The court of inquiry into the arrest of PML-N leader Capt (retd) Mohammad Safdar Awan in Karachi found that the officers of the ISI and the Rangers acted “over zealously” in the case which led to “led to misunderstanding between the two state institutions.”
Safdar, the husband of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, was arrested from his hotel room in Karachi for sloganeering at Quaid-e-Azam’s tomb. He, however, was granted bail by a court after 12 hours. He was in Karachi for the Pakistan Democratic Movement rally.
Army Chief Qamar Jawed Bajwa had ordered an inquiry after Inspector General of Sindh Police Mushtaq Mehar decided to go on leave following the arrest, along with other officials.
On the night of October 18-October 19, “officers from the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) and ISI sector Headquarters Karachi were considerably seized with the fall out of desecration of the Mazar-e-Quaid,” read a statement issued by the ISPR.
The statement said that the officers were “under increasing public pressure to ensure prompt action as per the law.” The ISI and Rangers felt that the response of the Sindh police was slow in a “developing yet volatile situation” and decided to act, “rather over zealously”.
The officers were “experienced enough to have acted more prudently and could have avoided creating an unwarranted situation that led to misunderstanding between the two state institutions.”
The statement said that based on the recommendations of the court of inquiry, “it has been decided to remove the officers from their current assignments for departmental proceedings and disposal at GHQ. “
On Monday, the police termed the FIR against Safdar ‘fake’ in the charge sheet submitted to a Karachi court.
‘Abduction’ of Sindh IG
On October 21, former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair said that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told him that the provincial chief of police was “abducted”, taken to the sector commander’s office and pressured to issue orders for Safdar’s arrest.
“He said that at around 4am, the IG police was surrounded and he was taken to the sector commander… I think he used the word kidnap… abduct sorry… he was abducted and taken to the sector commander’s office,” Zubair told SAMAA TV’s Nadeem Malik.
“The additional IG was also brought there and they forcibly told [the police officials] to issue orders to arrest Safdar. IG showed resistance and he said I won’t authorise the police.”
According to PML-N’s Zubair, the Rangers had “escorted” the police to the hotel to arrest Safdar.