Will the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted by the Punjab government to dig out facts of the assassination attempt on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman be able to investigate the high-profile case?
Official sources in the IG office said that after Inspector General Police Faisal Shahkar went on two weeks’ leave, the real strength of the team faded away. They said that IG Shahkar could not face the pressure from different quarters after the attack on PTI’s long march in Wazirabad. “The IGP should have faced the tough political scenario instead of going on leave to perform Umrah,” said a senior official. He said that Shahkar was proved a weak officer. He said that in the absence of a regular provincial police chief the JIT may have low morale and poor strength to probe the high profile case.
Earlier, during the floods, Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal had gone on leave leaving the administration in the lurch. He didn’t join the office after his leave was over. The Punjab government had to post a grade 21 officer as a stop-gap arrangement as civil administration chief. The Punjab government Friday changed the joint investigation team (JIT) head to probe the assassination attempt on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan. Instead of DIG (Establishment-II), CPO Lahore, Tariq Rustam Chohan DIG (Establishment-II), Regional Police Officer (RPO) Dera Ghazi Khan Syed Khurram Ali will head the team.
The JITs that have been formed to date, except the one to probe the Panama Leaks; could not achieve their goals whether it is the case of Model Town murders, Sahiwal’s deaths, or Murree killings. In some cases, substantial results have not come out. Although the court removed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif based on the JIT report on the Panama Leaks, however, volume 10 is yet to come out. The high-powered Panama JIT was formed by the country’s highest court.
JIT Sahiwal had said in its report that Counter Terrorism Department SSP Jawad Kamar and DSP Asif Kamal were the culprits who destroyed the crime scene while Khalil and his family were declared innocent. It should be noted that four people were killed in this police shoot. Thus the committee which was constituted to investigate the 23 deaths in the Murree tragedy said in its report that all this was due to administrative negligence. Initially, some officers were suspended, but later all were reinstated.
In the Model Town case, in which 14 people were killed and dozens were injured, three JITs were also constituted. Justice Retired Baqir Najafi Commission also probed and submitted its report. This case was also heard in the Supreme Court, on the order of which a new JIT was formed. But, at first, the report was suppressed, and later it was published on court order. After that, no action could be taken against those responsible rather they were elevated to key positions as a PAT activist Farooq Ahmad alleged.
Commenting on the current JIT, a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said whether the police could investigate powerful agencies whose names could not be included in the FIR despite the top court order. Why Inspector General Faisal Shahkar has gone on leave, he asked and answered himself, saying that Umrah is just a plea; the real problem is to avoid political pressure. He suggested that instead of a JIT, a judicial commission should have been announced which could independently investigate everything in this case.
A joint secretary posted in the Establishment Division said that the senior officers like the CS or IGP should not act like Kamran Ali Afzal and Faisal Shahkar when the province had faced catastrophe. He said that the conduct rules of the superior services didn’t allow such phenomena. He also raised questions on the conduct of the provinces to grant long leave to federal officers. He said that it was prima facie against the rules of business. He said that the province instead of sending officers on long leave should surrender them.