Pak Army chief orders ‘immediate inquiry’ into Safdar arrest episode: ISPR

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Intl Desk, Oct 20: Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has taken notice of the events surrounding the arrest of PML-N leader retired Capt Mohammad Safdar in Karachi and order an “immediate inquiry” in the episode.

He has directed the Karachi Corps Commanders to “immediately inquire into the circumstances to determine the facts and report back as soon as possible”, an ISPR statement said.

The statement comes minutes after PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said all top officers of Sindh Police were wondering “who were the people who surrounded” the Sindh police chief’s house in the early hours of Monday and took him to an unspecified location before PML-N leader retired Capt Mohammad Safdar was arrested.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, he also demanded to know the identities of “the two people who went inside the IG’s house” and where they allegedly took the police chief at around 4am.

Bilawal’s comments come a day after the arrest and subsequent release on bail of Safdar, the husband of PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, in Karachi. The couple were in the city to attend a rally of the opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) when Safdar was arrested from their hotel early on Monday morning.

Following his arrest, a purported voice message by PML-N leader and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair was shared by a journalist in which Zubair alleged that the inspector general of police was kidnapped and forced to register the first information report against Maryam Nawaz, her husband Safdar and 200 others for violating the sanctity of the Quaid’s mausoleum.

In the audio clip circulating on Twitter, Zubair purportedly said that Chief Minister Murad Shah confirmed to him that police was pressured into making the arrest. “When they (police) refused to do that, Rangers kidnapped [the IGP],” Zubair said.

PML-N vice president Maryam had also alleged that the Sindh inspector general of police was forcibly “taken to the sector commander’s office and asked to sign on the arrest orders”.

She claimed that when the IGP showed reluctance, he was told that the arrest would be carried out by the Rangers. “After his signatures were forcibly taken on the arrest orders, he was told police would carry out the arrest.”

The allegation was denied by Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi as “nonsense narrative”.

Source: DAWN