Deputy Chairman Senate trying to influence Islamabad Police?

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News Desk |

Islamabad – Sources in Islamabad police and administration have revealed to GVS that Saleem Mandiwala, Deputy Chairman Senate, and an important leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, (PPP) close to Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, Chairman PPP, has written a letter to Islamabad administration taking a strong exception to the registration of FIR against PPP Senator, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar.

Islamabad police had registered a FIR, on 20th March, against Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar when he lead a rowdy group of PPP workers who tried storming the building of National Accountability (NAB) on 20th March when Bilawal Zardari and his father, Asif Ali Zardari, ex-President were set to appear before NAB for questioning related to corruption cases against them.

Senator Mustafa Nawaz Attacked a Police Officer

PPP workers, lead by Mustafa Nawaz, clashed with police contingent that was deputed there, as per the request of Chairman NAB, to protect the accused and the NAB buildings and a video became viral on Pakistani media, and on social media worldwide, in which Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokar was seen attacking a police officer in uniform and banging him against a TV channel’s van. In addition to several policemen, a TV cameraman was also injured in this scuffle.

Police sources maintain that if this behavior of the young senator, of attacking uniformed police officers, is condoned then the whole structure of law will collapse. Next court hearing, in this case, is on 27th March.

Islamabad police registered a FIR on 20th March, 2019 against Mustafa Nawaz under sections 186, 353, 147, 149, 188, 341 and 109 Pakistan Penal Code. However, Mustafa Nawaz took a pre-arrest bail from a local court. Matter is pending before the court where police is expected to take a strong position. Police officials argue that Senator Mustafa Nawaz has clearly done a cognizable offense by beating a uniformed police officer that attracts Sec. 154, Criminal Procedure Code of Pakistan and has no immunity for being a Senator.

FIR Needs Permission of Chairman Senate? 

Saleem Mandviwala, Deputy Chairman Senate, in his letter of 22nd March had argued that he has been informed by Senator Mustafa Nawaz that a FIR has been registered against him without intimation to the Chairman Senate which is a violation of the Senate Rules. It’s not clear if Senator Mandviwalla seems to argue that police cannot register a FIR against a Senator unless it has been approved by the Chairman Senate or a mere intimation is needed, because apparently, Islamabad police did inform the  Chairman Senate that a FIR is being registered against Senator Mustafa Nawaz.

Read more: PPP workers clash with police as Bilawal, Zardari arrive at NAB…

However police sources point out to GVS, that under Senate Rules of Procedure & Conduct, 2012, (Rule: 79) a magistrate is only bound to inform the Chairman Senate if a senator is arrested from its precincts or Senate is in session and nothing in the rules prevents police from arresting a Senator if he commits a cognizable offense. Police sources argue that under Article 8 of the Constitution of Pakistan all citizens are equal before law and if senators start enjoying immunity as is being claimed by Dy. Chairman Senate then the whole super structure of law will collapse.

Sources argue that an ordinary citizen of Pakistan who attacks a police officer, in uniform, will often find it difficult to obtain a pre-arrest bail or police may register a case under Anti-Terrorism laws. But influential people and politically connected people often end up finding loops in all laws of Pakistan.

Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokar is a barrister of law, considered an expert in human rights and is a spokesman for Bilawal Zardari Bhutto. He comes from an influential family invested in real estate business in Islamabad and frequently appears on media as a political commentator and is considered part of the next generation of educated PPP leadership.

Read more: Bilawal’s ‘objectionable’ remarks draw public flak

But according to unconfirmed News media reports after the incident and registration of FIR, he did not show any remorse but declared that “these constitute medals for him”. Police sources maintain that if this behavior of the young senator, of attacking uniformed police officers, is condoned then the whole structure of law will collapse. Next court hearing, in this case, is on 27th March. It remains to be seen if court confirms bail or let police arrest the influential senator.