Punjab police forward names for PTI march attack JIT

Imran dissatisfied with FIR, says his lawyers will present his stance in court

Nouman Sheikh November 09, 2022
PTI's long march. Photo: Facebook/PTI


The Punjab police have sent three names to the interior ministry for the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe into the attack on the PTI’s “Haqeeqi Azadi March” on November 3, wherein party chief and deposed premier Imran Khan suffered bullet wounds in his leg.

Additional IG Riaz Nazir Gara has been proposed to head the JIT chief, while the other officials are Punjab DIG Investigation Nasir Satti and Additional IG Monitoring Ehsanul Haque Chauhan.

The Punjab home department will issue a notification for this purpose after including the names of intelligence officials in the body.

Separately, a notification has been issued by anti-terrorism court (ATC) chief Khurram Khan, stating that a three-member special prosecution team had been formed to assist in the investigation of the case.

The committee comprises Punjab Deputy Prosecutor General Hafiz Asghar Ali, and Gujranwala ATC Deputy District Public Prosecutors Rana Sultan Salahuddin Khan and Zahid Sarfraz Khan.

“The committee will give [a] line of inquiry to the investigating officer/JIT, provide guidance for collection of proper admissible evidence and conduct the remand of the accused before the anti-terrorism court,” the notification stated.

It added that the panel would also conduct the prosecution on behalf of the State before the court.

However, the PTI chief said his lawyers would give his position on the “farcical” FIR registered against the Wazirabad attack before the courts.

Zubair Niazi, a relative of Imran  and general secretary of the PTI Lahore chapter, had lodged a complaint before the relevant SHO to register the FIR against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer named by Imran as suspects in the failed assassination attempt.

However, the FIR has been registered on the complaint of a sub-inspector police and the three top officials cited by the PTI chief have not been nominated in the case.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry expressed his disappointment over the FIR.

He tweeted that Imran had directed his lawyers to approach the courts for the registration of a new FIR of the Wazirabad attack.

The former federal information minister also accused the inspector general of Punjab and the deputy police officer of Gujrat of “wasting evidence” in the case.

He complained about there being “no rule of law”, and “powerful groups holding the country’s political and judicial system hostage”.

Read PTI supporters block roads in new protest

Further criticising the political system in place in the country, Fawad added that when Indian PM Narendra Modi said he did not understand who to talk to in Pakistan, “we have no answer”.

He said the Pakistan Army was a national power.

“However, the people are now an organised force under the leadership of Imran Khan,” he maintained.

He said justice would be sought in the cases of journalist Arshad Sharif, PTI Senator Azam Swati and the Wazirabad attack.

In a tweet, PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood also expressed dissatisfaction over the FIR not being registered “as per the demand of the complainant”.

He claimed that this was a “complete distortion of law”, adding that it was “unacceptable”. The former education minister urged the Supreme Court to take notice of it.

“By this one act our entire legal framework has been turned upside down,” Mahmood wrote.

Regional police chief Akhtar Abbas told Reuters a criminal investigation had been launched, without elaborating.

A copy of the police report lodged by Wazirabad police and seen by Reuters said a man in the crowd near Imran had taken out a pistol and started shooting, wounding the former premier and 10 other people, one of whom later died.

The police said the suspected shooter was arrested after PTI supporter Ibtesam Hasan overpowered him and threw off his aim, possibly saving the ex-premier from more serious gunshot wounds.

Hasan has in several local media interviews said the suspect detained by the police was the shooter he had tackled.

Imran, who has said two shooters had tried to kill him, and his aides have said they would not accept the case registered by the police it until it included the suspects named by him. “We will file a petition,” Fawad told Reuters, saying the party would want a court to decide on the names given by the former premier.

(With input from Reuters)


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