Embattled former premier Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar has arrived in Rawalpindi’s Liaquatbagh area where he is expected to surrender to authorities days after being convicted in the Avenfield corruption reference.
PML-N leader Chaudhry Tanveer was quoted as saying that the party’s Rawalpindi leaders kicked off the rally on Sunday from Liaquat Road. During the rally, Safdar will surrender to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he added.
As Safdar called upon PML-N leaders and workers to reach Liaquatbagh to show support, the gathering grew, with a number of vehicles donning PML-N posters surrounding Safdar’s black double-cabin vehicle.
Safdar himself came out of the vehicle to wave to supporters and briefly address the media gathered at the scene. He is accompanied by PML-N leaders Chaudhry Tanveer, Malik Abrar, Shakeel Awan and others.
Safdar said he wishes to surrender in front of party leader Shahbaz Sharif.
“Today we have to decide how the country will be run,” Safdar told the media. “I am surrendering myself in order to set a foundation for democracy.”
He called upon the nation to support Nawaz Sharif in his fight for the 220 million citizens of the country.
Meanwhile, a NAB team has reached Rawalpindi to arrest Safdar. The team, comprising six vehicles, has contacted the Islamabad inspector general for assistance and requested a large contingent of police to help deal with the crowd.
“Action will be taken against anyone who tries to hinder Safdar’s arrest,” NAB Deputy Inspector Mehboob Alam warned.
‘Honour demands that I surrender’
Earlier today, in an audio message sent to journalists by the PML-N’s media cell, Capt Safdar said he would surrender himself to authorities today because “honour demands it”.
The decision for him to turn himself in, after he was sentenced to one year in jail for abetment in the Avenfield reference, was made by the party’s leadership, he said.
He added that he wished to be arrested in an area other than Mansehra, his hometown, or Hazara Division.
Nawaz, his daughter Maryam, and Safdar were all handed varying jail sentences in the Avenfield corruption reference on Friday. The former premier and his daughter are currently in London, while Safdar is in Pakistan. His whereabouts are currently unknown.