Court again seeks transcript of Safdar’s ‘seditious’ talk

Published November 17, 2021
This file photo shows PML-N leader retired Captain Mohammad Safdar. — DawnNewsTV/File
This file photo shows PML-N leader retired Captain Mohammad Safdar. — DawnNewsTV/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday directed the police once again to produce the transcript of the media talk of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader retired Captain Mohammad Safdar, which led to the registration of a case against him on the charges of committing sedition and inciting personnel of armed forces to mutiny.

A bench consisting of Justice Ijaz Anwar and Justice Syed Arshad Ali also extended the interim pre-arrest bail of the PML-N leader until Dec 22.

The high court had granted interim pre-arrest bail to Mr Safdar, who is the son-in-law of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on March 10 on the condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.

In Sept this year, the court had directed the police to submit the transcript of the media talk of Mr Safdar on the basis of which the FIR of the alleged crime was registered.

At the start of the hearing, the bench asked about the transcript. An additional advocate general replied that the relevant investigation officer had been transferred, so the transcript couldn’t be produced.

Extends PML-N leader’s pre-arrest bail until Dec 22

He said the video of that media talk was available and its written transcript would be submitted to the court in the next few days.

Station house officer of the East Cantonment police station Imran Nawaz Alam had registered the FIR against the PML-N leader over the alleged sedition and incitement of the personnel of the armed forces to mutiny during a media talk on Feb 9 after attending a court proceedings on the high court’s premises.

The SHO claimed in the FIR that he had registered the case after getting the government’s written permission.

The PML-N leader was booked under Pakistan Penal Code Section 121 (waging war against Pakistan), Section 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against Pakistan), Section 124-A (sedition), 131 (Mutiny or seducing soldier for mutiny), Section 153 (provocation to cause riot) and Section 505 (statement to cause public mischief).

Petitioner Safdar has claimed that his media talk didn’t amount to sedition or other offences mentioned in the FIR.

The SHO claimed that Mr Safdar, through his media talk, had tried to defame Pakistan and its institutions, and spread anarchy in institutions.

During hearing, the PML-N leader told the bench that he had lodged a complaint at the police station Hayatabad in Peshawar that he had been facing life threat at the behest of the National Accountability Bureau chairman, and he should be provided protection.

However, he added that police had so far not taken any step in that respect.

The PML-N leader said certain elements had warned him of dire consequences if he did not withdraw the complaint.

The bench observed that the issue would be taken up in the next hearing.

Meanwhile, Mr Safdar hinted at the early general elections in the country and asked people to correct their credentials in the voter lists before March 2022.

Talking to reporters here, he demanded the formation of a joint investigation team of parliamentarians to probe the allegations of former Gilgit-Baltistan chief judge retired Justice Rana Shamim against former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar about the conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

He said the JIT inquiry would expose several other people involved in the matter.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2021

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