Opposition grills govt for ‘concocting’ Zeeshan’s link to banned outfit

Expresses displeasure over absence of Punjab CM in PA

Rana Yasif January 25, 2019

LAHORE: The opposition in Punjab Assembly grilled the government over the credibility of in-camera briefing on Sahiwal incident and also questioned the absence of Punjab chief minister in the house at a time when the whole nation was looking for justice for the minors whose parents were killed in an ‘intelligence-based operation’.

Sources revealed that the opposition lawmakers put several questions over the ‘pieces of pieces of evidence’ displayed on a projector in the house to establish the nexus of Zeeshan with a banned outfit. It irked a woman lawmaker from the opposition who asked whether or not a picture, the text and voice messages were sent for forensic examination. At this, Additional Chief Secretary Fazeel Asghar replied it was the job of the Joint Investigation Team. The lawmaker was annoyed over the answer and said if it was the job of the JIT then why the lawmakers were here to scrutinise the ‘evidence’ which had not been even examined by the forensic team.

A voice message of Zeeshan, in which he was talking to a man of a banned outfit, was also played in the house. The voice was faint and to great extent inaudible. Shedding light over the picture, the woman MPA from the opposition asked how only a person’s picture was enough evidence to establish someone’s link to a banned organisation. However, the additional chief secretary said these were the evidence which were enough to prove Zeeshan’s nexus with the banned outfit.

A PML-N lawmaker also questioned over the credibility of in-camera session asking was it the same information of in-camera briefing which was shared on the same day (Wednesday) despite the speaker’s ruling for not sharing anywhere before revealing it in the House. He was told that the same information was being shared.

Another PML-N MPA raised a question over how the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) could successfully chase those two suicide bombers who according to the CTD’s version, left Zeeshan’s house after the news of his killing and reached Sheranwala Gate Gujranwala where the CTD killed them. The additional secretary parried the question.

The opposition also questioned the absence of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar asking “is there any more tragic incident than Sahiwal” where people were killed in broad daylight. The opposition said the CM should have been present in the session to express the government’s vision over what it (the government) has done so far.

The opposition lawmakers also expressed their displeasure as they were being given in camera briefing over the most sensitive issue which has jolted the whole nation but the CM did not bother to turn up.

Responding to the opposition’s query, the treasury replied that the CM was called by Prime Minister Imran Khan for a briefing on Sahiwal incident.

A lawmaker from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) boycotted the in-camera briefing. He said it was against the ruling of the speaker that the lawmakers would be given a briefing on the incident before sharing it with anyone else. He also questioned the absence of CM Buzdar and Speaker Ch Pervez Elahi in the house at a time when the lawmakers were being given in camera briefing about the current status of Sahiwal incident.

Talking to media persons, Opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz said the opposition was not satisfied with the briefing and demanded the formation of a judicial commission. He termed the JIT ‘uncalled for’ and demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe this matter.

The in-camera briefing session started at 1:00pm that actually was scheduled to start on 11:00 am. The house was adjourned for Friday (today).



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