Army Court of Inquiry removes officers involved in IG’s abduction

ISPR says further departmental proceedings will be held at General Headquarters

By: News Desk      Published: 03:48 PM, 10 Nov, 2020
Army Court of Inquiry removes officers involved in IG’s abduction

The military and Rangers officers involved in the kidnapping of Sindh IG have been removed from their position and further action against them would be taken at the General Headquarters (GHQ), said the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) on Tuesday.

According to the ISPR statement, the court of inquiry was completed on the orders of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa after the incident in Karachi reported on the night between Oct 18 and 19.

These officers are from the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)’s Sector Headquarters in Karachi.

It is said that public pressure on them was increasing for taking action according to the law after the incident at the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The said officers took the action while being “overwhelmed” by the situation which created confusion between the two state institutions [the military and the police], it added.

All officers found responsible have been removed from their posts in light of the court of inquiry, it said and added they will be held to account for violating the code of conduct at the General Headquarters.

The findings came after PML-N leader Capt Safdar was arrested from the hotel on Oct 19 early morning over charges of violating the sanctity of the mausoleum. Safdar was in the hotel room along with his spouse PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz. 

Later, it emerged that Mushtaq Mahar, the Sindh police chief, was kidnapped from his residence and forced to order the police to register a case and arrest Safdar.

“Court of Inquiry on the orders of COAS pertaining to the issue of redress of Inspector General Police Sindh’s grievances, in the backdrop of 18 Oct 2020 Karachi incident, has been completed,” read the statement issued by the ISPR. “The Court of Inquiry has established that on the night of 18/19 Oct officers from Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) and ISI sector Headquarters Karachi were considerably seized with the fallout of desecration of Mazar-e-Quaid,” it said.

“They were under increasing public pressure to ensure prompt action as per the law. Assessing the response of police authorities against this developing yet volatile situation to be slow and wanting, in a charged environment, the concerned ISI/Rangers officers decided to act, rather overzealously.”

“They were indeed experienced enough to have acted more prudently and could have avoided creating an unwarranted situation that led to misunderstanding between the two state institutions. Based on the recommendations of the Court of Inquiry, it has been decided to remove the concerned officers from their current assignments for further departmental proceedings and disposal at GHQ.”

Maryam Nawaz was in Karachi to attend the recently-formed opposition alliance PDM rally. But before the event, she had visited the Quaid’s mausoleum where Safdar chanted the slogan of “Vote ko Izzat Do” (respect the vote), which infuriated the PTI leaders who started calling for registration of a case and arrest.