Sunday Oct 18 2020

At Mazar-e-Quaid, Captain Safdar has people chant PML-N slogan 'vote ko izzat do'

Retired Captain Safdar standing next to Quaid-e-Azam's grave and chanting "vote ko izzat do (honour the vote)", at the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi, on October 18, 2020. — Still from video on Twitter

KARACHI: Retired Captain Safdar on Sunday chanted the PML-N slogan "vote ko izzat do (honour the vote)" and urged people to join him, while on a visit to the Quaid's mauseoleum with PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz.

Party workers and supporters responded to Safdar's call and chanted along for an extended period of time as Maryam Nawaz and party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb looked on.

The move was met by a fierce reaction by government representatives who not only demanded an apology, but approached the police, asking them to initiate legal action against all those who participated in the act.

'Just not acceptable'

Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said the behaviour "is just not acceptable'.

"The sanctity of Quaid's Mazar [has been] disrespected by these criminals masquerading as politicians," he wrote.

'Captain Safdar, Maryam must apologise'

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry also criticised Safdar and said both he and Maryam must apologise.

'They only have respect for Nawaz, no one else'

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar also demanded an apology from the party.

He said that these "shameless people are ignorant of their history, and have no sense of regard and respect for such a place."

"They only have respect for Nawaz. They don't know how to respect anyone else," Umar added.

'Shameful that the mazar was used for politics'

Minister for Information Shibli Faraz said that the fact that the mazar of the founder of Pakistan was used for politics is "highly condemnable and shameful".

He said the PML-N should have instead asked for forgiveness from the Quaid "for having mercilessly looted the country, gone against his ideology, and filled their pockets to leave the people dirt poor".

'Case must be filed against them'

Governor Sindh Imran Ismail said the inspector general of police "must file a case immediately" against such "shameless individuals" who disrespected the Quaid's mausoleum.

"I have never before witnessed such a dishonourable move at the Quaid's mazar. This is the height of ignorance."

PTI representatives go to police

A group of PTI representatives, including Haleem Adil Shaikh and Raja Azhar, rushed to the Brigade police station to lodge a case against the PML-N leadership.

According to the request, a copy of which was seen by, the police have been asked to file a case against Capt Safdar, Maryam Nawaz, Marriyum Aurangzeb.

The Station House Officer has been requested to bear in mind that the PML-N top tier leadership violated the sanctity of the mausoleum by crossing the metal barrier placed around the grave and chanted slogans that not only disrespected the site but also hurt the sentiments of the people.

It stated that the incident occurred around 5:30pm and was broadcast not only locally but also by foreign media outlets.

"This not only prompted angry citizens to take to the streets, but law enforcement was prevented from taking any action, which is against the law," the request states.

It said that interference in the government's course of action is a "grave crime".

The request, signed by MPA Raja Azhar Khan, asked that legal proceedings be undertaken against about 200 people present there who took part in the act.

Mazar-e-Quaid management also file complaint

Separately, the management of Mazar-e-Quaid also filed a complaint over the event that transpired.

The application has been filed at the Brigade police station, where the PTI complaint has been registered.

The station house officer confirmed he has received the complaint.