Sunday Sep 08, 2019
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar's spokesperson, Dr Shahbaz Gill, on Sunday labelled Constable Faiza Nawaz as "emotional" and touted "misinformation" and "provocation" pertaining to the case in an attack on media.
Dr Shahbaz Gill was speaking to Geo News about how Ahmed Mukhtar Advocate, a lawyer intoxicated on power had violently slapped Constable Faiza Nawaz in public but the court approved his release on bail.
Terming it a "saddening incident", the Punjab CM's spokesperson said what Mukhtar did was despicable but that the media had "spread misinformation by saying the reason behind the approval of the sexist lawyer's bail was the minor mistake of an error in name" in the first information report (FIR).
"This is wrong. Mukhtar's name is mentioned in the FIR in four places and only one of the four was wrongly typed … a spelling mistake. The court approved the bail not because of the mistake in the name.
"Why it did so? We don’t know. I can’t say or interfere in this matter but the state completed its responsibility," Dr Gill said.
It is noteworthy here that the local court judge, who heard the case, released the suspect as his name was written as Ahmed Iftikhar, instead of his real name, Ahmed Mukhtar, in the FIR.
When informed that Constable Faiza had said she was disappointed by her colleagues — in the police department as well — the Punjab CM spokesperson said: "I disagree with her! You tell me, what could have been done in this case?
"Police can only arrest and present in court," he added.
When told of how it was concerning, on the other hand, that the charge of a non-bailable offence — such as Section 354 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPP) that deals with assault or criminal force to any woman to insult her humiliate her — was not included in the FIR, Dr Gill said: "Your concern is wrong, your question mark is wrong!
"It was not a non-bailable offence so you wish to have a fake FIR registered? Do you want an additional offence? Do you want the police to misuse their authority?
The Punjab CM spokesperson then blamed the public and the media, saying: "We provoke the situation. People and media and everyone provokes the situation. This was a bailable offence. This can’t be decided on a TV channel.
"It is not possible to add charges of firing or stabbing to the FIR just because someone just hit her once. That’d be wrong," he added, asserting that the Punjab government stood with Constable Faiza.
Dr Gill, however, was also unable to answer a question put forth by Geo News' director of news, Rana Jawad, who asked if the spokesperson had read the FIR or gone through the sections and charges added in it.
Dr Gill said: "I spoke to the DPO [district police officer] in detail and he told me she [Constable Faiza Nawaz] was hit and the sections that could be added to the FIR were added.
The spokesperson then sidetracked, instead, speaking about the misuse of police authority.
"Do you know that the police was accused as to why this police officer [Constable Faiza] was given the chain? The DPO misused his authority. This lady just wants the lawyer to remain behind the bars but that’s for the court, not police, to decide," he said.
Dr Gill also supported the Sheikhupura DPO's offer to the lawyer community of dropping the case if they were able to present any video evidence showing Mukhtar did not hit the woman constable.
"The court has the prerogative. It approved the bail and we need to respect it. I, as a representative of the government, cannot say anything against a court's decision," he added.
However, he further went on to say Constable Faiza was "emotional and acting emotionally" but that "I understand why she's emotional".