration of the cases,” Rashid said, condemning the arrest.
He further stated that people would “harass them wherever they went”.
Sources privy to the matter said that Shafiq has been shifted to a Federal Investigation Agency cell.
On the night following the Masjid-e-Nabawi incident, Shafiq had posted a video from the holy site, supporting the hooliganism.
He had also hinted that the same would happen to the delegation when they visit the Holy Kaaba in Makkah.