The joint investigation team (JIT), given the task to investigate the attempted assassination attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in Wazirabad, was reconstituted on Sunday yet again.
The development came after four members of the JIT levelled allegations against the team’s head Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar. Differences between Dogar and members surfaced following objections raised on the former’s ‘politically-inclined” conduct.
In the newly-reconstituted JIT, members include Dera Ghazi Khan’s District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Akmal, Superintendent of Police (SP) Anjum Kamal, and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) CIA Jhang Nasir Nawaz.
According to the notification, the decision to appoint the fourth member of any department rests with the JIT.
The former members accused Dogar of conducting the probe on political grounds, said the sources.
Members object Dogar’s biased approach
Advocate Mian Dawood, the counsel of the suspect involved in the gun attack on Imran Khan, argued that Ghulam Mahmood Dogar was probing the case as per the will of the PTI leader.
In a statement, Naveed Meher’s counsel said that keeping Dogar as head of the JIT was based on “malice”. He added that it was necessary to remove Dogar as well from the JIT.
“The nation already considers Ghulam Mehmood Dogar responsible for botching the investigation of the case,” he added.
The lawyer asked why the previous members of the probe body were presenting the suspects in the court when a new JIT has been constituted.
Differences surfaced among JIT members
On January 10, Geo News reported citing sources that differences emerged among the members of the Wazirabad JIT.
The PTI chairman was attacked on November 3 in Wazirabad while he was leading the “Azadi March” against the Shehbaz Sharif-led government demanding snap polls.
The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) apprehended suspect Naveed from the crime scene — who also confessed to opening fire on the PTI leadership.
The first information report of the incident was registered on November 7 under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
The sources within the JIT, aware of the development, said that the investigations into the assassination attempt had been handed over to an anti-corruption officer by CCPO Lahore Dogar.
The CCPO Lahore — who is leading the probe — had assigned the key responsibility of interrogating the suspect to anti-corruption officer Anwar Shah, and no other member of the probe panel is given access to the attacker.
As per the sources, four members of the JIT shared their reservations with the home ministry and Punjab Police chief.
“They have written a letter to the Home Department highlighting the problems. The JIT members who expressed concerns are Khurram Shah, Naseebullah, Ehsanuullah, and Malik Tariq Mehboob.”
Imran Khan had also cast aspersions over the investigation conducted by the JIT and requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial to form a powerful inquiry team.