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Karachi court grants bail to Safdar Awan in sloganeering case

He was arrested Monday morning for sloganeering at Quaid's mazar

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Oct 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz's husband Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar Awan was arrested from the Avari Towers hotel in Karachi on Monday morning.

According to the police, he has been detained on charges of sloganeering at Quaid-e-Azam's tomb on Sunday.

He was presented before a civil judge who approved his bail in the case. He has been ordered to submit Rs0.1 million surety bond. The hearing had begun before he arrived at the court but the judge couldn't start hearing the case due to chaos in the courtroom.

Maryam Nawaz said during a press conference that Safdar has been granted bail while the case was still being heard.

PML-N workers arrived at the court and clashed with PTI workers. The judge is ordering people out of the courtroom and telling the lawyers to control the PML-N and PTI workers.

Maryam is at PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair's house and was supposed to address a press conference. However, she suddenly got up and left the room.

A video circulating on social media showed Safdar chanting 'vote ko izzat do' while standing next to Pakistan's founding father's tomb.

Maryam took to Twitter and wrote,"Police broke my room door at the hotel I was staying at in Karachi and arrested Capt. Safdar."

The PML-N leader and her husband landed in Karachi Sunday morning to attend the rally organised by the Pakistan Democratic Movement. Before heading to the venue, the couple, along with other PML-N leaders, visited the Quaid's mausoleum to pay their respects.

After being arrested, he was taken to the Aziz Bhatti police station where his lawyers claimed they were not allowed to meet him.

An FIR has been registered against him under sections 6 (prohibition on meetings), 8 (sanctity of the mazar) and 10 (penalty) of the Quaid-e-Azam Mazar Protection and Maintenance Ordinance, 1971 and Sections 506-B (criminal intimidation), 427 (mischief causing damage of Rs50) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code. The case was registered at the Brigade police station.

At around 12pm, an extra contingent of police officers were called to the city court. He is being taken to court in an armoured car.

Maryam and 200 PML-N workers have also been named in the FIR.

Political

reactions

Federal

Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted on Monday morning that

Safdar’s arrest was the Sindh police respecting the law. Quaid-e-Azam’s mazar

is not a place for political games, he cautioned. He said chanting slogans at

the mazar was inappropriate.

Shahzad Akbar, the PM’s aide on accountability, also tweeted about Safdar’s arrest and said the Sindh police is under Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s control. “Either the arrest of your husband was staged by you and your new ally as a publicity stunt or you’re working against each other still,” he said.

Federal Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi appreciated the quick action taken against the "hooligans who disrespected Mazar-e-Quaid". He also accused Maryam of lying when she tweeted that the police broke their hotel room door to arrest Safdar.

"Do you see any handcuffs? Does it look like he was arrested by force?" he asked, referring to the video of Safdar's arrest. In the video, Safdar is not handcuffed and sits in the front of the police mobile on the way to the police station.

Sindh

Education Minister Saeed Ghani said Safdar’s actions at the Quaid’s mausoleum

were inappropriate but the way the police arrested him was worth condemnation.

He denied that Safdar was arrested on the Sindh government’s directives.

This action was indicative of a conspiracy against PDM parties, he said, adding that they will foil this.

PML-N leader and former Sindh governor Mohammad Zubair spoke to the media Monday morning and said he has spoken to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah who assured him that the Sindh government had nothing to do with Safdar's arrest.

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