KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistani authorities detained the son-in-law of this country’s exiled former Nawaz Sharif on Monday after he led a crowd in chanting from the army in the grave of the nation’s founder.
Police arrested Safdar in a Karachi hotel room where he had been staying with his wife Maryam Nawaz, who dealt with a sizable anti-government rally Sunday.
Safdar on Sunday had seen the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who headed the independence movement to receive another homeland from Britain in 1947 when combined India was split into two states: India and Pakistan. Jinnah remains a respected figure in Muslim-majority Pakistan, together with his grave frequently drawing leaders and politicians.
While in the grave, Safdar headed a crowd in chanting: “Give respect to the vote” That slogan is seen in Pakistan as a portion of the nation’s army, which dominated that the country of 220 million people — directly or indirectly — for the majority of its foundation.
Chanting political slogans in Jinnah’s tomb is broadly considered taboo. Police say they arrested Safdar, himself a part of the Pakistan Muslim League party, after getting a complaint from a citizen alleging that he had been harassed.
The 70-year-old Sharif that has experienced a long uncomfortable relationship with the army, served as Pakistan’s prime minister three times. Sharif was staying in London since November after being permitted to get medical treatment overseas.
Several opposition leaders have faced criminal charges lately as coordinated resistance to Khan, a former cricketer, develops.