Jinnah House vandalism probe: Imran skips JIT appearance, asks to be facilitated at Zaman Park residence
PTI chief Imran Khan on Tuesday failed to appear before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing May 9 vandalism at the Lahore Corps Commander’s House — also called Jinnah House — and requested that he be facilitated at is Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
A JIT, formed on May 19, had summoned the former prime minister today to join the probe into vandalism at Jinnah House, which was among several properties and installations that were vandalised amid countrywide protests in the wake of Imran’s arrest by the paramilitary Rangers from the Islamabad High Court premises in a graft case on May 9.
The summons notice issued by Lahore DIG (investigation) Kamran Adil, who is heading the JIT, stated: “Imran Khan is required to attend the office of the DIG Investigation to join the investigation proceedings entrusted to the JTI formed by the Punjab government.”
He was called for questioning in a case registered with the Sarwar Road police station, in which he is nominated for allegedly abetting the attackers who ransacked and set fire to Jinnah House when he was in prison.
However, Imran did not join the investigation proceedings and instead sent his reply to the notice through his lawyers, Advocates Ali Ijaz Buttar and Naeem Haider Panjhuta.
In his reply, the PTI chief said he received the notice yesterday “with very limited time to respond and reply”.
He further stated that he was facing “security threats”, which were already in the JIT’s knowledge, and that he was also due to appear before an anti-terrorism court and the Lahore Court today in connection with bail bonds.
Referring to an assassination attempt on him during a public gathering in Wazirabad last year, he reiterated that there were now “reports from credible sources of another attack during public appearances in joining investigation”.
Moreover, he said attending court on important hearing was also mandatory.
“Taking into account the extreme threat, security concerns, huge cost implication to state and myself, I will appreciate if I am facilitated at Zaman Park residence on any date/time of your convenience,” the reply read.
It also mentioned that a “similar exercise had been undertaken by JIT already and larger bench of the honourbale Lahore High Court had directed your kind office to facilitate the undersigned at his residence as there is no bar to either join through video link, questionnaire or in person”.
He said he was sending this request through his counsels “to take necessary steps […] for me to join the investigation, take my version and complete the process of investigation”.
The PTI chief also highlighted that he was under the “illegal and invalid arrest of NAB authorities” on May 10, adding that despite “the unprecedented huge number of cases registered against me, I have always extended full cooperation” to investigation agencies, as he was willing to do in this case.
Imran also said that the cases and allegations against him “are false, frivolous and politically motivated on the face of it”.
He said that previously the “department had taken into account all the issues mentioned above and facilitated the undersigned by taking signed statements”.
Imran suggested that he may be sent a questionnaire containing precise question or queries to join the probe and as an alternative option. “I am available in person at Zaman Park or absolutely willing to join the investigation through the method of video conferencing”.
He concluded the request saying, “Unnecessary exposure, with your kind support, can be avoided. Other than court hearings, I have not left my residence due to the severity of security threats.”