ISLAMABAD: Leaders from the two main parties in the ruling coalition have slammed the Faizabad dharna commission’s report, saying that it only places responsibility on politicians, while the PTI termed it a charge sheet against the sitting prime minister.

Reacting to the report, a PTI spokesperson called for action against the then-Punjab government, especially Shehbaz Sharif, who the party said was guilty of dereliction of duty and misconduct in view of the report.

However, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday criticised the report, saying that it had “no authenticity or credibility”.

PTI demands action against Shehbaz Sharif, his cabinet

In an interview with senior journalist Asma Shirazi, the defence minister said that the report had no value and its authors should reflect and ask themselves if they have fulfilled their duty or not. He said the report was not credible because both the main characters in the episode did not appear in front of the commission to answer its questions for the report, an apparent reference to former army chief retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and then-ISI DG (C) retired Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.

“Why were these people not presented? Their absence makes this report incomplete,” the minister said, adding that the pair had “all sorts of power” during the period under investigation by the commission.

Separately, former Senate chairman and veteran PPP leader Raza Rabbani called the report “a non-starter”.

“It chose to close the matter while avoiding further controversy and avoided to fix any responsibility, Mr Rabbani noted, adding: “It has tried to shift the burden on the civilian government of Punjab, exonerating the then DGs of Rangers and ISI.”

Meanwhile, the PTI called on the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) to make the Faizabad dharna commission report public and issue orders regarding the execution of the commission’s recommendations in order to bring the culprits to justice.

The party has demanded the apex court to issue orders to register criminal cases against Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet in view of the recommendations of the commission.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

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