Maryam claims husband’s arrest was to divide anti-govt alliance

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has claimed that the arrest of her husband and former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar, was aimed at dividing the opposition’s anti-government alliance.

“Don’t blackmail me through my family and people around me. Come arrest me if you have courage,” The Express Tribune quoted Maryam Nawaz as saying at a presser here where she was flanked by other the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance’s leaders, including Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI-F and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf of PPP.

Her remarks came after she tweeted early Monday morning that Safdar had been arrested from a hotel they were staying at in Karachi.

She claimed that the police “barged in” while she was “sleeping”.

His arrest came a day after Safdar raised anti-government slogans at Muhammad Ali Jinnah mausoleum on Sunday before the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) second power show in Karachi, reports Dawn news.

An FIR was registered against Maryam Nawaz, Safdar and 200 others for violating the sanctity of the mausoleum.

He was however, released on bail hours later.

At the presser, Maryam Nawaz further said that the federal government was trying to give the impression that the Sindh government was behind the arrest, “but Bilawal (Bhutto-Zardari) had called me and he was very angry”.

“Sindh Chief Minister also called me and said that he never expected that something like this would happen with me.

“I never thought even for a moment that PPP was behind this… They (PTI) thought they can drive a wedge between PDM — we know things like this would happen, we are ready as well,” she added.

The PML-N Vice President also claimed that Safdar had been “receiving death threats for some time now”, which are “coming from a very high level”.

“If they believe threats could coerce Nawaz Sharif or Maryam Nawaz into silence; if they believe this could create rifts in the PDM or undermine its unity, then they are mistaken.”