Islamabad [Pakistan], October 22 (ANI) Defending Pakistan Rangers' move to 'kidnap' Sindh IGP and subsequent arrest of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Safdar Awan, Pakistan interior minister Brigadier Ijaz Shah has said that no political leader in a democratic system could be allowed to target national institutions in the name of freedom of expression.
Pakistan government and the Army have been facing flak over the recent 'Karachi incident'. A major crisis erupted in the country, with the police in the Sindh province putting up a determined fight against the all-powerful military for "kidnapping" Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mehr, during Awan's arrest saga.
Interior Ministry is being blamed for orchestrating the arrest of Safdar Awan and kidnapping of Mushtaq Mehr as Rangers, which is a paramilitary federal law enforcement organization, operates directly under the authority of the Interior Secretary of Pakistan.
The move to force the Sindh IGP to register an FIR against Safdar and PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may be the brainchild of Izaj Shah, the Interior Minister who also controls the Rangers, sources said.
"No political leader in a democratic system could be allowed to target national institutions in the name of freedom of expression," The News International quoted Shah as saying.
While talking to a private news channel, he said action should be taken against PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif for his anti-state narrative.
Shah, a former Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operator, who is often criticised for policies and support for terrorists, may have thought that his move would create a divide between the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan government is seemed to be shaken up by the anti-government rally in Karachi where political parties under the banner of joint opposition alliance---Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-- protested against the 'puppet' government. Thousands of people participated in the rally in Karachi.
Following the rally, Maryam's husband Safdar Awan was arrested from his hotel room. Safdar has now been released on bail.
Almost all police officers in Sindh Police applied for leave in protest against the humiliation meted out to the Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mehr, during the PML-N leader Safdar Awan's arrest saga.
PML-N leader and spokesman for Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz's and former Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair said that the IGP Sindh was 'kidnapped' by Rangers who forced him to file an FIR for Safdar's arrest.
Brigadier Shah who was appointed as interior minister in 2018 by Prime Minister Imran Khan, remains a highly controversial figure in Pakistan.
Former Prime Minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto had named Shah in a letter as someone who should be investigated if she was assassinated. After her assassination, the PPP accused Brig Shah of having links with Al Qaeda and Taliban, The News International reported.
Shah continued to be Pakistan's former military dictator Pervez Musharraf's trusted aide even after he was ousted. Gen Musharraf had nominated Shah as High Commissioner to Australia, but Canberra refused to accept his nomination, forcing the government to withdraw it. (ANI)