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ISLAMABAD: Chief Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa took notice of the "Karachi incident" and directed the Corps Commander Karachi to immediately inquire into the circumstances to determine the facts and report back as soon as possible, the ISPR said.

"Taking notice of Karachi incident, COAS has directed Commander Karachi Corps to immediately inquire into the circumstances to determine the facts and report back as soon as possible," Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a brief statement, without specifying the incident it was referring to.

The ISPR statement comes soon after the press conference addressed by Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in which he urged the Army Chief to take notice of the circumstances under which Captain Mohammad Safdar (retd), the husband of Maryam Nawaz, was arrested early Monday from his hotel room. Safdar and his wife were in Karachi to attend the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, some senior officers of Sindh police applied for leave in order to "come out of shock and settle down"... caused due to the "recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (retd) Safdar in which police high command has not only been ridiculed and mishandled, but ranks of Sindh police have been demoralized and shocked", according to the application widely circulated on the social media of one of the officers of the Sindh police.

According to a spokesperson of the PPP, Army Chief Gen Bajwa also telephoned PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and discussed the 'Karachi incident' on Tuesday evening.

PML-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also took to Twitter, and shared the purported leave application by Imran Yaqoob Minhas, Additional Inspector General of Police, Special Branch, Sindh, Karachi. "Karachi events endorse our narrative "State above the State";...You ridiculed mandate of provincial govt; Trampled on sanctity of family privacy; Abducted senior police officers to extort orders; Defamed our Armed Forces; Addl IGP's letter proves that you subverted the Constitution," Sharif stated in a brief statement shared from his official Twitter handle.

Maryam Nawaz also saluted Sindh police and thanked Bilawal for his support, in a series of tweets on Tuesday. "It's heartening to see civilians breaking shackles of fear, standing up for supremacy of constitution & reclaiming their long lost rights. The conspiracy & conspirators stand badly exposed. Thank you Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for your support & clear stance. Pakistan has changed," she stated.

She further tweeted: "I salute the Sindh Police". Maryam also shared a section of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's speech to civil servants (1948)..."If you want to raise the prestige and greatness of Pakistan, you must not fall victim to any pressure, but do your duty as servants to the people and the State, fearlessly and honestly".

MONITORING DESK adds: In a later development, Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mahar has decided to defer his own leave and ordered his officers to set aside their leave applications for ten days, shared Sindh police late Tuesday night, adding that the decision was taken "in the larger national interest" and pending the conclusion of the inquiry into how the arrest of PML-N leader Mohammad Safdar unfolded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020