Thursday, November 17, 2022
LAHORE: The Punjab government has brushed aside the federal government’s concerns over the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to investigate the attack on PTI Chairman Imran Khan and several others during the party's long march in Wazirabad, The News reported.
Punjab Home Adviser Omar Sarfraz Cheema said Wednesday that the JIT has been formed by the provincial government in line with the Constitution and law, and it was not necessary to include a representative of any federal agency.
His response came the same day after the federal government wrote a letter to Punjab raising an objection over the JIT reconstituted — for the third time — to probe the attempted assassination of Khan — that took place on November 3 — in Wazirabad.
Sharing its reservations in its letter, the Ministry of Interior wrote that all JIT members belong to the Punjab Police, while it also objected to the absence of representatives of any other investigation or intelligence agency.
In the letter, the Centre suggested Punjab add representatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau.
“It will be better if the Punjab government can add representatives of federal agencies in the JIT,” the letter read.
The letter further stated that Punjab has appointed Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar as the JIT’s head, even though he has been suspended by the Establishment Division.
“Ghulam Mehmood Dogar has received temporary relief from the Federal Services Tribunal. A transparent investigation will be impossible by appointing such an officer as JIT head,” the interior ministry’s letter read.
Dogar — the cop who remains at the centre of the federal and provincial government’s feud — was suspended by the federal government as CCPO Lahore with immediate effect on November 5. He challenged the decision in the Lahore High Court which rejected his plea; however, the Federal Services Tribunal declared Dogar’s suspension “against the law”.
The Punjab government has appointed CCPO Dogar as the JIT convener, while all members of the team are members of the provincial police. This was the third time that the JIT was reconstituted, while its head was changed for the second time.