Sindh govt’s Karachi incident probe pointless: Maryam

PML-N leader expresses her reservations over inquiry body being given a month’s time to complete report


  Rameez Khan October 24, 2020
Bilawal Bhutto and Maryam Nawaz at the PDM's first political event in Gujranwala. SCREENGRAB

LAHORE:

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz on Friday said the formation of a committee by the Sindh government to probe into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of her husband Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar was a pointless move and also expressed her reservations over body being given a month to furnish its report -- apparently a sign of her party losing its faith in its ally, the PPP.

“In a democratic country, notices [of such incidents] should be taken either by the government or the judiciary; no one else should even be asked,” she added, seemingly a reference to PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asking the army chief to take notice of the Karachi incident.

The PML-N vice president was speaking to reporters during her visit to a protest camp set up by over three dozen Baloch students outside the Punjab Assembly for the restoration of their reserved seats in the universities of the province.

Maryam said an inquiry was not needed in in her opinion as everything in connection with the controversy surrounding her husband’s arrest, including CCTV footage, were in the public domain.

“Everyone including the Sindh government knows about it,” she added.

“If they think they can over it up by dragging it on for a month, they are wrong.”

Maryam further said the findings of the committee should be made public. “They cannot hide the report, nor will we let them. People deserve to know what happened.” 

Despite taking indirect jibes at Bilawal and the provincial government, Maryam thanked the PPP chairman and the Sindh chief minister for expressing their concerns and anguish over the incident.

She reiterated that it had never crossed her mind that the Sindh government was behind the incident.

To a question about differences within the PML-N, Maryam said decisions prove to be good or bad based on their consequences.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s silence over what happened in Karachi had exposed yet again that he had no power.

The PML-N leader also predicted that the way the government was in a state of panic over the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) protest movement, it was unlikely to last till January.

Maryam said she was leaving for Quetta on Saturday for the PDM rally and there she would raise the issue of the protesting Baloch students.

A PML-N insider confirmed that the party had serious reservations over the inquiry committee formed by the Sindh government as allowing a month for the probe to complete seemed odd.

He said Sindh government should have recorded the statements of the IGP and statements of other officers concerned and announced its findings.

“There are rumours that the PPP would be given the government in Gilgit-Baltistan on the condition that it distances itself from the PDM,” he added. “However, the PPP is a wise party and would not stand on the wrong side of history.”

PPP leader Murtaza Wahab said that the Karachi incident had to be investigated from many angles – starting from how police were pressured to lodge an FIR to the way the arrest was carried out.

“This is the reason why the committee has been given a month’s time,” he added,

Speaking about why Bilawal had appealed to the army chief for an inquiry, Wahab said the Sindh government had no mandate to probe into an incident where fingers were being pointed towards an institution not under its domain.


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