Karachi police have arrested Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Capt (r) Muhammad Safdar for violating the sanctity of Jinnah Mausoleum by raising slogans at the grave of the founder of Pakistan.
The development was shared by his wife PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, who wrote that police broke into her room to arrest Safdar while she was sleeping.
The PML-N leadership, including vice president Maryam Nawaz, had visited the mausoleum to offer fatiha on Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s grave ahead of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) power show in Karachi. However, the fatiha was followed by slogans by the PML-N supporters and Safdar jumping over the grill surrounding the grave.
The sloganeering at the mausoleum attracted flak, especially by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership, who sought action against the PML-N leaders for the ‘hooliganism’.
Similarly, Maritimes Minister Ali Haider Zaidi pushed police to register a case against the PML-N leaders over the incident. “Once again clearly warning CS & IG of Sindh. Action must be taken against the hooligans who created ruckus at Mazar-e-Quaid. If they are allowed to leave KHI, you will be directly held responsible for letting them escape. U will be considered as aiders & abettors in the crime,” he tweeted ahead of the arrest.
Subsequently, an FIR was registered against the PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz and Capt Safdar and about 200 other people. According to the complainant, the PML-N leaders, along with 200 of their followers, reached the Quaid’s grave where Safdar jumped over the grill surrounding it.
A case has been registered under Section 6 (convening of meetings or processions in the mausoleum), Section 8 (entry into mausoleum with weapon) and Section 10 (penalty for contravention of provisions) of The Quaid-e-Azam’s Mazar (Protection and Maintenance) Ordinance, 1971.
It said the PML-N leader and his followers damaged the state property at the shrine besides threatening to kill the complainant upon intervention. “My complaint is that Safdar and his cohort violated the sanctity of the Quaid’s mausoleum and his grave. A case [should be] registered against him for raising political slogans inside the mausoleum complex, death threats against me and for damaging government property.”
WAS SAFDAR ARRESTED FROM HOTEL’S ROOM?:
Though the PML-N claims that Safdar was arrested from the hotel room by the Karachi police, the claim was contested by the federal minister, Ali Zaidi, who shared a video of Safdar being taken in a police mobile. “Maryam once again lying that the hotel door was broken. Video shows otherwise. Do u see any handcuffs? Does it look like he was arrested by force?” he took a jibe at Maryam.
However, to corroborate the claim, PML-N social media cell shared a video of the hotel room, showing the broken door of the hotel room. The statement issued by the provincial minister also strengthened the claim that the police barged into the hotel room of the PML-N leaders.
Surprisingly, the Sindh government led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has distanced itself from the matter, even though the police chief is answerable to the chief minister. PPP minister Saeed Ghani said that while Captain Safdar’s behaviour was inappropriate, the way his arrest was carried out was condemnable.
PPP MPA Sharmila Farooqi said “sloganeering inside Mazar-e-Quaid is inappropriate, but breaking doors & arresting Captain Safdar in this manner is also unacceptable”. “Sindh government is not a party to this. Clearly a blatant attempt to sabotage the solidarity of PDM and defame Sindh government,” she added.