KARACHI: The news of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Captain (retd) Safdar Awan’s arrest drew mixed reactions on social media.
Some people were overwhelmed by the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) timely action and took jibes at the PML-N leader. Whereas, others including many PML-N supporters poured in love for the son-in-law of former PM Nawaz Sharif.
Maryam Nawaz’s husband was arrested in light of the accountability court’s judgment in Avenfield reference, but not before a long cat and mouse chase between him and the NAB team, which finally arrested Safdar after he finished addressing his supporters in Rawalpindi earlier on Sunday.
The PML-N supporters on Twitter expressed displeasure as the protest rally was not covered prominently by the mainstream media.
The most circulated video clip on Twitter during the whole episode was Safdar addressing the rally and declaring that he is a political prisoner, who is going to jail for protecting the finality of Prophethood (PBUH).
Political prisoner Captain Safdar explains real reason for his conviction pic.twitter.com/kICZC89yam
— Fasi Zaka (@fasi_zaka) July 8, 2018
The official account of PML-N even tweeted this clip but later deleted it as that was not the actual reason for Safdar to go to jail as per the accountability court judgement.
However, a twitter user was able to screenshot it beforehand.
PMLN deleted the tweet after realizing that Captain Safdar is not getting arrested for 'Namoos-e-Risalat' but for signing forged documents as witness. CUTE! pic.twitter.com/scdM8ArYw6
— SIR .. (@SirJohnRoe) July 8, 2018
The massive public support for Maryam’s husband caught many by surprise on social media.
Amazing support got captain Safdar in pindi today but nawaz Sharif lovers but media was told to run fake news to demoralise supporters of nawaz Sharif. Stay strong and carry on PMLN voters. Let’s work harder for a strong democratic Pakistan under the leadership of nawaz Sharif pic.twitter.com/NmeXJ86bn5
— Rabia Baluch (@RabiaBaluch) July 8, 2018
— Sidrah Memon (@SidrahMemon1) July 8, 2018
A user termed Safdar’s stance as ‘shameless’ for portraying himself as a ‘martyr’.
— Seema Sirhindi (@SeemaSirhindi) July 8, 2018
Another one questioned whether Safdar would still be arrested if he was a retired army general and not a captain.
If Captain Safdar were General Safdar would this be happening?
Question of the day re #GE2018
— Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi (@Ali_Abbas_Zaidi) July 8, 2018
Social media users also shared a laugh when spotted Shehbaz Sharif tweeting about Pakistan’s win over Australia amid Safdar’s arrest.
LMAO. While Captain Safdar was getting arrested, Shahbaz Sharif was tweeting about cricket.
Reminds me of Sachin how he was tweeting about Tennis the day Pakistan beat India in Champions trophy finals. https://t.co/RKH0yGtLIP
— Farrukh Abbas (@Farrukh_Abbas12) July 8, 2018
One user even criticised the Avenfield verdict for awarding only one-year jail term to Safdar due to his former association with the country’s military.
"My husband, Safdar, is an Ex Army Captain. Thats why he was sentenced to only 1 year jail and not even fined." Maryam Nawaz#AvenfieldReference
— Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) July 6, 2018
A PML-N supporter also hinted at imagining the crowd that would surround Nawaz Sharif when he lands.
Thousands out on Pindi Roads along with Captain Safdar .. Unprecedented .. While Coward and sold out Media don't have the courage to show the visuals .. Just imagine Mian Sb landing in Lahore?
— Faisal Ranjha (@ranjha001) July 8, 2018
If this crowd in this heat and humidity is for Safdar, imagine the ocean of people that will turn out for Sharif & Maryam pic.twitter.com/DRWOG0Fk1l
— Gul Bukhari (@GulBukhari) July 8, 2018
Two high-ranking NAB officials accompanied Safdar in his vehicle surrounded by thousands of party supporters
Legal experts predict that if convicted do not return in the next ten days, obtaining relief will be difficult
Court declares Maryam 'ultimate beneficial owner' of Avenfield apartments