ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, the Pakistan Army declared the suspension of officers engaged in the ‘Sindh Karachi incident’ that followed the arrest of PML-N chief Capt (retd) Safdar in the port city on the morning of 19 October.
The Sindh military media wing reported in a statement issued on Tuesday that the decision to withdraw them was made on the basis of the findings of the Court of Inquiry. For further departmental proceedings and disposal at GHQ, the officers will be suspended from their current assignments.
The investigation, carried out on the orders of Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, concerning the question of redressing the complaints of IG Sindh in the context of the Karachi incident on October 18, 2020, was concluded, the statement read.
“The Court of Inquiry found that officers from Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) and ISI sector headquarters Karachi were greatly seized with the fall out of Mazar-e-Quaid’s desecration on night 18 / 19 Oct. They were under increasing public pressure to ensure timely action in compliance with the rule,” adds the declaration of the ISPR.
Assessing the police authorities’ response to this developing yet volatile situation to be slow and wanting, the ISI / Rangers officers concerned decided to act, rather than zealously, in a charged environment. They were indeed experienced enough to act more prudently and could have avoided creating an unjustified situation that led to misunderstanding between the two state institutes
On the morning of 19 October, the Sindh Police arrested the son-in – law of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Captain Safdar, from his Karachi hotel room.
The arrest came in response to a complaint lodged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf local MPAs against Maryam Nawaz, Captain (retd) Safdar and other PML-N leaders on the day of the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) power show in Karachi on October 18, for breaching the sanctity of the Quaid mausoleum.
In the events surrounding the detention, after the reports that Sindh IG Mushtaq Mahar ordered Capt Sardar’s arrest ‘under pressure’ began making the rounds, the PML-N and PPP sought an explanation and an investigation. An iquiry into the matter was also requested by the Sindh chief minister.
Following a press conference with the Sindh chief minister, Bilawal later announced that the top officers of the Sindh police, including IGP Mushataq Mahar, had agreed to go on a two-month leave for “ridicule and mishandling.”
Top Sindh police officers are going on leave not because the Sindh government pressed them, but on the other hand,’ Bilawal said without identifying anybody.
Terming as “shameful” the manner in which Safdar was arrested, Bilawal said he did not condemn it sufficiently. “He said,” I’m embarrassed [and] unable to reveal my face over what took place in my province.
The PPP leader said, “Harassing them (Maryam and Safdar) early in the morning and arresting Safdar is an insult to the people of Sindh who invited Maryam Sahiba and the N-League delegation to attend the PDM Jalsa.”
The head of the PPP said the object of his press conference was to demonstrate unity with the police in Sindh in order to boost their morale. “We can also launch an inquiry, but if the army chief and the ISI chief also take steps, it would be more fitting,” he said.
“At 4 in the morning, who were the people who surrounded the Sindh IGP ‘s house?” he asked.