ISLAMABAD, May 17: A senior police officer given the task of preparing a case against the PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif for storming of the Supreme Court in 1997 has cautioned Interior Minister Rehman Malik that the exercise would be counterproductive.

Sources close to the development told Dawn on Thursday that in his interim report SSP Islamabad Mohammad Yousuf Malik informed the minister that instituting cases against the two political heavyweights would bring embarrassment to the government and benefit politically its opponents.

It would prove counterproductive as the Sharif brothers would term it political victimisation.

Early this month, the minister had directed the police to start the investigation against the PML-N leaders by reopening the case.

In response, the SSP formed a team which collected and re-examined all the details, including the CCTV footages, FIR registered with the Secretariat police and investigation reports prepared by then SSP headquarters Taimour Ali Khan.

Mr Khan’s incomplete inquiry report would be kept sealed till statements of the Sharif brothers were recorded. However, the statements could not be recorded as the PML-N leaders were in detention and later exiled.

Mr Malik’s team also examined the Supreme Court and district and sessions court orders and proceedings which had separately convicted eight and seven persons, respectively.

Despite several attempts, SSP Malik could not be contacted for comments and his personal and official cellphones remained unattended.

It may be noted that after influencing the appointment of DIG Bani Amin Khan as the Inspector General of Police Islamabad, the interior minister had asked him to investigate the Sharif brothers in connection with the Supreme Court attack. However, the IGP regretted saying he was left with only 18 months in service and did not want to get involved in any controversy.

About two years back, the interior minister had also issued directives to the then IGP Syed Kaleem Imam but he also refused to get himself involved in the case.

A similar direction was sent to the district administration to conduct a judicial inquiry into the matter. The assistant commissioner Secretariat colleted all the record and details and submitted it to the office of Deputy Commissioner Amir Ahmed Ali, who is conducting the judicial inquiry. The district magistrate re-examined all the details and recorded the statements of the officials involved in the investigation previously. However, the statement of SP Khan is yet to be recorded.

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