PESHAWAR: A single-member Peshawar High Court bench on Monday extended the interim pre-arrest bail of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader retired Captain Mohammad Safdar until further orders in a case registered against him here on the charges of committing sedition and inciting the personnel of the armed forces to mutiny.

Justice Lal Jan Khattak announced bail extension over the absence of a senior member of the panel of counsel for the PML-N leader, who is also the son-in-law of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The next date of hearing into Mr Safdar’s petition will be fixed later.

SHO of the East Cantonment police station Imran Nawaz Alam said the PML-N leader was booked over the alleged sedition as well as the incitement of the personnel of the armed forces to mutiny through a media talk he had on Feb 9 after attending the court proceedings about a National Accountability Bureau inquiry into his assets.

One of his lawyers was absent from PHC hearing

He added that he had registered the case after receiving a written permission of the government.

The FIR was registered under different sections of Pakistan Penal Code including 121 (waging war against Pakistan), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against Pakistan), 124-A (sedition), 131 (Mutiny or seducing soldier for mutiny), 153 (provocation to cause riot) and 505 (statement to cause public mischief).

The petitioner has claimed that he was implicated in a fabricated case.

He said the police registered the FIR against him in a clandestine manner and didn’t disclose it.

The petitioner said his media talk didn’t amount to committing sedition or other offence as he’d only highlighted some historical facts and there’s nothing objectionable in them.

The SHO in the FIR has claimed that Mr Safdar through his media talk not only tried to defame the country and its institutions but also attempted to spread anarchy in institutions.

He added that the PML-N leader also tried to incite people against the government and institutions and create rifts among the personnel of the armed forces and their leadership.

The petitioner said during the media talk he had used harsh language against military rulers Ayub Khan, Yehya Khan, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf.

Few days ago, the high court has also confirmed pre-arrest bail to Mr Safdar over an ongoing inquiry of the National Accountability Bureau, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, against him for allegedly holding assets beyond means.

He had approached the court after the NAB chairman issued warrants for his arrest in Oct last year. The PML-N leader had claimed that the NAB inquiry against him was based on mala fide intent as he had appeared before its combined investigation team many times and provided it with the sought-after information.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2021

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