KARACHI: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Monday dismissed the notion that a divide would take place between PPP and PDM following Captain (retd) Safdar’s arrest, adding that she did not believe for a moment that her husband had been arrested by the Sindh government.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Maryam said that the PDM leadership were not ‘kids’, adding that she knew initially that the PPP did not have a hand in Captain Safdar’s arrest.
Maryam, while recalling the series of events from last night at a news conference on Monday, said that she did not think for a second that the party or the Sindh government had instructed police to arrest her husband.
“I am telling the nation that I did not even feel for a second that these were Sindh government’s actions,” said Maryam.
“You can be a fool, but we are not kids and we understand everything and what game is being played and what the aim is. I did not think for a second that PPP was behind it [arrest],” said Maryam. She added that the PDM was alert and knew that such things will happen.
Speaking about the arrest, Maryam said that she and her husband slept after Fajr as they had come late from last night’s PDM rally.
“At around 6:15 someone started banging our door. We were sleeping,” said Maryam. The PML-N vice president said that she felt that the noise could be due to construction activities happening nearby.
“I heard the same noise after one or two minutes. I told Safdar that someone is banging on our door,” said Maryam. She added that when her husband opened the door, police officials outside told him that they were here to arrest him.
The PML-N leader said that her husband had told police he will change and come out. She added that they heard that someone was breaking down the room’s door again.
“They broke the security latch and came inside the room. I was in bed and Safdar said do not come inside, I will come outside. I’m taking my medicine,” said Maryam.
Maryam said that police, however, ignored his request and arrested him anyway.
Witness absconding terrorism charges, claims Maryam
Sharing details regarding the witness in the case that led to Captain Safdar’s arrest, Maryam aleged that the witness, Waqas Ahmed Khan, was absconding from terrorism charges.
“Why are the witnesses the same in the cases you file?” she asked, referring to a sedition case filed earlier against the PML-N leadership, questioning why people in such cases had a “criminal record”.
“You find such people. An honest man will never come forward in such things and these people [with records] will be picked up,” Maryam said.
She also questioned why sedition, terrorism and death threat cases are registered against PDM leaders.
“Thousands of people were present there. Will someone understand this death threat among thousands of people? Why would anyone give death threats [there]?” asked Maryam.
Nothing wrong in slogan, says Maryam
Maryam also said that there was nothing wrong with the “vote ko izzat do” (give respect to vote) slogan, adding that the same words had been used by the Quaid-e-Azam.
“Vote ko izzat do is not a slogan which disrespects anyone. I know very well who is afraid of vote ko izzat do and afraid of Madar-e-Millat Zindabad (long live the mother of the nation),” said Maryam. She added that those who have an issue with this slogan are the ones who came to power by stealing the people’s mandate.
Safdar getting threats over a long time, says Maryam
The PML-N leader also revealed that her husband Captain Safdar was “getting threats since a long time”, adding that the people who were threatening him were telling him that “they will not” leave him.
“And this was coming from the very highest level,” claimed Maryam. She challenged the authorities that they should arrest her rather than “blackmailing” her through the people that are her relatives.
“The world has seen your face today. I know the whole story [but I am not sharing] because an investigation is going on. Murad Ali Shah has told me everything and I know what happened here,” said Maryam.
“When you don’t think from the brain and think from [a position of] power then you make these mistakes,” said Maryam.
“You exposed yourself completely. You made our work easy,” said Maryam. She also stated that Nawaz Sharif’s stance was vindicated that there was a “state above the state”, saying that “Nawaz Sharif said the truth”.
Maryam also said that she will leave Karachi with her husband after receiving news that he was granted bail by the court.
Captain Safdar’s arrest a ‘planned conspiracy’: Fazl
PDM chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed that the inspector general of Sindh police was held hostage and forced to register the case against the PML-N leader Captain Safdar.
“When IG Police refused to act against them [PML-N leaders] in his own home. He was arrested. And he was held hostage in the office of powers that be for four hours and was forced to register an FIR,” alleged the JUI-F leader in the same press conference.
“Now you tell me who is in power,” asked Fazl. He added that the Sindh government has clarified its point of view and said that CM Murad Ali Shah was not informed about the action.
The PDM chairman also questioned what the respect of the woman was considered in a society, saying that such treatment was not meted out to a woman in any “respectable country”.
Fazl referred to the incident as “bullying”, adding that politicians had come out to “protest within the ambit of the law”.
The PDM Chairman said that the arrest was a planned “conspiracy” in Karachi to create “divisions” between the PPP and PDM. He added that the presence of PPP leadership in today’s press conference had “failed” the conspiracy.
“They say that hooliganism was done at the Mazar-e-Quaid. We can show you clips when PTI workers on the same shrine did the same. Did they not see the disrespect then?” asked Fazl.
The PDM chairman also asked where the witness in the case heard the “death threat” in the shouting during all the commotion. He added that the platform will also share details about the witness under whose name the FIR was registered.
“This is an attack on the whole PDM not just on Maryam,” said Fazl.