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Sindh special branch AIG says police high command 'ridiculed' in Safdar arrest episode

Sindh Police Special Branch Additional Inspector General (AIG) Imran Yaqoob on Tuesday applied for a 60-day leave in order to "come out of this shock" caused by the "recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar".

In his application submitted to Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mahar, Yaqoob said: "The recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar in which police high command has not only been ridiculed and mishandled, but all ranks of Sindh police have been demoralised and shocked.

"In such stressful situation it is quite difficult for me to discharge my duty in a professional manner."

According to unconfirmed reports, similar applications have been submitted by top brass of the Sindh Police.

Following his arrest, a purported voice message by PML-N leader and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair was shared by journalist where the former alleged that the provincial IGP was kidnapped and forced to register the first information report against Maryam Nawaz, her husband retired Captain Mohammad Safdar and 200 others for violating the sanctity of the Quaid's mausoleum.

In the audio clip circulating on Twitter, Zubair, who was recently appointed as spokesman for PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam, purportedly said that CM Shah confirmed to him "they tried to put pressure on the Sindh Police first to arrest. When they refused to do that, Rangers kidnapped [the IG].

On October 18 — the day of the rally in Karachi — Safdar had visited the Quaid's mausoleum along with party workers and Maryam, where he jumped inside the perimeter of Quaid's resting place and raised slogans, a move that had drawn widespread criticism.

The next day, he was arrested by police from his hotel room on charges of violating the sanctity of Jinnah’s mausoleum and hurling murder threats at some individuals. Safdar was later released on bail.

The arrest drew widespread criticism from the opposition and some leaders of the PDM, including Maryam, had claimed in a presser after Safdar's arrest that the move was an attempt to enforce cracks among the opposition by the federal government and its agencies, which “kidnapped the provincial police chief and forced him into signing the arrest order”. The details of the complainant were also made public and it was revealed that he was an absconder.

The government, however, denied the claim with Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi calling it a "nonsense narrative".

Earlier today, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah addressed a press conference where he said the police "did their work" and acted in "accordance with the law" to book and later arrest PML-N leader retired Captain Mohammad Safdar from Karachi a day ago.

More to follow.

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