Jinnah House attack: Designer Khadija Shah says she is surrendering to police

LAHORE, May 23: In an audio clip doing the rounds on social media on Sunday, designer Khadija Shah has announced that she is turning herself in to the police as law enforcers tighten their noose around suspects involved in the vandalism across the country following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9.

The renowned designer, who is the daughter of former finance minister Salman Shah and leads the fashion label Elan, is said to be one of several suspects in the attack on the Jinnah House, being used as the residence of the Lahore Corps Commander.

In the audio recording, Khadija can be heard announcing her intention to surrender to the police for the false charges being levelled against her.

Khadija explained her decision in the clip, citing the immense hardship she has faced over the past five days and expressing her inability to endure the situation any further.

She mentioned that the actions taken against her family are unbearable. “They invaded my house during midnight and abducted my father, brother, and husband,” she said.

The designer claimed that her father, a diabetic patient, and brother are currently held in jail, adding that the authorities were also want to detain her sister and sister-in-law as well.

The fashion designer, who is also the daughter-in-law of former Chief of Army Staff Gen (retd) Asif Nawaz Janjua, expressed that she would never want her family to go through such experiences because of her. “I have not committed any crime and I am a Pakistani who believes in democracy and the Constitution.”

According to police sources, Shah is a prime suspect in the attack on Jinnah House. Upon the arrival of the police during an earlier raid, Shah exited the premises through the rear gate, which was captured by CCTV as well.

The audio clip and reports of the designer’s arrest was ahot topic on Twitter on Sunday, with several people posting video clips earlier shared by the designer in which she could be seen with other protesters near Jinnah House in Lahore.

The designer’s own social media accounts now appear to have been deactivated.

It was unclear whether Khadija Shah has been taken into police custody as yet. Police officials declined from either confirming or rejecting reports of the designer’s arrest.

In an unprecedented show of vandalism, PTI supporters had attacked and caused damage to many public and private properties including the historic Corps’ Commander’s House — originally known as Jinnah House and which once served as the residence of the founding father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah – in Lahore following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan on May 9 — the day the Pakistan Army now terms as a “Black Day”.

Pictures and videos from the historic building showed that all the rooms, halls, drawing rooms, living rooms, walls, curtains, doors, wooden ceilings, and even the floor had been burnt by the protestors.

The 130-year-old building of the Military Engineering Services, a few furlongs away from Corps’ Commander House, was also set on fire, where valuable records, furniture, and vehicles were set ablaze.

In the aftermath of widespread rioting and protests following Imran’s arrest, several party leaders including Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Shireen Mazari, Maleeka Bukhari, and Fayyazul Hassan Chauhan were taken into custody.

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