Prominent Fashion Designer Khadija Shah in Custody for Attack on Jinnah House
Fashion designer Khadija Shah, a known supporter of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has been taken into custody in connection with the attack on Jinnah House in Lahore. The incident occurred on May 9 during the widespread protests that erupted following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Punjab police confirmed that Shah, the prime suspect in the Lahore Corps Commander House attack, has been apprehended.
The violent protests that unfolded on May 9, termed a “Black Day” by the government and military, resulted in the ransacking of several military installations, including the Corps Commander House in Lahore. The military has vowed to take stern action against all involved in the violence, pledging to bring the instigators, planners, and abettors to justice.
Investigators identified numerous PTI supporters and workers allegedly implicated in the attack on Jinnah House. Among the accused individuals, Khadija Shah, a prominent fashion designer in the country, was named as one of the key figures involved. Shah had been hiding since the authorities initiated a crackdown to apprehend those responsible for vandalizing public and military properties following Imran Khan’s arrest on corruption charges.
Khadija Shah, who claims to be a PTI supporter, decided to surrender to the authorities after her house was raided, and her family members, including her husband, were taken into custody. Shah managed to evade capture by escaping through the backdoor during the police operation.
In an audio message lasting over 16 minutes, Shah acknowledged being a PTI supporter and participating in the protest outside the Lahore Corps Commander House. However, she vehemently denied involvement in inciting violence or wrongdoing. Shah expressed her decision to surrender to the police, citing her family’s difficult circumstances, alleging mistreatment and torture by the authorities during their raid.
While admitting her participation in various PTI protests over the past year, Shah emphasized that she had not violated any laws or the country’s constitution. She also revealed that she held dual citizenship and had sought assistance from the embassy without providing further details on the matter.
Addressing her role in the attack on Jinnah House, Shah stated that she joined the PTI procession at Liberty Chowk in Lahore to protest against the arrest of the former prime minister. She claimed to have tried to dissuade the protesters from ransacking the building but found it challenging as the crowd grew. Shah denied crossing the barricade of Jinnah House or inciting violence. However, she admitted to posting videos of the incident on Twitter to expose the situation due to a media blackout.
In a surprising turn, Shah apologised to the army for her behaviour, acknowledging that she had tweeted inappropriately against the military leadership in a moment of anger and emotion. She clarified that those tweets have since been deleted. Furthermore, Shah expressed her deep respect for the army, stating that she considers herself more of an army person than a civilian.
Government sources have affirmed that there will be no discrimination based on individuals’ army background, emphasizing that all those responsible for the May 9 vandalism will be brought to justice. The arrest of Khadija Shah marks another significant development in the ongoing investigation into the attack on Jinnah House and related acts of violence during the protests following Imran Khan’s arrest.