–PM summons Sindh governor over recent developments in aftermath of Safdar’s arrest
–Bilawal wants to know who visited Sindh IGP at 4 am prior to PML-N leader’s arrest
RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday ordered immediate inquiry to determine the facts of the recent “Karachi incident”, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.
According to the military’s media wing, the army chief directed Karachi Corps commander to immediately inquire into the circumstances to determine the facts and report back as soon as possible.
The statement came moments after Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari held a press conference at Bilawal House in Karachi and asked General Bajwa to hold an inquiry into the recent “Karachi incidents”.
Following the army chief’s directives, Bilawal expressed his appreciation for the prompt action.
“The Chairman PPP expressed his appreciation to the COAS for taking prompt notice of the Karachi incident and his assurance of conducting a transparent inquiry on the incident,” read a tweet posted from PPP’s official Twitter handle.
The tweet added that COAS Bajwa had spoken to Bilawal over the phone regarding the incident, which has now led to demoralisation in the Sindh Police.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan also summoned Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to Islamabad over recent developments in the aftermath Safdar’s arrest in Karachi.
Earlier, during the presser, Bilawal said that he wanted to know the identities of those people who had surrounded Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Mahar’s house at 4 am, shortly before the arrest of Captain (r) Safdar Awan took place.
“I demand of ISI DG Faiz Hameed and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa to investigate your institution [and] how it is operating in this province,” the PPP leader said, adding that the way in which the arrest was carried out could have damaged the armed forces’ “institutional integrity”.
Bilawal added that he was ashamed of the incident. “I am ashamed [and] unable to show my face over what has taken place in my province,” he added.
“Harassing [Maryam and Safdar] early in the morning and arresting Safdar is an insult to the people of Sindh who had invited Maryam sahiba and the N-league delegation to attend the PDM jalsa,” the PPP leader said.
He further asked why similar action was not taken when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers acted similarly during PM Imran’s visit to the mausoleum.
Bilawal added that a number of top Sindh police officials were resigning or leaving because of this incident.
Earlier in the day, IGP Mahar had submitted a request for 60 days leave to deal with the “shock” of this “stressful situation”. Other officers of the provincial police force also followed suit. However, later at night, the police chief deferred his leave and ordered his officers to set aside their own leave applications for 10 days “in the larger national interest”.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader’s arrest took a turn when a journalist reported that the former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair had alleged that the provincial IGP was kidnapped and forced to register the first information report (FIR) against Maryam Nawaz, her husband and 200 others for violating the sanctity of Quaid-e-Azam’s Mazar. The journalist’s report was based on a voice message allegedly sent by Zubair.
The voice message was shared on microblogging site Twitter, wherein Zubair allegedly said that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali 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.
Meanwhile, PML-N Vice President Maryam saluted the police force for stepping from their posts after the arrest incident. She also thanked Bilawal for his “support and clear stance”, saying that “Pakistan has changed”.