Former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday held Prime Minister Imran Khan responsible for the “detention” of the Sindh IGP during which he was “coerced” to order the arrest of PML-N leader Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar from a hotel in Karachi, while the PTI-led federal government refuted the allegations and raised the question as to why the provincial police chief had not filed an FIR if he really was “abducted”.
Speaking to reporters in Islamabad on the controversial ‘Karachi incident’, the former premier said the paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies directly reported to the prime minister.
“If somebody has given them instructions [to abduct the IGP], it could have only been the prime minister. These institutions take their orders from the prime minister,” he added.
Abbasi, who is also general secretary of the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), called on the courts to take a suo moto action in the wake of the revelations that had come to the fore following Safdar’s arrest.
“This is a serious matter as the Constitution has been violated,” he maintained.
Referring to PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz's claim that the door of her hotel room was broken down to arrest the her husband Safdar, Abbasi said the federal government was involved in violating the sanctity of the “chaddor and char deewari”.
"By giving such orders, the prime minister not only violated his own oath, but also forced officials who followed them to do so as well," he added.
On Monday, Safdar was arrested for “violating the sanctity of the Quaid’s mausoleum and late released on bail. The next day, the top brass of the provincial police force decided to go on a ‘protest’ leave en masse for being forced to order the arrest of Safdar and then deferred their decision after the army chief ordered an inquiry into the matter.
The PPP leadership maintained that Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mahar was detained in the wee hours of Monday and pressured into ordering Safdar’s arrest.
Abbasi claimed that the Centre had attacked the jurisdiction of the provincial government by detaining the Sindh IGP and forcing him to issue the arrest orders.
"Imran Khan has been silent on the issue throughout and that is why [PPP] chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called on the army chief to take notice of the incident." However, he added, the matter of the hotel room door being broken down did not come under the army chief's jurisdiction.
Following Abbasi's media talk, Adviser to the PM on Accountability and Interior Mirza Shahzad Akbar questioned as to why the Sindh IGP had not registered a case if he actually was abducted and coerced.
“A political circus has been set up to discredit the nation,” Akbar said at a news conference accompanied by Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz.
“Everyone saw that he [Safdar] was arrested by the Sindh police on a bailable charge,” the adviser added.
"If we had to do this, we wouldn’t have arrested him under bailable provisions.”
The adviser further claimed that the PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair had lied about the Sindh IGP’s abduction.
“The Sindh police released a statement on Twitter that the action [Safdar’s arrest] had been taken in accordance with the law. However, they later withdrew it,” he noted. "Everyone knows where the Sindh police get their orders from.”
Akbar hit out at PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal for claiming that the government was trying to aid Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. "We are taking steps as per the decision of the International Court of Justice. Read its decision."
Speaking on the occasion, Shibli dismissed Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah's claim that a federal minister had threatened to dismiss the provincial government if a case was not filed against Safdar.
“His [Safdar] actions have hurt the image of the country,” he said referring to the PML-N leader chanting slogans at the Quaid's mausoleum.
"It was a clear violation of the law. The chief minister lied on floor of the provincial assembly. Even if there are any tensions related to Safdar, the Sindh government is responsible for it," he added.
The minister reiterated that the opposition wanted to weaken the country and its democracy.
"Opposition parties want to create chaos and uncertainty fearing that their power will end once Prime Minister Imran Khan succeeds in his mission to take forward the country on the path of progress and development," he claimed.
Shibli further said the opposition parties were trying to ignite a clash among institutions.
The minister added that the country’s economy has revived and all indicators were on a positive trajectory.
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