A strong contingent of heavily-armed personnel and a large number of police vehicles and armoured personnel carriers were removed today from the area surrounding Mirza farm.
Last week, police in Badin filed four cases on charges of terrorism and attempted murder against Mirza, an estranged Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader who has recently fallen out of favour with PPP-co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
The Sindh High Court later granted the former home minister protective bail until Wednesday (May 6), when he is scheduled to appear in court.
The situation turned tense on Tuesday as heavy police contingents surrounded Mirza’s Badin residence and started advancing towards the farm, raising fears for a likely confrontation between police and Mirza’s supporters.
But the situation cooled down as police later retreated and took positions at a distance from the farm, blockading the road leading to his residence.
irza accuses the police of planning to assassinate him in a ‘fake encounter’ similar to the murder of Murtaza Bhutto – the eldest son of PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was killed in a police encounter in Karachi
Fehmida urges CJ, federal govt to take notice
The developments on Wednesday came as Mirza’s wife, Pakistan People’s Party leader and former speaker National Assembly Fehmida Mirza, demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the federal government to take notice of the situation in Badin.
Speaking to reporters after her arrival in Badin, she said that Zulfiqar Mirza was being asked to surrender to the police for arrest but he would not able to go to court with a heavy police blockading his residence.
She said that, in the present circumstances, she could pin her hopes only on the judiciary. “At whose behest has SSP has registered a fourth FIR against Dr Sahib?” she asked.
Fehmida, who has served as Pakistan’s first woman Speaker during the PPP’s stint as the federal government, exchanged words with policemen asking them to leave the area as she does not require security now. She said that she had traveled all the way from Karachi with only three security guards.
She said more cases were being fabricated against Zulfiqar Mirza after the court granted him protective bail in old ones.
Earlier on Tuesday, Fehmida broke her silence at a press conference in Karachi where she expressed concern over the safety of her husband.
“It is evident that there is political interference in the police. Conditions are being created so as to silence every voice that is being raised,” she said, claiming that impartial police officers were being stationed in Badin for political motives.
Although Fehmida spoke in favour of her firebrand husband, she was careful to choose her words wisely so as not to directly criticise the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which governs Sindh province.
‘Drop terrorism charges against Zulfiqar Mirza’
Fehmida said that she was unable to understand why “the entire police of Sindh” was surrounding her Badin residence when the Sindh High Court had issued orders for her husband’s protective bail
Fehmida demanded that terrorism charges against her husband be dropped immediately.
“If the fake cases against Zulfiqar Mirza are not dropped then the whole of Badin is ready to be arrested by police,”
She said that she and her husband had always worked towards the strengthening of democracy in the country and that she had been elected several times from Badin. “I am going to Badin from where I was elected,” she said.
On Monday, the Sindh High Court granted protective bail to Dr Zulfiqar Mirza in four cases registered by Badin police on charges of terrorism, an attempt to murder, an attack on a police station and forcible shutdown of shops in Badin.
The court ordered Mirza to appear before the trial court by May 6.
Mirza’s lawyer claims that Mirza went to the Model Town police to register an FIR against police officials who allegedly tried to arrest his supporter Nadeem Mughal and snatched cash and valuables from him.
Mirza, who remained home minster of the province from 2008 to 2011, claims that on account of his enmity with Muttahida Quami Movement Chief Altaf Hussain and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, he has been implicated in false cases and is concerned about his safety and the security of his family.
He claims that the Sindh government has deputed SSP Rao Anwar as SSP Badin merely with intention to arrest and humiliate him and his companions in false cases.-Saria
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