Tuesday June 06, 2023

JIT formed to probe Judicial Complex attack

“The attack on the Judicial Complex is no less than terrorism,” says Rana Sanaullah

By News Desk
March 24, 2023
Pakistan´s former Prime Minister Imran Khan´s supporters burn vehicles as they protest outside a court in Islamabad on March 18, 2023. — AFP
Pakistan´s former Prime Minister Imran Khan´s supporters burn vehicles as they protest outside a court in Islamabad on March 18, 2023. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Thursday announced the constitution of a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate vandalism and attacks by the PTI activists on law enforcement personnel at the Islamabad Judicial Complex during the appearance of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Addressing a news conference here, Sanaullah said Imran Khan was summoned by the Islamabad courts in foreign funding, Toshakhana and Tyrian White cases. However, during his appearance before the courts on Feb 28, a violent, armed mob attacked the police on duty and entered the Judicial Complex.

He also claimed that the CCTV cameras installed in the courtroom were smashed, local media reported. “The attack on the Judicial Complex is no less than terrorism,” the minister said, adding that policemen were abused and injured. He claimed an environment was created so that the cases could not be heard. A case against all this violence and vandalism was registered by the Ramna police station under various charges, including Section 7 of the ATA. He said the same behaviour was repeated at the Islamabad High Court, and another case was registered by the same police station under the same charges. On March 18, once again, Imran Khan came to the court with armed groups carrying weapons, stones and clubs. The law enforcers were insulted, injured and attacked and property vandalized, the minister claimed, adding that cases were registered by the CTD and Golra police stations in Islamabad. These cases will proceed as per law, and all the miscreants and assailants, including Imran Khan, would be arrested and brought to justice, he added.

For this purpose, a JIT has been constituted to proceed with all these cases that will be contested in anti-terrorism courts. The team will submit its report to the court in 14 days. The JIT will be headed by the Punjab Additional Inspector General of Special Branch Zulfiqar Hameed. It will comprise ISI, IB officials, not below Grade 18, a MI representative and DIG (Headquarters) Awais Ahmed. The interior minister said Imran Khan attacked the courts under a well-planned conspiracy. “All PTI activists were forced to gather on the warning that the ticket aspirants will not be facilitated if they did not bring along at least 50 people,” he claimed. The JIT will conduct a transparent investigation and bring the culprits to justice, he added.

Meanwhile, the interior minister warned that if the Supreme Court did not make a prudent decision on the postponement of elections in Punjab, then the economic and political stability of the country will be impacted. In a series of tweets, Sanaullah said an unwise decision of the apex court would cause anarchy, chaos and riots across the country. He said there were different opinions regarding the election and the parliament had the authority to guide the government and institutions.

Sanaullah added that the incumbent government wanted to proceed according to the Constitution. The interior minister stated that on the apex court orders, the electoral watchdog gave the election schedule and the government also initiated the process. The government could not even think of revoking the top court’s orders, Sanaullah maintained.

He said there will be no level playing field in the National Assembly elections in the presence of the government that comes after the provincial elections adding that questions would be raised on the conduct of fair and transparent elections.

Sanaullah further said that it would be better for the country if the elections of all the assemblies were held transparently and conducted at the same time in the presence of caretaker governments.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has decided to form a special task force to contain malicious campaigns against the Pakistan Army on social media.The special task force will comprise officers from the Federal Investigation Agency, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and National Database and Registration Authority.

The ministry has observed that negative propaganda against the army was carried out through eight TikTok accounts, 44 Twitter and more than 50 Facebook accounts.

The task force will be assisted by the police and other law enforcement agencies. It will also make recommendations on the use of social media.