KARACHI: Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the “incidents” took place in Karachi, a day after deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Muhammad Safdar was briefly arrested from his hotel room in the city.
The Army chief directed the Karachi Corps Commander to “immediately inquire into the circumstances” to determine the facts and file a report as soon as possible, according to a statement issued by the military’s media wing.
“Taking notice of Karachi incident, the COAS has directed Karachi Corps Commander to immediately inquire into the circumstances to determine the facts and report back as soon as possible,” a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
The statement did not specify which incident it was referring to, but it comes after PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari called on “institutions” to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Safdar.
Safdar and his wife, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, were in the city to attend a rally of the opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) when he was arrested from their hotel for allegedly disrespecting the mausoleum of the country’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He was subsequently released on bail.
Bilawal in a press conference told reporters that 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 Safdar was arrested.
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 4 am.
Bilawal’s presser came after the PPP which hosted the PDM’s rally found itself in an embarrassing position when police moved in late night on Sunday and arrested Safdar.
Safdar was released on bail on Monday and flew back to Lahore with Maryam and other senior PML N leaders, but the PPP which rules the Sindh province while distancing itself from the incident wondered who had ordered the arrest of Safdar.
Meanwhile, at least 13 top ranking officers of the Sindh Police have decided to go on leave to protest the manner in which the force had been “ridiculed” in the incident involving the arrest of Safdar.
The senior officers have said they want to go on earned leave “to come out of the shock of the unfortunate incident.”
“The recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar in which police high command has not only been ridiculed and mishandled, but all ranks of Sindh police have been demoralised and shocked.
“In such stressful situations it is quite difficult for me to discharge my duty in a professional manner,” the letters by the officers read.
Safdar was arrested a day after he raised slogans at Jinnah’s mausoleum just before the second rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement‘s (PDM) – an alliance of 11 opposition parties.
On Tuesday, Maryam was booked along with over 2,000 party members for holding an anti-government rally in Lahore where she called Prime Minister Imran Khan a “coward, selected and puppet” who hides behind the Army
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government appears to be panicked as it has been registering a number of cases against the PML-N workers since the PDM launched its movement to oust the Imran Khan government.