The federal interior ministry and Federal Investigation Agency acted against the orders of judicial and executive authorities by registering a criminal case against officials of the Special Branch (Punjab police unit) for releasing a false intelligence memo on a conspiracy to murder former Lahore High Court chief justice Khwaja Sharif.
A 40-page inquiry report by a judicial commission, available with The Express Tribune, fixed responsibility on former chief of SB Col (retd) Ehsanur Rehman, SB Director Shahid Mehmood, Constable Ijaz and Constable Azam, for “collectively conspiring to produce the report knowing it was false and fabricated.”
However, the report only recommended the employment contract of Col Rehman to be immediately terminated and disciplinary action against Mehmood, Ijaz and Azam.
It also recommended disciplinary action against then secretary to the Punjab chief minister Dr Syed Tauqir Shah for releasing the false memo to the media.
According to the report, Secretary Shah acted in haste, displayed immaturity and appeared to have been politicking.
“The competent authority may therefore not post him to a sensitive post and may also consider taking disciplinary action against him,” the report stated.
Furthermore, the principal secretary to the prime minister in a letter to Punjab chief secretary had asked the Punjab government, interior ministry and the FIA not to register a case or start criminal proceedings against those found responsible.
After the completion of the commission report, the Punjab government immediately terminated the contract of Col (retd) Rehman and removed Shah from his post.
Action was also initiated against the other officials as per the recommendations of the commission, sources claimed.
However, contrary to the recommendations of the judicial commission and the prime minister, a criminal case was registered on July 23, 2012, by the FIA through the agency’s section officer Hakim Din, on the directions of the interior minister.
On the other hand, the interior ministry and the FIA have not taken any action against former ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani despite the fact that the commission found Haqqani guilty of writing a controversial memo seeking American intervention in the event of a military coup.
The inquiry report stated that it had been “incontrovertibility established” that the memo to the US military was authentic and written by Haqqani.
Sources in the Punjab government told The Express Tribune that the interior ministry’s move meant that it had adopted a double standard in dealing with the reports of the two commissions – both of which were headed by Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court Justice Qazi Isa.
A Punjab government spokesman pointed out that in light of the commission’s report and the prime minister secretariat’s letter, the Punjab government had already taken action against all the responsible in letter and spirit; so, the interior ministry’s act is considered misconduct.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.