Lahore's top cop given charge of Wazirabad investigation.

LAHORE -- Confusion appears to be the order of the day for the Punjab government after it reconstituted for a fourth time the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe into the assassination bid on former prime minister Imran Khan in Wazirabad.

On Tuesday, the provincial government appointed Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar as the team's head. Interestingly, the officer is currently in the midst of a tussle between Punjab and the Centre, as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had suspended him on Nov 5 for allegedly not complying with transfer orders issued by the Establishment Division, Islamabad, while Mr Dogar refuses to relinquish the charge of his office.

Since a first information report (FIR) of the Wazirabad incident was registered, members of the investigation team have been repeatedly replaced, purportedly owing to a lack of consensus between the PML-Q and PTI - the ruling allies in Punjab.

Police experts call these frequent changes a violation of Article 18(6) of the Police Order 2002, saying the rules clearly define the procedure for changing an investigation team and the government's actions could be challenged in court.

Sources said Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi had appointed the Lahore CCPO as head of the JIT on the recommendations of the PTI leadership, which wanted to 'fix' all the three top government and military officers that Imran Khan had nominated in his complaint following the attempt on his life.

The PTI chief had nominated PM Shehbaz, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and senior army officer Maj-Gen Faisal Naseer. However, Wazirabad police registered an FIR on the complaint of one of its officials on Nov 7, nominating the sole armed suspect already arrested from the crime scene.

Since losing the battle to have an FIR of its choice lodged, a senior official said police circles believed the PTI leadership had been making efforts to 'take matters in its hands' through its influence on the Punjab government and getting the case investigated by 'favourable' police officers. But it had yet to reach a consensus with its ally, the PML-Q, which was evident from the fact that the provincial government had changed the heads and members of the JIT four times so far.

On Nov 8, a day after registration of the FIR on Supreme Court orders, the Punjab police had constituted the JIT, recommending Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Riaz Nazir Gara as its head, and sending a summary to the provincial...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT