Centre unhappy with Dogar heading Imran attack JIT

Federal govt expresses lack of confidence in latest formed team


Saqib Virk November 17, 2022
CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The federal government on Wednesday raised its objections over the joint investigation team (JIT) formed by Punjab to probe into the gun attack on PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan’s “Haqeeqi Azadi March” on November 3 in the province’s Wazirabad area.

It expressed its lack of confidence in the JIT headed by Lahore police chief Ghulam Mahmood Dogar.

The interior ministry has written a letter to the Punjab government, telling it to form an “actual” JIT with the inclusion of the representatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

It has also told the Punjab government to include police officials, who were held in high esteem for their performances, in the team.

The ministry complained to the Punjab government that it had formed a five-member JIT with no inclusion of any intelligence official.

It added that it had appointed a controversial figure like Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Dogar, whose suspension had been temporarily put off by the Federal Service Tribunal, as the convener of the JIT.

The letter further read that the people did not have confidence in Dogar, and the Punjab government lacked the capacity to conduct a transparent inquiry into the attack.

A day earlier, the Punjab home department notified Dogar as the head of the JIT formed to investigate the Wazirabad attack in which the PTI chief suffered gun shot wounds to his leg.

According to party leader Asad Umar, doctors had told him that even though Imran was in a stable condition, there were two or three pellets still lodged in his body, especially the bone.

One person had died in the attack, while several members of the PTI chairman’s close circle, including Senator Faisal Javed, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, Ahmad Chattha and Imran Yousaf, were injured.

Earlier this month, a relative of the PTI chairman had moved an application to register an FIR against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer, the three suspects named by Imran behind the botched assassination attempt on his life.

However, the FIR was 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.

Dogar has remained the bone of contention between the PML-N-led federal and PTI-led provincial governments in recent weeks.

The Centre and Punjab government have locked horns after the Establishment Division issued a transfer and then a suspension order of the Lahore CCPO.

However, the Punjab government had asked him not to leave the charge and continue the work as the Lahore police chief.

Later, the FST had put off the transfer and suspension order of Dogar.

It directed the Establishment Division to decide the Lahore police chief’s petition against his transfer order first.

On the same day, the Lahore High Court issued notices to the concerned quarters on seeking a reply in a plea challenging Dogar’s continuity of tenure despite his suspension.

According to the petitioner Safdar Abbas Khan, the Lahore CCPO had continued to hold office despite having been suspended by the federal government.

Dogar on Tuesday paid a visit to the PTI chief’s residence in Zaman Park. Hours later, a notification appointing him the convenor of the JIT was issued.

In the first JIT, DIG Establishment-II Tariq Rustam Chohan was appointed the convenor of the JIT and the members included RPO DG Khan Syed Khurram Ali, AIG Monitoring Punjab Ihsan Ullah Chohan, DPO Vehari Zafar Buzdar and RO CTD Lahore Naseeb Ulllah Khan.

In the JIT notified on November 11, RPO DG Khan Syed Khurram Ali was appointed the convenor. Another change was that of the replacement of DPO Vehari Zafar Buzdar with SP Potohar Division Malik Tariq Mehboob. The other members remained unchanged. The JIT convenor could co-opt for the sixth member of his choice.

Dogar, the newly appointed convenor, can also do the same for the appointment of the sixth member.

In the latest JIT, DIG Rustam Chohan has been dropped.

It is worth mentioning that the JIT has yet to hold its first meeting before starting the Investigation even though two weeks since the attack occurred have passed.

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