The opposition parties put forth a resolution in the Senate regarding the formation of a committee to look into the arrest of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Captain (r) Safdar Awan.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman said that the the upper house should also be allowed to play its role. She agreed with the tabling of the resolution by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Raja Zafarul Haq, and further warned that the matter could have serious consequences if the parliament does not take action.
“This can lead to a grave crisis and it can turn into a constitutional crisis,” she cautioned. “Let Senate play its role.”
Similarly, PPP leader Raza Rabbani said that the incident had created a “precarious situation” and asserted that the Senate should be allowed to act.
“The police force is an armed and uniformed force, and this force registered their protest by applying for leave. It was not just the IG, AIGs, DIGs, even the SHOs […] They knew that they were protesting against the state. Nothing can be more serious than this that a uniformed force protests against the state or a step taken by the state. This needs to be handled properly,” he said.
Earlier, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had ordered the Karachi Corps commander to launch an investigation into the incident. This order was given shortly after PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari called on the army chief and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for help in the investigation of Safdar’s arrest.
While Rabbani commended COAS Bajwa for conducting a probe into the matter, he said that it would be a “departmental inquiry”.
Meanwhile, many Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senators, including Leader of the House Shehzad Waseem were against the resolution. They said that there are already two committees to investigate the Karachi incident.
In response to this, PML-N leader Haq said that while the facts of the incident should certainly be reported to the aforementioned committees but “the Senate should [not have to] remain quiet until the investigation findings come out”.
“There will be implications [of waiting for findings]. The implications will be political and legal […] In order to reach the right outcome, it is important it should be sent to the house committee and anyone who has anything to say about [the incident] can talk in front of it,” he said.
Law Minister Farogh Naseem added that it was the “privilege of the Senate” to form a committee.
Regarding the First Information Report (FIR) registered against Captain (r) Safdar, the Sindh chief minister reported the complainant in the case, Waqas, had a criminal record and was an absconder. Furthermore, Waqas allegedly met with a PTI leader prior to the registration of the FIR.
The matter was referred to the existing law committee.
Separately, it merged on Thursday that Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani will head the provincial cabinet committee formed to probe the registration of an FIR against the PML-N leader.
Other members of the committee include Sindh Information Minister and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Culture and Tourism Minister Syed Sardar Al Shah, Transport Minister Syed Awais Qadir Shah and Adviser to Sindh CM on Law Murtaza Wahab.