Born on January 19, 1964, retired Capt Mohammad Safdar Awan hails from Mansehra district.

After his early education, he joined the Pakistan Army. In 1992, as a young captain, he was deployed as the military’s attendant to Nawaz Sharif during the PML-N supremo's first tenure as the country's prime minister.

A photo of Maryam and Capt Safdar's wedding ceremony. ─ Photo courtesy Maryam Nawaz via Twitter
A photo of Maryam and Capt Safdar's wedding ceremony. ─ Photo courtesy Maryam Nawaz via Twitter

Safdar and Maryam married the same year in 1992.

After becoming the first son-in-law, Safdar retired from the army and joined the civil services, during which he was also posted as Lahore Model Town assistant commissioner.

In 2000, he was deported to Saudi Arabia along with the Sharif family.

When the family returned to Pakistan in November 2007, Safdar decided to join politics. The following year, when PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar vacated the NA-52 (Rawalpindi-III) seat, the party fielded Safdar in the by-election. Safdar emerged victorious.

In 2011, he was made the head of the PML-N's youth wing. In the 2013 general elections, he won NA-21 (Mansehra-cum-Torghar) as a PML-N candidate.

"Captain Safdar’s most famous moments have been where he puts his faith in the service of those who are often identified in Pakistan as extremists," wrote Dawn’s Resident Editor in Lahore in an article earlier this year. "It is not clear for what other-worldly gains the old soldier who opted for politics expects from his bias for the extreme right-wingers. Because, by his own account, he is amongst the lucky ones who have found a ‘houri’, right here on planet earth. He has found the houri in none other than his wife, he says."

On one occasion in 2012, his father-in-law suspended his party membership for his diatribe against some senior party leaders.

After the government awarded the death penalty to Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former governor Punjab Salman Taseer, Safdar was among those who paid homage to Qadri's 'bravery'.

He also hit headlines in 2017 in connection with the Panama papers case — in which most members of the Sharif family were incriminated. As per the Supreme Court orders, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference against him, his wife and Nawaz on the Avenfield luxury flats.

During the same year, when the PML-N was facing a controversy over the change in a Khatm-i-Nabuwat oath for lawmakers, he strongly criticised the Ahmadi community.

In his diatribe on the floor of the National Assembly, Safdar declared that the Ahmadi community is a threat to Pakistan and that members of the community should not be made part of the armed forces. Speaking of his career, he said that he had joined parliamentary politics to protect the finality of prophethood laws.

At the outset of the Avenfield trial, NAB officials in October, 2017 held him in custody for a brief period after he missed court proceedings. He was later released on bail.

It was revealed during the trial that Safdar owns a 500-square yard plot in Islamabad’s Sector E-12/4 worth Rs250,000 which was allotted to him in 1990, a one-kanal plot in Mansehra with Rs780,000, 160 kanals of agricultural land in Mansehra 15 acres of barren land in Rajanpur.

In movable assets, he has shown remittances worth Rs2 million, which he procured through the sale of a Rs6 million BMW vehicle, gifted to him by spouse Maryam Nawaz Saudi Arabia, and just over half a kg of gold and Rs4 million cash in the bank.

The trial concluded on July 6, 2018; in the verdict, he was handed one-year prison sentence for not cooperating with NAB.

Opinion

Editorial

System imbalance
Updated 29 Jun, 2022

System imbalance

Sagging under the weight of internal weaknesses, the political system once again seems to be wobbling towards disequilibrium.
BRICS exclusion
29 Jun, 2022

BRICS exclusion

FOR Pakistan’s sustained economic progress, it is essential for the country to maintain strong linkages with...
Covid resurgence
29 Jun, 2022

Covid resurgence

PAKISTAN is facing yet another wave of Covid-19 infections, with health experts predicting a surge in...
Sindh LG poll mess
Updated 28 Jun, 2022

Sindh LG poll mess

The ECP and the Sindh government share the blame for the electoral mismanagement witnessed on Sunday.
State apathy
28 Jun, 2022

State apathy

The minister would do well to revisit his stance before further damage is done to the fight for civil rights.
Lofty but fragile
28 Jun, 2022

Lofty but fragile

PAKISTAN is set for its busiest mountaineering season in over a decade, with over 1,400 climbers from across the...