Deadlock over FIR lands Imran shooting probe in legal quagmire.

LAHORE -- While investigators caught two more suspects a day after the gun attack on ex-premier Imran Khan, a deadlock over the registration of a case continued following the reported refusal by the PTI chief to withdraw the name of a senior army officer from the complaint, which also carries the names of the prime minister and interior minister.

Reports suggest Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi is caught between 'the devil and the deep blue sea' as Mr Khan, who essentially calls the shots for the ruling coalition in Punjab, continues to insist on nominating the army officer in the FIR.

The matter was also taken up by the Punjab cabinet during its meeting on Friday, which was attended by IGP Faisal Shahkar as well as other senior government officials and the provincial law minister.

An official privy to the developmAent told Dawn the meeting discussed the serious issues pertaining to all the legal aspects of the registration of a case.

He said the huddle also discussed that a further delay in the registration of a case could spoil all efforts to secure evidence and punish the suspects involved in the armed attack on Mr Khan's container in Wazirabad.

A man died, while 14 others, including Mr Khan and PTI leaders, were injured in the incident.

Editorial: Tragedy averted

Sharing the political dimensions of the issue, the source said CM Elahi was against the 'logic' of nominating the senior army officer in the case. The CM and PTI leaders held many meetings on the issue where the former attempted to convince them to drop the name of the army officer, the source added.

'The matter of filing an application with the police was under discussion between the PTI [ruling coalition partner] and the Punjab government,' he said.

He said the police chief conveyed to the government that the FIR had been the first authentic document about the commission of the cognisable of offence to start investigations.

Unfortunately, the investigation process in this respect has come to a grinding halt, despite the detention of three suspects, including the alleged shooter who was caught red-handed on the spot.

At the cabinet meeting, the IGP told other participants that the police had not received any application to register the FIR of an assassination attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan.

Regarding the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT), the Punjab police were of the opinion it would be premature to form a JIT before even lodging the case.


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