ISI commandant denied any ‘abduction’: governor

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Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has said that he had spoken to the commandant of the ISI after the reports of provincial police chief’s abduction surfaced and he (the ISI’s commandant) denied any such “kidnapping” or “abduction”. “I have spoken to [the] ISI’s commandant [but] I didn’t talk to the DG Rangers,” Governor said in a private TV programme on Thursday. “He told me there was no kidnapping or abduction.” According to the Sindh governor, the ISI’s commandant told him that they had a “working relationship with the police”. On Tuesday, a big number of Sindh police officials, including the provincial IG and Karachi police chief, had applied for leaves to protest the “ridiculing and manhandling” of the Sindh police chief. The applications were withdrawn after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asked the army chief and ISI DG to investigation what their institution was doing in Sindh. Minutes after Bilawal’s explosive press conference in Karachi, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ordered the Karachi corps commander to probe the incident that took place on October 19. According to PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah had told him that the IG’s home was “surrounded” at 4am and he was taken to the sector commander’s office to pressure him to authorise a raid to arrest Captain (retired) Safdar. Safdar was arrested on Monday morning and was later given bail by a court in Karachi. The Sindh governor, however, said that the Sindh IGP was not abducted “To the best of my knowledge, he wasn’t abducted,” said Governor Ismail. “Him (Sindh IGP) going to the sector commander or the sector commander coming to him is I think a routine matter.” Commenting on the raid on Captain (retired) Safdar’s hotel room, the governor said he was told by the police that they didn’t break the door. “I can’t confirm whether the door was broken or not,” he said. The governor added that he himself had called Sindh IG Mushtaq Mahar on Sunday evening and told him to lodge an FIR for sloganeering at the tomb of Quaid-e-Azam. “I felt he was reluctant to lodge an FIR,” said the governor. He added that the army chief has made an inquiry commission. “[The] army chief took action because his institution was being involved in it. It was right, and he will share its report with the PM,” said the governor. He added that he has given the incident’s report to the prime minister and he (PM Khan) thinks the matter is being given “unnecessary hype”.

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