Faizabad sit-in: services chiefs asked to penalise personnel

Defence secy tells body he wrote letters to top military officials

Our Correspondent January 11, 2024


In light of the Supreme Court's directives, Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Hamooduz Zaman Khan has sent letters to the three services chiefs to take action against the officers and personnel involved in the case of the 2017 Faizabad sit-in staged by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

In his written statement submitted to a three-member Faizabad sit-in inquiry commission, the defence secretary said he had written letters to the chiefs of army, navy and air force to take action against the officers and personnel involved in the TLP demonstration.

The commission, formed to identify those who planned, financed, and supported the sit-in at Islamabad’s Faizabad around six years back, has already questioned former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ex-chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Absar Alam and former inspector general of police Punjab Arif Nawaz.

The body had also summoned PML-N president and former premier Shehbaz Sharif on January 3 in his capacity as the ex-chief minister of Punjab. However, Shehbaz failed to appear before the commission and asked it to send him a questionnaire pertaining to the inquiry they wanted to conduct.

The inquiry body has to submit its report to the top court on January 22.

It will also recommend legal actions against those who both planned and executed the protest.

Earlier, former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed submitted his written statement to the commission.

While giving his statement, Faiz answered the questions given by the commission, in which he said that he had negotiated with the TLP on the instructions of the government.

Faiz denied the allegations of any conspiracy against the government.

Constituted under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017, the commission is led by Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, a former civil servant, who also served as the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police chief.

It also comprises Tahir Alam Khan, also a former police officer, and Khushal Khan, an additional secretary at the interior ministry.

The TLP, then led by Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, had staged the sit-in in protest against the changes made in the lawmakers’ oath, affirming their belief that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the last messenger of God.

As a result of the protest, the PML-N government had to sack its law minister Zahid Hamid. The Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the sit-in on Nov 21, 2017.


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