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Sindh forms committee to probe Safdar arrest.

Byline: Vakeel Rao

The Sindh government has set up a five-member ministerial committee to probe the arrest of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's Captain (retd) Safdar, the son-in-law of former premiere Nawaz Sharif, and the alleged abduction of the Sindh IGP.

According to a notification issued by the home department on Thursday, the committee has been instructed to complete the investigation and submit a report within 30 days.

The committee is headed by Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani and comprises provincial ministers Nasir Hussain Shah, Syed Sardar Ali Shah and Awais Qadir Shah, as well as Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab.

It has been tasked to investigate allegations of the police being pressured into registering an FIR against Safdar, raiding his room at a hotel and the subjection of a senior police official, as the notification states without naming him, to ridicule and humiliation.

According to the notification, a top cop was misbehaved with and humiliated, which dampened the morale of the police force, with many officers feeling unwilling to perform their duties.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had earlier spoken about the Sindh police chief being whisked away from his house.

'Centre insulting Sindh's mandate'

The events leading up to Safdar's arrest have deepened the pre-existing rift between the Sindh government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government.

In a tirade against the Centre, the Sindh CM said that since the PTI had taken power, it hadn't let his government 'work in peace for a single day.'

'Conspiracies are constantly hatched against the Sindh government and various tactics are employed to pressure us, which is tantamount to insulting the public mandate of Sindh,' he remarked.

The CM was presiding over a PPP parliamentary party meeting, where, according to sources, the CM said his government had not been allowed to function since the PTI came into power.

'If we ask for National Finance Commission funds, we get calls from elsewhere,' he commented, without specifying the source of the calls.

The CM went on to say a recent example of a conspiracy against the Sindh government was an 'attempt to sour the PPP's relationship with other parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).' He added, 'Statements were issued that Captain Safdar was arrested on my orders in hopes of breaking the PDM alliance.'

Referring to Sindh police officials submitting leave applications en masse, following the reports of Sindh IGP's alleged abduction, the CM said it was a difficult situation.

'Due to the inappropriate treatment meted out to the IGP, I have spent 48 hours in anguish and distress,' he told the meeting.

In response, the meeting's participants raised questions about how the province would function if its police chief was treated in this manner.

They called for the Sindh government to take 'drastic' measures to address the issue.

The CM, however, asked them to exercise patience and vowed to reach the bottom of the matter. He then asked for their suggestions on who should be included in the committee being formed to probe the matter.

Later, the participants apprised the CM of problems in their respective constituencies, with some complaining that elected representatives remained unheard and development work in their constituencies had been halted.
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Author:Vakeel Rao
Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 23, 2020
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