Five-member body empowered to investigate all allegations and submit a report within 30 days
The Sindh government on Thursday formally notified a ministerial committee, led by Education Minister Saeed Ghani, to probe the events that led to the registration of a case against, and arrest of, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Mohammad Safdar.
According to a notification issued by the provincial government, the committee would also include Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, Culture and Tourism Minister Sardar Ali Shah, Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah and Adviser to the C.M. on Law Murtaza Wahab.
It says that the committee has been empowered to:
- To enquire and probe into the incident of Oct. 18 and 19, 2020, wherein police was allegedly pressured to lodge an FIR against Safdar
- To probe and enquire about the way and manner in which police raided a private hotel in Karachi, allegedly violating the “privacy and dignity” of Maryam Nawaz, and her husband, Safdar
- To probe and enquire into the alleged ridiculing, manhandling of the highest level of the police, which left the entire Police Force demoralized and unwilling to continue with their duties
- Any matters relating to above, which have bearing on the above incident and are necessary to be enquired and probed
It has also been given a 30-day limit to complete its investigation and submit a report.
On Oct. 19, Safdar was arrested by Sindh Police, with Maryam alleging on Twitter that they had barged into their room while she was in bed, breaking down the door.
A day earlier, Safdar had chanted “vote ko izzat do” (honor the vote), and “madar-e-millat zindabad” (long live the mother of the nation) during a visit to Quaid’s mausoleum. The move was condemned by government representatives, who declared it a violation of the sanctity of the mausoleum, and approached police to initiate legal action.
Following the arrest, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari alleged that the Sindh Inspector General of Police had been ‘abducted’ by the paramilitary Rangers and forced to issue arrest orders for Safdar. He called on the Pakistan Army chief and the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence to investigate the allegations and punish anyone found guilty of exceeding their constitutional authority.
In response, the Chief of the Army Staff ordered an inquiry into the incident, appointing the Karachi Corps Commander to submit a report with his findings.