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pakistan
Tuesday Oct 20 2020
By
Web Desk

Sindh chief minister announces ministerial probe into Safdar's arrest from Karachi hotel, 'false' FIR

By
Web Desk

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah addressing a press conference in Karachi, on October 20, 2020. — Geo News

KARACHI: After a turn of events that put the provincial government under much public scrutiny, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday announced that a ministerial committee will be formed to probe the circumstances surrounding the arrest of retired Capt Safdar from a hotel in Karachi a day earlier.

"We are forming a ministerial committee to probe the incident. The names have not been finalised but there will be three to five ministers [in the committee]," said Shah, while addressing a media conference at the Chief Minister House.

CM Shah, while speaking of the events in the lead up to the arrest, said there was "a minister" who was giving the police "ultimatums". "I will see how a case is not registered," said the chief minister quoting the minister, but declining to name him.

He said while it is not a crime to be present within a police station, "it is a crime to register a false case".

He accused this "minister" of being part of the "lies" that surround the "false case" against Capt Safdar. He said that the inclusion of 506 (b) (punishment for criminal intimidation if threat be to cause death or grievous hurt) was done purposely because when such a case is brought to the police, it is duty bound to register such a case.

CM Shah said that on two occasions prior to that, PTI ministers went to the police attempting to register a case after which even the Mazar's board approached police with the PTI ministers accompanying them in a third instance. They were told by police a summary trial like the one sought falls under the jurisdiction of the magistrate and it is not up to the police to register a case.

The chief minister said that the man named Waqas — who is the complainant in the case — told police that he was threatened. CM Shah said that to the contrary, it is "clear"  that this was planned. 

"If he was a private person, we would stop to think. But they were standing right next to him [at the police station]," said CM Shah, adding that they were happily posing for photographs while they were at it.

"They attempted to pressurise the police. The police did not fall under pressure [...] from about six in the evening, they kept at this till one in the night."

"The jalsa venue continued to swell with people and all the while they were attempting to do this," he said, criticising that elected representatives resorted to "intimidating police".

They pushed to do something illegal, said CM Sindh. "Their state of panic [over the jalsa's success] was evident." 

The chief minister stressed that the police will never do anything wrong and the PPP will never ask it to.

CM Shah said that Waqas, in a statement to police, said that he was present at the Mazar-e-Quaid when the PML-N raised slogans there, but when his phone was tracked between 4:30pm and 4:52pm, he was in the vicinity of Baqai Medical University on the Super Highway.

CM Shah went on to say Waqas is an "absconding criminal".

The chief minister said that while the act of raising slogans at Mazar-e-Quaid was inappropriate, the PTI has done the same in the past.

He said that the manner in which a case was registered against Capt Safdar raises a lot of questions and the court will now determine the true facts behind the case. 

CM Shah said a meeting between cabinet members had taken place and it was decided that the truth must be brought to light. "Certain facts have emerged and those will be probed, he said, adding: "What transpired between 4:30pm on October 18 to the morning of October 19 will be investigated."

"If they summon me during the inquiry, I will gladly go," he added.