Avenfield verdict conviction: Captain (Rtd) Safdar detained by NAB from a PML-N rally in Rawalpindi
Lahore Mirror Monitoring: A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team captured on Sunday former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Captain (retired) Muhammad Safdar wanted in connection with Avenfield properties reference case.
Safdar, along with wife Maryam and father-in-law Nawaz Sharif, was awarded on Friday jail term in the Avenfield properties case. Nawaz and Maryam were sentenced to 11 and eight years in prison and slapped £8-million and £2-million fines, respectively. Capt (retd) Safdar also received a one-year prison sentence.
Two high-rank NAB officials took Safdar into custody after he appeared at a party rally in Rawalpindi. Around 3,000 people were around the vehicle in which the NAB officials accompanied the former prime minister’s son-in-law.
After reaching the election office of PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, Safdar Awan was officially arrested and shifted into the vehicle of NAB team.
In a declaration issued by the beureu it said that Captain (retd) Safdar was hiding at his native village to avoid arrest, adding that the anti-graft body conducted raids at Mansehra, Abbotabad and Haripur.
Safdar will be presented before an accountability court tomorrow.
Meanwhile, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has sought a report from the bureau’s Rawalpindi chief on the individuals obstructing his arrest.
He said that Punjab Police should be asked how come the PML-N supporters managed to reach to a convicted criminal.
The declaration said that the medical team conducted a routine check-up of Safdar and declared him fit.
Media shouldn’t promote Safdar: NAB
The NAB said that if Capt (retd) Safdar had to give voluntarily arrest then he should have done it on Saturday.
Safdar is a convict and media should refrain from promoting him, said the probe body, adding that it can ‘lead to lawlessness’.
The authority said that those assisting the former PM’s son-in-law will face action against them.
Capt (retd) arrives at PML-N rally
Earlier today, local leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were leading a party rally on Liaquat Road when Safdar disembarked from a vehicle and joined him amid cheers of supporters.
PML-N leaders Senator Chaudhry Tanveer and Malik Shakeel Awan, among others, were leading the rally and brought Safdar into their fold.
Talking to Geo News, Safdar said he is here to court arrest among his supporters. He added that the time has come to decide which path the country has to tread.
Safdar’s audio message
Earlier today, Safdar had announced he will court arrest today.
The husband of Maryam Nawaz released an audio message stating, “I had earlier decided to court arrest in Tarnol, but as per the party’s decision I will now surrender from another city.”
Capt (retd) Safdar, however, did not reveal the name of the city.
“Surrendering is an honourable act,” he upheld.
Nawaz’s son-in-law in the audio message further expressed hope that “Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz will sweep the elections from Hazara”.
“I am an ordinary party worker,” he added.
Earlier, NAB Investigation Officer Imran Dogar was leading two teams — one in Mansehra and the other in Capt (retd) Safdar’s native village — which were conducting raids with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police’s cooperation in a bid to arrest Nawaz’s son-in-law.
Earlier, as per information received by Geo News, Capt (retd) Safdar’s name was added to the “black list” of the Interior Ministry, barring him from exiting Pakistan through any airport or land or sea route.
His mobile phone was also reportedly switched off.
After Friday’s verdict, the Election Commission of Pakistan issued directives to halt the printing of ballot papers for the NA-127 and NA-14 constituencies of Maryam and Safdar as they have been barred by the accountability court from contesting the July 25 polls.