Justice Aamer Raza Khan
Justice Aamer Raza Khan

ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday formed a seven-member inquiry committee to ascertain the source who leaked information about a high-level meeting between top military and civilian officials, to Dawn.

Officials told Dawn that the committee headed by retired Justice Aamer Raza Khan had been given 30 days to submit its report. According to its terms of reference, the committee is required to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the alleged leak, determine the interests and motives behind the leak and publication of the story, establish the identity of those responsible and apportion blame.

Other members of the inquiry committee include Establishment Secretary Tahir Shahbaz, Punjab Ombudsman Najam Saeed, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Punjab Director Dr Usman Anwar and one representative each from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The Ministry of Interior will provide secretarial support to the committee, according to a notification issued with the signature of Joint Secretary (Administration) Salman Qayyum Khan.

Justice Aamer Raza Khan is a visiting professor of law at the University of the Punjab and Lahore University of Management Sciences and a senior advocate of the Supreme Court.

He also authored an acclaimed commentary of the Code of Civil Procedure in 1969, which is currently in its 10th edition.

Justice Khan was a judge of the Lahore High Court and relinquished the office after refusing to take the oath under the provisional constitutional order, promulgated by then military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq.

The former judge also served as Punjab advocate general in 1978 and worked as additional attorney general for Pakistan until his elevation to the high court in 1979. He was also elected president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association in 1977.

His name was once proposed by the PML-N-led Punjab government to head the caretaker set-up in the province before the 2013 general election, but the government had to change their pick over reservations from opposition parties.

But the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) on Monday rejected the inquiry committee, noting that such a body should have been formed by the chief justice instead of the prime minister. In a statement, PTI spokesperson Naeemul Haq said the controversy revolved around a high-level that the prime minister himself had chaired.

He called for including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in the investigation. He also referred to reports regarding the affiliation of Justice Khan’s daughter with the Ittefaq Group, suggesting that both the formation of the committee by the prime minister and the selection of Justice Khan were conflicts of interest.

He insisted that the committee should submit its report to the chief justice rather than the prime minister, adding that in case of the latter, they feared it would meet the same fate as the report into the Model Town tragedy.

Published in Dawn November 8th, 2016



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