ISLAMABAD: The multidisciplinary investigation into the killing of the former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, has established that the self-confessed killer had some links with sectarian organisations.
According to its findings, former SSP of Rawalpindi’s Special Branch Nasir Khan Durrani had described Qadri and 11 other Punjab police personnel as being security risk and unfit for VIP duty in 2004, The Express Tribune learnt on Sunday.
The basis for such a declaration was their alleged links to various sectarian organisations and their ‘proven’ radical religious inclinations. However, Qadri has so far denied having any such links.
Durrani is currently posted in Lahore as an additional inspector-general of police and heading a three-member inquiry team constituted by the chief minister of Punjab. The team was mandated to inquire into the security detail provided to the governor and Qadri’s deployment in the security squad.
Sources said the new inquiry committee, which is to present its report to the chief minister, had also concluded that Qadri had manipulated to secure a place in the governor’s security detail which allegedly amounted to ‘negligence’ on the part of officers responsible for VIP security.
Qadri was the only individual who, without a review of his file, was selected for a nine-month commando training after which he was inducted in the elite force meant for VIP security, sources quoted the report as saying. Officials said officers concerned, if found involved in such illegality, might face suspension and further investigation.
In Islamabad, a joint investigation team (JIT) is trying to locate a religious cleric suspected of directly influencing Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri to murder
Qadri, who is reported to have told the investigators that this cleric from Rawalpindi, was his “mentor”, insists that the decision to kill the former Punjab governor was solely his own.
However, police suspects Qadri was provided a complete set of plans to carry out the assassination.
Two other suspects were also being questioned to determine the nature of their links with Qadri. One of them, who worked in the prime minister’s security detail, was frequently in touch with Qadri.
The JIT was likely to submit another report to the interior ministry on Monday before producing the self-confessed assassin before an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday.
Sources said the JIT had taken all officials in the governor’s security detail to the crime scene on Sunday where they were asked to re-enact the incident.
‘The exercise was planned to see the…accuracy of their statements,” said a police official close to the investigations.
The in-charge of the security detail, Inspector Amir, and Sub-Inspector Nadeem along with over half a dozen personnel of Elite Force are still in police custody.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2011.