Punjab forms record 56 JITs to probe May 9 incidents

June 09, 2023

It is the highest number of joint investigation teams ever formed to probe any incidents in the province

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Men on a bike ride past a burning police vehicle during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former prime minister Imran against the arrest of their leader, in Quetta on May 9, 2023. —AFP

LAHORE: As many as 56 joint investigation teams (JITs) have been formed to probe May 9 incidents across Punjab. It is the highest number of joint investigation teams ever formed to probe any incidents in the province. Highly reliable sources told Daily Jang that more than one joint investigation team were earlier constituted after the Model Town incident. There were two JITs formed to investigate the incident, one by the Punjab government and the other on the directives of then-Supreme Court chief justice Saqib Nisar. Besides, two JITs were also formed to probe the assassination attack on PTI chief Imran Khan in Wazirabad.

One JIT was constituted by the Punjab government, which could not complete its probe, while the other was formed by the federal government, which could not become functional. The sources said that Punjab had never seen such an incident or tragedy in the past in which such a large number of JITs had been constituted. Giving the breakdown of JITs formed to investigate the May 9 incidents, the sources said 14 JITs had been constituted to probe Lahore incidents, 13 to investigate Rawalpindi incidents, 11 to probe Mianwali incidents, five to look into Sialkot incidents, three each to probe Gujranwala and Multan incidents, four to investigate Faisalabad incidents and one each to probe Attock, Sargodha and Vehari incidents. The sources said that the Home Department of Punjab also formed one JIT in Okara to probe May 9 incidents, but after a court order for excluding Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act from the FIR, the JIT was dissolved because a JIT cannot be formed in any incident if the FIR does not include Section 7 of the ATA in the FIR as per the law.

They further said all the 56 JITs had started probing the May 9 incidents. The panels of officers to form JITs were forwarded to the Punjab Home Department by the IG. The sources said that it had also happened for the first time that the names of several police officials forwarded for inclusion in the JITs and the numbers of FIRs in which probes were required were found wrong, which were corrected after officials pointed out the mistakes for even three times in certain cases. The sources said that even before the JITs were not as successful as the forum of judicial commissions, as JITs have been a victim of political influence, whereas judicial commissions have rarely buckled under pressure.

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