PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday thanked PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto over his support in Captain (retd) Safdar’s arrest and said that “conspiracy and conspirators” had been exposed.
Maryam’s comments come after several back-to-back related developments including multiple high ranking officers of the Sindh Police reportedly requested to go on leave, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah announcing a ministerial committee to be formed to probe the arrest, and Bilawal saying that he was “embarrassed”over the incident and urging Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to conduct an inquiry into the matter.
“It’s heartening to see civilians breaking shackles of fear, standing up for supremacy of Constitution and reclaiming their long lost rights,” Maryam said, adding that the “conspiracy and conspirators stand badly exposed”.
The PML-N vice-president thanking Bilawal for his support, said: “Pakistan has changed.”
Maryam saluted the Sindh Police and quoting Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, wrote: “If you want to raise the prestige and greatness of Pakistan, you must not fall victim to any pressure, but do your duty as servants to the people and the State, fearlessly and honestly.”
Army chief orders inquiry into ‘Karachi incident’
Following the back-to-back developments in the matter, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa ordered an inquiry into the recent “Karachi incident”, a statement by the military’s media wing said.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations: “[Gen Bajwa] has directed Commander Karachi Corps to immediately inquire in to the circumstances to determine the facts and report back as soon as possible.”
Controversy had been brewing over the circumstances surrounding Captain Safdar’s arrest, with PML-N representatives claiming that the police had been put under pressure to pick him up.
Representatives of the Sindh government had publicly distanced themselves from the arrest and condemned it, saying that while Captain Safdar raising slogans at the Quaid-e-Azam’s Mazar was not condonable, the arrest had been made without its knowledge.
Captain Safdar’s arrest
Retired Captain Safdar — Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law and Maryam Nawaz’s spouse — was arrested in the early hours of Monday by Sindh Police for, among other charges, allegedly violating the sanctity of Quaid-e-Azam’s Mazar (also called Mazar-e-Quaid).
The sanctity of the Quaid’s Mazar is protected by The Quaid-i-Azam’s Mazar (Protection and Maintenance) Ordinance, 1971, which explicitly forbids political activities within the premises of the mausoleum.
“No person shall organise, convene or take part in any meeting or demonstration or procession or engage in political activity within the premises of Quaid’s mausoleum or within a distance of ten feet from the outer boundary thereof,” reads the law on the matter.