Information minister reiterates dismissal of allegations that Sindh IGP was ‘abducted’ by paramilitary forces
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will be brought back to Pakistan and imprisoned in a local jail before Jan. 15, Information Minister Shibli Faraz claimed on Friday.
“Nawaz Sharif would be in Kot Lakhpat or some other jail by Jan. 15,” he said at a press conference in Islamabad. Reiterating that Prime Minister Imran Khan was determined to hold all “corrupt” opposition politicians accountable, he claimed that their desires for an end to cases against them would never be fulfilled.
“They [opposition] are experts in corruption and looted the nation’s wealth with impunity,” he claimed and derisively referred to PMLN slogan “vote ko izzat do” (respect the vote) as having been used by the party to “respect the money” during their years in power.
Referring to the arrest of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Mohammad Safdar from a Karachi hotel, the information minister claimed CCTV footage of the incident “proved” no door was broken. It is unclear how he can confirm this, as the footage does not show the door from a direct angle.
“As per the footage, Captain Safdar seemed comfortable in police custody,” he said, claiming this had proven their allegations against the federal government were “lies.”
Faraz stressed that the Sindh Police were entirely under the control of the Sindh government led by the Pakistan Peoples Party and that the federal government had no role in it. “We [center] did not arrest Captain Safdar. Sindh Police arrested him,” he said, and alleged that the opposition parties were “playing politics” and were not “sincere” with each other. “Bilawal Bhutto likely took revenge for his mother from them [PMLN],” he said, referring to the frequent clashes between the PPP and PMLN during the 1990s.
The opposition and the federal government, at odds since the 2018 general elections, have ramped up their rhetoric against each other since Sindh Police arrested Safdar for “attempted murder” and “violating the sanctity of Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum.”
The opposition has alleged the Sindh Inspector General of Police was ‘abducted’ by paramilitary Rangers and pressured into approving the arrest orders, resulting in the force submitting mass leave requests over the “demoralizing” events. Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa has ordered an inquiry into the allegations, while the Sindh government is also conducting its own probe to confirm the veracity of the allegations.
Gone by January
Earlier, while speaking to media after meeting Baloch students staging a sit-in in Lahore against the provincial government’s decision to reduce quotas for their admission in public-sector universities, PMLN Vice-President Maryam Nawaz claimed the incumbent government would be ousted by January 2021.
Claiming Prime Minister Imran Khan was “just a pawn,” she claimed the federal government had been “shocked” by the events in Karachi. “He [Khan] doesn’t even know what is happening under his own government,” she claimed.
“I don’t even think there is a need for any inquiry … but if I’m called to testify by the [Sindh government] inquiry committee, I will definitely go,” she said.