Delayed FIR.

THE registration of an FIR regarding the attempted assassination of former prime minister Imran Khan should not have been such a complicated matter. There should have been no need for the chief justice to intervene and issue an ultimatum to the IG Punjab. Yet, that is exactly where things stood till late Monday night, when, according to reports, the complaint was expected to be registered under pressure of the Supreme Court's deadline.

Mr Khan's insistence on the nomination of a senior intelligence official had become a major stumbling block. The PTI chief had complained that Punjab Police were refusing to register his complaint, even though the inspector general later told the chief justice on Monday that it was, in fact, the PTI's allies in the provincial government that had been creating hurdles. Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi's relationship with Mr Khan must have undergone some major turbulence as he tried to convince the latter to reconsider.

Nothing in the law prohibits armed forces officials from being nominated in an FIR, yet someone did not want to see it happen. The move was resisted even though an investigation may well have exonerated the officer completely and proven Mr Khan wrong.

Due to the inordinate delay, the deadlock raised questions regarding institutional exceptionalism: what entitled an armed forces officer to be treated differently when there were no objections to the names of the prime minister and interior minister in the same complaint?

Meanwhile, the delay also gave the PTI another opportunity to push the narrative that it was being victimised. It accused powerful quarters of using...

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