Hours after she mounted a scathing attack on Prime Minister Imran Khan and his PTI government, Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Monday, 19 October, claimed the police broke open the door of her Karachi hotel and arrested her husband, retired Captain Safdar Awan.
In a tweet, Maryam said that the “police broke my room [sic.] door at the hotel I was staying at in Karachi and arrested Capt. Safdar." The arrest comes after Maryam spoke at a second rally organised by 11 opposition parties, which was attended by thousands of people.
However, Maryam’s claims have been denied by PTI Minister Ali Zaidi, who accused Maryam of lying. “Maryum once again lying that the hotel door was broken. Video shows otherwise. Do u see any handcuffs? Does it look like he was arrested by force?” he tweeted.
Appreciate the quick action taken by IG Sindh against the the hooligans who disrespected Mazar-e-Quaid.
Law must take its course.
Maryum once again lying that the hotel door was broken. Video shows otherwise. Do u see any handcuffs? Does it look like he was arrested by force? pic.twitter.com/7DLHTiw2kA
— Ali Haider Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI) October 19, 2020
Safdar’s arrest comes after an FIR was filed against him, Maryam and 200 other people, alleging that they had violated the sanctity of Quaid's mausoleum, reports The Dawn.
According to the report, the FIR has been filed by one Waqas Ahmed, who claimed that Safdar had jumped over the grill surrounding Quaid’s grave, after reaching there with other PML-N leaders and 200 other supporters.
When Opposition Took to the Streets on Sunday
A campaign to oust Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan gathered steam on Sunday, 18 October, when thousands of Opposition supporters hit the street in Karachi against Khan. This was the second show of power by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), which is an alliance comprising 11 of the country's Opposition parties.
The Opposition has accused Khan of being involved with the army to rig the 2018 polls. Khan, who came to power on an anti-graft platform denies that the Army helped him win, reported Reuters.
The rally was held on Sunday evening at the Bagh-i-Jinnah, where leaders of the Opposition parties appeared unfazed by Prime Minister Imran Khan's warning that he would get "tougher" and start making all-out efforts to bring his predecessor Nawaz Sharif back to the country, reports Dawn news.
Addressing the crowd of supporters, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that Khan and his government would face the same fate as that of “past dictators”.
Sunday's event also coincided with the 13th anniversary of the 18 October 2007 attack on the homecoming procession of late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Karachi that killed more than 200 people.
"Imran Khan should remember the past dictators. He should remember their life and fate. Your fate would not be different from them. You can never suppress people's voice for long. The people's anger would sweep away the government and its foundations," he said to cheers from the audience.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz counted the number of "blunders, corruption and incompetence" of the incumbent government.
She added that Khan had admitted that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was with him and referred to the list of PTI government's "achievements" in two years.
Calling the Prime Minister a "coward", she accused him of using the armed forces for his face-saving and declaring opponents as traitors only to save his skin and hide incompetence, Dawn news reported.
The PDM is now scheduled to hold its third rally in Quetta on October 25, which will be followed by the fourth in Peshawar on 22 November, fifth in Multan on 30 November and the last one in Lahore on 13 December.
The alliance's first power show took place on 16 October in the city of Gujranwala. Speaking via video link from London to the Gujranwala gathering, Sharif accused that 2018 election were rigged by army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. He also said that Bajwa orchestrated his ouster in 2017 in what he said were trumped charges aided by judiciary.
Lashing out in an aggressive response to the PDM's first rally, Khan accused the former premier of working on the enemy's agenda in an attempt to escape accountability for his financial corruption. He said Sharif was trying to sow discord between state institutions.
(With inputs from IANS)
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