Pak army inquiry into Safdar Awan’s arrest a ‘cover-up’; says Nawaz Sharif

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LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday termed the report of an inquiry carried out by the army regarding the arrest of his son-in-law retired Captain Safdar Awan as a “cover-up”, saying that the report was “rejected”.

“Inquiry report on Karachi incident is a cover-up scapegoating juniors and shielding the real culprits. Report “Rejected”,” the ousted premier tweeted, reported Dawn.

Nawaz Sharif

No other PML-N leader has commented on the party’s official stance on the report, although Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) spokesperson Mian Iftikhar Hussain termed the inquiry as “a victory of the democratic forces.”

“Now those responsible should be brought to justice. PDM will hold further consultations in this regard,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had also welcomed the development as “good news”, reported Dawn.

While addressing a public meeting in Gulmit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Bilawal said: “I have received good news that the chief of army staff [ordered] an inquiry, that inquiry has been completed and action has also been taken. We should welcome this step.”

The Pakistan Army on Tuesday said that it has found officials of secret intel agency, ISI, and Rangers guilty of the “abduction” of Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mehr and the “overzealous” arrest of Capt Awan in a desecration case, adding that they have been removed from their posts.

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) — the military media affairs wing — said that the court of inquiry, constituted to redress the grievances of the Sindh inspector general on the orders of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, has been completed.

Last month, the ISPR said the Army chief had taken notice of and ordered an immediate inquiry into the “Karachi incident”, minutes after PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari called on General Bajwa and ISI Director General Faiz Hameed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Awam, husband of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, from his hotel room on October 19.

Almost all police officers in Sindh applied for leave in protest against the humiliation meted out to IGP Mehr. PML-N spokesman Muhammad Zubair, who is also a former Sindh governor, said that the IGP Sindh was “kidnapped” by the Rangers who forced him to file an FIR for Safdar’s arrest.