Monday, May 29, 2023
Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi Sunday confirmed the whereabouts of Khadija Shah, a Pakistani fashion designer and the prime suspect in the Jinnah House attack, after social media was abuzz with claims about her release.
The claims came after a video of the designer apologising for her actions on May 9 began floating on social media. Several users complained about Shah being given preferential treatment due to her apparent release, which was eventually refuted by the provincial chief minister.
Naqvi said Shah was still in jail and her identity parade was ongoing.
He said this while responding to a question about the designer's whereabouts days after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) handed her over to the police.
Last week, the ATC handed over Shah's custody to the police on its request for an identification parade in jail till May 30, after she was brought to the court with her face covered in a black cloth.
Speaking with journalists in Lahore, CM Naqvi denied reports of mistreatment of women in jail after PTI made claims regarding his party's female leaders, workers and supporters being abused during custody.
The chief minister shared the government's resolve to not spare anyone involved in the May 9 mayhem, no matter how influential they may be.
"Women have been dealt with in line with the law. [PTI] is resorting to propaganda regarding women being mistreated in prisons," the chief minister said.
CM Naqvi said 32 women were arrested and only 11 of them are still in jail now. The top provincial official added that it is his government's duty to ensure that "mothers and sisters remain safe".
The designer, who is a prominent supporter of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was presented before an ATC judge after being made to wait in the police van for more than an hour. She was also only allowed to meet her husband in the courtroom.
As per court directives, Shah will be presented on May 30 again.
Following her arrest, the designer was transferred to a women's police station. Sources, privy to the case, shared that the PTI supporter would be investigated by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Anush Masood.
The Corps Commander House, also known as Jinnah House, was attacked on May 9 when PTI supporters stormed and burned it down following party chairman Imran Khan's arrest in the £190m settlement case.
In an audio message released prior to her arrest, Shah admitted being a PTI supporter and was part of the protest outside the Jinnah House. However, she denied committing any wrongdoing, including inciting people to violence.
Shah is the daughter of Dr Salman Shah who was a member of former president Parvez Musharraf’s finance team and had also served as an adviser in the Punjab government during the Usman Buzdar government. She is also the granddaughter of a former army chief.
Her arrest came after a report revealed how efforts to seek relief for the famed fashion designer failed miserably. She had fled when police raided her residence and had been on the run since then.
CM Naqvi had earlier announced that the women involved in the May 9 attacks on the military installations would be arrested at all costs.
The army and the federal government have also vowed that all miscreants involved in the attacks on military installations would be tried under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.
Following the attacks, thousands of PTI workers have been rounded up across the country, with several leaders also parting ways with the party over the May 9 mayhem.