Pakistan

Faiz Hamid made deal with TLP before seeking PM's nod: Ahsan Iqbal

Then-interior minister tells probe commission that then-premier Abbasi objected after seeing agreement

Azaz Syed
April 18, 2024

Ahsan Iqbal — the federal minister for planning, development and special initiatives — has revealed that the deal with theTehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) was finalised before it was shown to then-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

According to the minister's statement,former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) director general Lieutenant General (retd) Faiz Hamid had made the pact with the protesting party before seeking then-premier's nod.

The minister made this revelation before the Faizabad sit-in inquiry commission, constituted on the Supreme Court's orders following the case pertaining to the 2017 sit-in protest at Faizabad led by former TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

Iqbal, in the report publicised by the inquiry commission, added that former PM Abbasi had objected to the agreement after he saw it and also did not agree with the promise regarding then-law minister Zahid Hamid's resignation.

The then-premier also objected toHamid's name in the contract with TLP. At the time, Hamid was heading ISI's counter intelligence wing and held the rank of a major general.

However, the prime minister was told that the agreement has been finalised, signed and cannot be withdrawn,Iqbal said, apprising the commission.

In his statement to the commission, former interior secretary Arshad Mirza said he,when he was called to the PM Secretariat, witnessed tension between Abbasi and then-Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The Punjab CM was in favour of Hamid’s resignation as per the agreement, while Abbasi opposed it. The former secretary said the tension between the PM and Punjab CM escalated to such an extent that he felt awkward and left the room.

The commission's report also contained the minutes of a meeting chaired by Abbasi on November 22, 2017, in which the civil and military leadership discussed the demand for the minister’s resignation and decided that such resignation should not come because whatever amendment was made to the law, it was made by the parliamentary committee, not the law minister.

The meeting agreed that the resignation could not be defended. According to sources, Hamid acted in violation of his authority in the entire deal.

Former defence secretary Lt-Gen Ikram ul Haq (retd) told the commission that in the absence of solid evidence, it was not possible to act against any service member on charge of involvement in politics, organising the sit-in or influencing the 2018 election results.

The former secretary stated before the commission the ministry complied with the SC’s orders and had written to the three services chiefs to proceed against those officials of the forces who were involved in politics in violation of their oath, adding the apex court’s order did not specifically point out any official with proof.

He told the commission an appeal had been filed with the apex court against certain observations in its decision. He was responding to the commission’s query as to what action had been taken against the defence officials or sections involved in politics or support to a political party to comply with the apex court’s instructions.

Headed by a retired senior police officer Akhtar Ali Shah, the three-member Faizabad Dharna Commission comprised former Islamabad inspector general of police (IGP) Tahir Alam and additional secretary of interior ministry Khushal Khan.

Ikram stated that no specific task was assigned to the Defence Ministry in the Faizabad sit-in, adding a detailed report had been submitted by the ISI in the suo motu case in compliance with the instructions of the Supreme Court.

The former defence secretary stated the ISI facilitated the talks with the TLP on the instructions of the government, adding the then-ISI DGC Hamid did not violate any law or SOP. Due to negotiations, the protestors ended the sit-in, Ikram added.


Advertisement