ISLAMABAD: Reacting swiftly to the attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir, the federal government decided on Sunday to form a judicial commission to investigate the matter.

After a meeting with close aides at his Lahore residence, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resolved to have the attempt on Mir’s life investigated at highest level.

The government also announced a reward of Rs10 million for anyone who came forward to provide information that could lead to the capture of the attackers.

An official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said a formal request would be made to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to nominate a three-member judicial commission.

“The competent authority, under Section 3(1) and Section 5(1) of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 1956, has decided to appoint a commission of inquiry to ascertain (the) facts, identify culprits and affix responsibility for the incident of firing and injuring Hamid Mir on April 19 in Karachi, (consisting) of three honourable sitting judges of the Supreme Court, for report within 21 days,” says the draft of the letter the interior secretary has been asked to forward to the SC registrar.

In the letter, the apex court has been requested to nominate “three names of Supreme Court judges to constitute the commission, including one judge who will head the commission”.

The Ministry of Interior will provide secretarial support to the commission. The commission, says the letter, will be duly notified upon receipt of the names of member judges.

An additional registrar of the Supreme Court told Dawn that necessary action would be initiated when the government’s request was received on Monday.

In a video message recorded shortly before the attempt on his life, Mir had reportedly singled out certain Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operatives and said that in case anything were to happen to him, they should be held responsible.

He is said to have shared the apprehensions with his employers and colleagues at the Jang Group as well as close friends and family members.

The last such commission was constituted by the PPP government in June 2011 to investigate the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad.

Shahzad was abducted from Islamabad in May 2011 and his corpse was later discovered in Mandi Bahauddin. Before his death, Shahzad had confided to close friends fears regarding threats to his life from the ISI.

The five-member commission that investigated his death could only come to the conclusion that, “In all likelihood, the motive behind the incident was provided by the writings of Saleem. What is not so clear is the question of who had that motive and actually acted upon it.”

In one of his last stories, Shahzad had reported that Al Qaeda may have ‘infiltrated’ into the Pakistan Army.

The commission’s members included Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, inspectors general of Punjab and Islamabad and Pervaiz Shaukat, then president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.

Opinion

Law & processions
16 Oct 2021

Law & processions

It is up to the police to impose reasonable conditions on a procession.
Is the party over?
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Is the party over?

Many in PTI are concerned how they can hang on till the next elections.
The last fortress
Updated 16 Oct 2021

The last fortress

The state wants to use the social media rules to trample on the right to freedom of speech.
Reopening under Covid
15 Oct 2021

Reopening under Covid

It will be a challenge to deal with all students returning to classrooms and maintaining SOPs.

Editorial

Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...
No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...