Wazirabad JIT gets makeover after ‘hiccup’

Published November 12, 2022
PTI workers and his private bodyguards help Imran Khan out of the container following the attack in Wazirabad, on Thursday.—Aun Jafri
PTI workers and his private bodyguards help Imran Khan out of the container following the attack in Wazirabad, on Thursday.—Aun Jafri

LAHORE: The Punjab government has changed the head and a member of the joint investigation team (JIT) a day after it constituted the body to probe the high-profile case of assassination attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan in Wazirabad.

The government made changes and notified the ‘amended JIT’ on Thursday. It is the second major change as the PTI top guns objected to some names of the police officers proposed by the Punjab police and the provincial government.

The Punjab government has appointed DG Khan Regional Police Officer Syed Khurram Ali Shah as head of the JIT. Mr Khurram has replaced DIG Tariq Rustam Chohan who was the head of the previous JIT proposed by the Parvez Elahi government on Nov 9. Earlier, the DG Khan RPO was one of the five members of the investigation board.

Vehari District Police Officer (DPO) Mohammad Zafar Buzdar, who is said to be a relative of former Pun­jab chief minister Usman Buzdar, has been replaced by Rawalpindi Potohar Div­i­sion SP Malik Tariq Meh­boob. The other members are: Punjab Police Investi­gation Branch AIG Ihsan­ullah Chohan and Counter Terrorism Department SP Naseebullah Khan.

DG Khan RPO replaces head of team formed to probe assassination attempt on Imran

A senior official said the frequent and abrupt chan­ges to the JIT had created a controversy after the Punjab government rejected the names of the police officers in the investigation board to probe the Wazirabad incident.

Editorial: A state of anarchy

He said as the notification (of Nov 9) of the JIT reached the PTI leaders, the provincial government was asked to revisit its composition with suggestion of names of some police officers to consider them for key role on the panel.

The Punjab government removed the name of Zafar Buzdar from the JIT and added SP Malik Tariq Mehboob’s name. A new JIT was constituted and notified on Nov 10.

“In pursuance of the req­uest made by the Inspector General of Police Punjab, on Nov 8, and in exercise of the powers conferred under section 19 (1) of Anti-Terr­orism Act 1977 a Joint Inve­stigation Team is hereby constituted to conan duct investigation in the case lodged with police station City Wazirabad,” reads the notification issued by the Punjab Home Department.

It stated that “the convener of the JIT shall depute one of the members of the JIT for the purpose of submission of the report under section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code as required under section 19(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1977”.

The official said the IGP had proposed to the provincial government on Nov 8 the name of DIG Riaz Nazir Gara as head of the JIT and two other police officers — DIG Nasir Satti and AIG Ehsanul Haq — as its members to investigate the attack on the PTI chairman.

The chief minister, however, rejected all the nominations and formed the JIT afresh. The team, the official said, would meet on Monday to formally launch the investigation.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2022

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