Murad Ali Shah confirms formation of ministerial inquiry committee to probe all allegations and place them before public
The First Information Report (FIR) a group of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers, including “a federal minister who has been threatening people,” had registered against Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)’s Capt. (retd.) Safdar is full of lies, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Tuesday.
“What happened at Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum should not have happened,” he told a press conference in Karachi, condemning sloganeering by Maryam Nawaz’s husband at the tomb of the country’s founder. “But these things have also happened in the past,” he said, in a reference to multiple PTI events where the incumbent prime minister has addressed his supporters at the entrance of the mausoleum, and of instances of sloganeering—most notably in 2013.
Summarizing the events that led to Safdar’s arrest on Monday morning, Shah said that the people, including PTI lawmakers, who had come to file complaints against PMLN leaders were informed by police—rightly—that the proper process was to take the complaint to a magistrate. “They were unwilling to listen,” he said.
He said that pictures and videos shared by the PTI itself show that the elected officials are harassing police; forcing them to register a FIR. They were all present at the police station with the complainant, he noted. “This shows how they [ruling party PTI] tried to manipulate the police,” he said. “This shows this was all a conspiracy.”
The chief minister questioned why the entire PTI leadership, including “a federal minister who has been threatening people on TV and social media,” needed to accompany the complainant to register this case. While he did not name the minister, the only one who has been “threatening” police to register a case has been Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi, who is an elected MNA from Sindh.
Shah also implied that he was aware of further developments that had happened on the night of Oct. 18—in a seeming reference to claims by some within the Pakistan Democratic Movement that the Sindh Inspector General of Police was ‘abducted’ and forced to sign orders for Safdar’s arrest.
“We need a proper inquiry,” said Shah. “I don’t want to repeat allegations because if I have to answer any questions I don’t want to impact the outcome of the inquiry through my media statements,” he added.
The chief minister said the Sindh government had decided to form a ministerial committee for inquiry comprising 3-5 ministers whose names would be finalized at a later stage. “They will be tasked with summoning everyone involved in this case and provide recommendations for how [Sindh] government should respond,” he said. “The information I was told, and the information I have learnt, will come forward after the inquiry,” he claimed, adding that everything that happened from 4 p.m. on Oct. 18 till 6 p.m. on Oct. 19 would be investigated.
“Why was the entire PTI leadership accompanying this man [Waqas] when he was seeking a case? This was all part of a conspiracy to divert attention,” he claimed and said it was fortunate that the Karachi rally had not faced any hindrance.
“They claim to have being protecting the sanctity of Quaid’s mausoleum. But then they lie that they were at the mausoleum when they were actually not even near it,” he said. According to Shah, complainant Waqas has alleged that Safdar threatened him with murder at the mausoleum on Oct. 18. However, claimed Shah, phone records had shown that Waqas had been near Baqai Medical University at the time—a driving distance of almost 30 minutes from the mausoleum.
Reiterating that Waqas was a “proclaimed offender,” he questioned where such cases were taking the country. “In their panic [over the PDM], they—including the P.M.—are involving all the institutions. They say the civilians and military are on the same page; we are all on the same page against terrorism and against rampant inflation. This government’s incompetence is imperiling all provinces,” he said and vowed to present the Sindh government’s point of view to the Sindh Assembly during its next session.
“Their [PTI] narrative is not in favor of Pakistan. For the betterment of the country, the PTI government has to wrap up, and free and fair elections, as advocated by the PDM, are the only path,” he said.