Imran claims JIT members probing Wazirabad attack being 'pressurised'

Differences among JIT members, CCPO emerge as investigation in PTI chief's attack case proceeds


Our Correspondent January 10, 2023
Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he addresses supporters during a rally, in Karachi, Pakistan April 16, 2022. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

LAHORE:

Quoting "media reports", Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former premier Imran Khan on Tuesday claimed that members of the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Wazirabad attack on him were being "pressurised" to distance themselves from the findings of the probe.

The former prime minister had sustained a bullet wound to his leg on November 3 after an armed attack on his container, as he led the PTI’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi March’ in Wazirabad.

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

Read PTI defers Punjab Assembly dissolution until LHC decision

Breaking his silence in a video address after the attack, the PTI chairman had alleged that three people – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior military officer, were behind the botched assassination attempt on his life.

Earlier this month, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry had claimed that the JIT constituted to investigate the November 3 attack on Imran had found that there was a planned attempt to assassinate him.

Sharing the findings of the JIT, Fawad had said that by reducing the number of police personnel in Gujarat, an opportunity was provided for the attack and subsequently an assassination attempt was made on Imran.

“The revelations made in the JIT report will be made public soon," the senior party leader had said, while speaking to the media. “A well-thought-out narrative was chalked out to give the assassination attempt the cover of religiously-motivated crime,” he had added.

Previously, however, contrary to PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan’s claim, the JIT had found no evidence of a second attacker.

Last week, the forensic report of the attack had revealed that Imran was hit by three bullet fragments and a metal piece in the attack.

Read More Imran responsible for economic crisis, Sanaullah hits back at PTI chief

Meanwhile, the alleged attacker's lawyer has claimed that the assassination attempt on the ousted premier was in fact a “self-scripted drama” and a “lie”.

“The JIT was formed before the FIR was even filed,” the lawyer had criticised, claiming that “the Chief Minister [Punjab] had made Ghulam Mehmood Dogar the head of the investigation as per Imran Khan’s wishes”.

He had also alleged that the JIT was “not making evidence a part of the record” and that “the video of Moazzam Gondal being shot is not part of the record” while “attempts were made to remove the police official’s statements”.

“The purpose of the JIT is to protect Imran and his guard,” he had claimed, “if they would conduct a proper investigation, Imran’s guard would turn out to be the killer”.

In a turn of events today however, the PTI chief alleged that the "JIT members [are] being pressurised to distance themselves from the findings" of the investigation.

Imran considered this to be further proof of his "conviction that powerful quarters were behind the assassination attempt".

Differences in JIT

The Interior Ministry and the Punjab inspector general police were informed today of the differences emerging in the JIT team.

According to the Express News, the four members of the investigating team and CCPO Lahore have disagreements over the probe.

Also Read Imran alleges ‘Taseer-style assassination’ plot

Sources said that the CCPO has handed over the investigation to an anti-corruption officer, Anwar Shah, who is overseeing the questioning of the accused, while the JIT members are not being permitted to investigate him.

RO CTD Lahore Naseeb Ulllah Khan, RPO DG Khan Syed Khurram Ali, AIG Monitoring Punjab Ihsan Ullah Chohan and SP Potohar Division Malik Tariq Mehboob are among the dissenting JIT members

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