PM’s aide terms Safdar’s arrest ‘orchestrated drama’

Updated 25 Oct 2020

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communi­cation Shahbaz Gill addresses the media on Saturday. — PID
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communi­cation Shahbaz Gill addresses the media on Saturday. — PID

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communi­cation Shahbaz Gill on Saturday said PML-N leader retired Capt Muhammad Safdar’s arrest from a hotel in Karachi was an “orchestrated drama of opposition” that was enacted after it failed to convince Prime Minister Imran Khan to grant relief in cases against its leaders.

Speaking at a press conference, the PM’s aide said that Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari reportedly got angry and met Inspector General of Police after the incident and subsequently police officers applied for leave.

Then the PPP leader asked the army chief, ISI chief and others to hold inquiry into the matter, Mr Gill added.

The PM’s aide said PML-N vice president Maryam Safdar wrongly claimed that her hotel room’s door was broken and the news channels were given wrong information. In reality, the door was opened from inside to orchestrate a drama, he said.

Mr Gill alleged that a “private cameraman hired by Maryam” was recording with his video camera the entire episode at the time of arrest in the hotel corridor and reception. The video and footage were then issued to channels of their choice, he believed.

Says episode was filmed by Maryam, footage given to chosen channels

Everybody saw the hooliganism of her husband and others at the mausoleum of the Quaid-i-Azam, he said. It seemed that with the arrest of Capt Safdar, Bilawal Bhutto took revenge from the Sharif family, as the Sharif brothers had once thrown pictures of slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto from an aeroplane, the prime minister’s special assistant on political communication said.

He said for the past 40 years, the two families had been lying to the nation, instigating falsehood and giving impression that whatever they had been saying was all true.

He said Maryam also tried to “use” the Baloch students, whose issue of scholarship had already been resolved by the governor of Punjab.

The PM’s aide said Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Safdar were involved in corruption and they wanted people to accept their lies. Calling her ‘a certified liar’ and ‘fraudster’, he said she was lying all the time and they had gone berserk to achieve their interests. In its verdict, the Supreme Court of Pakistan wrote that Maryam had submitted fake documents and she was declared ‘a certified liar’ who also got her husband Safdar involved in her activities.

After coming out of jail, Maryam was building a narrative against some institutions, Mr Gill asserted, alleging that she had cried before others when she had not been allowed to go abroad.

She wanted to get out of jail on the pretext of taking care of her father in London. He underlined the need to shun double standards and said there should be the same rules for the rich and the poor.

He said Maryam could not get admission to medical colleges. Her level of critical thinking was not up to the mark, he added.

He said the Indian media used the Karachi incident to unleash propaganda against the institutions and Pakistan Army. The enemies of Pakistan were targeting China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the army. The journalists and television channels favouring the opposition were magnifying the lies of Maryam by following a ‘planned script’, he claimed.

He said PML-N workers and others were calling Maryam ‘Maadar-i-Millat’, whereas the father of Khurram Dastgir had used foul language against the Maadar-i-Millat in the 1960s.

He said Maryam and her family were trying to prove that they were innocent and attempting to save the wealth accumulated through corruption. He suggested that Nawaz should return from London and serve out his jail term. The ‘liar’ was not a revolutionary as claimed by his supporters, the PM’s aide said, adding that he never had a smooth relationship with the army chiefs and chief justices.

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2020