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Tuesday June 25, 2024

Govt expresses 'no-confidence' in Faizabad inquiry report

AGP Mansoor Usman Awan presents report before federal cabinet meeting in line with SC order

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
May 21, 2024
Angry mob can be seen during the Faizabad sit-in operation. — AFP/File
Angry mob can be seen during the Faizabad sit-in operation. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: In line with the observations of the Supreme Court on Faizabad inquiry commission report, the federal government on Tuesday termed the probe findings into the 2017 sit-in unsatisfactory and inconsistent with the terms of references (ToRs).

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan presented the report before the federal cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The cabinet members termed the report dissatisfactory after the AGP briefed the cabinet on the findings.

The federal cabinet backed the top court’s observations that the inquiry commission did not address the ToRs and ordered the formation of a special committee that will present its recommendations on the matter.

In November last year, the federal government formed a three-member commission to identify those who planned, financed, and supported a sit-in at Islamabad’s Faizabad area against the then-Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government in line with the apex court’s order.

The commission was led by Dr Akhtar Ali Shah, a former officer of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police, and included senior PAS official Khushhal Khan, and former inspector general Tahir Alam.

The probe body was tasked with identifying the perpetrators who facilitated the sit-in. However, it simply suggested taking legal action against the individuals in light of the federal government and Punjab's findings.

During the last hearing of the case on May 6, Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa blasted the Faizabad sit-in commission’s report, saying: “It appears as if the entire exercise was done to exonerate ex-spymaster Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid”.

“It is astonishing that the statement of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) was not recorded,” the court had noted. The CJP had also said, “The TLP people might have helped if they were summoned. They were a party in this case and their point of view was important.” The CJP had said that the commission just submitted the report with idioms in it.

The court held that the commission had not followed its ToRs.

The court held that the report, furnished by the inquiry commission, was not in accordance with the ToRs, set for it and directed the AGP to submit the stance of the federal government, asking whether the government endorsed the inquiry commission report or not.

The court had also ordered to send copies of the report to the chairman and members of the inquiry commission, and to submit a written reply on the matter within two weeks, or to appear and explain.