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Friday January 27, 2023

Attack on Imran’s long march: Centre asks Punjab govt to register FIR

November 07, 2022
In this photograph taken on November 1, 2022, Pakistans former prime minister Imran Khan speaks while taking part in an anti-government march in Gujranwala. — AFP
In this photograph taken on November 1, 2022, Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan speaks while taking part in an anti-government march in Gujranwala. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has urged the Punjab government to immediately register a first information report (FIR) of the assassination attempt on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s life, based on facts of the incident, not on conjectures or speculative allegations.

Through the Interior Ministry, the federal government also pointed out that the provincial government not only failed to provide adequate security to the former prime minister but there was also a clear lack of adherence to standard operating security procedures in relation to the convoy.

In a letter addressed to the Punjab chief secretary, the Interior Ministry conveyed the Centre’s grave concerns to the provincial government over the mishandling of the high-profile case. The federal government was surprised that the FIR had not yet been registered whereas normally such an FIR was registered within 24 hours of the incident.

“The failure to register the FIR despite the fact that the incident took place in the presence of provincial police personnel at the scene is indicative of the provincial government’s lacklustre response to the unfortunate incident,” read the letter dated November 5.

The letter added, “Following the incident, the provincial government has exhibited complete unwillingness to provide any kind of explanation regarding the unfortunate incident, including its failure to provide adequate security to the former prime minister and the clear lack of adherence to standard operating security procedures in relation to the convoy.

“The federal government has also noted that the medico-legal examination of the former prime minister has not yet been carried out. It is also a matter of concern that the provincial government has failed to provide any updates regarding the weapon of offence and whether it has been forensically analysed.

“Moreover, the crime scene was not secured for many hours after the incident, which is again a violation of the prescribed procedures. Additionally, no official information regarding the victims of their nature of injuries has been released.

“Finally, the release of ‘confessional’ videos of the alleged perpetrator points to serious lapses in the investigation process. The afore-mentioned failures of the provincial government and its functionaries are clear evidence of its mishandling of the matter and amounts to criminal negligence.”

According to the federal government, “The law and order situation in the province after the incident was not handled effectively which created great inconvenience for the general public. The closure of main highways and roads by small groups of miscreants paralysed life in cities of Punjab and also affected inter-district movement.

“The inability of the provincial police and administration to handle the law and order situation violated the fundamental right of free movement guaranteed under Article 15 of the Constitution.

“The attack by a mob of miscreants on the Governor’s House in Lahore yesterday [Friday] further demonstrated the mishandling of the situation by the provincial government, which was unable to secure the office and residence of the highest constitutional office holder of the province.”

The Centre’s letter added: “In view of the aforesaid, it is imperative that the provincial government immediately gears up its efforts to ensure the maintenance of law and order and protection of the life and property of all citizens.

“In the context of the incident at Wazirabad, it is stated that FIR of the said case based on facts of the incident should be registered on merits and not on conjectures or speculative allegations immediately, without further loss of time as required under Section 154 of the CrPC 1898 by the concerned SHO and CTD Punjab as complainant as the delay is grossly illegal and has caused irreparable damage to prosecute the real accused,” concluded the letter.

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