LAHORE: Despite the federal government’s reservations over the filing of a sedition case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders, the Punjab government has formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani has formed a four-member JIT, headed by CIA Superintendent of Police Iftikhar Kamboh, to investigate the case. The team has formally launched the inquiry into the matter.
The other members of the team are DSP Shafiqabad Ghiasuddin Sheikh, Incharge CIA Iqbal Town Tariq Kayani and Incharge Shahdra Police Station SI Shabbir Awan.
All the nominated PML-N leaders will be included in the investigation, the publication said, adding, “the CCPO will give a strategy to the JIT for the arrest of the accused”.
The opposition parties have slammed the move and termed it as an attempt by the PTI government to thwart the campaign launched jointly by them under the banner of Pakistan Democratic Movement.
PM Imran unhappy
Prime Minister Imran Khan had also expressed displeasure over the development.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, in a tweet, had said that PM Imran was unaware that such a case had been filed against the PML-N supremo, and that maybe someone wanted to implicate him in a case.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan was unaware of any such [first information report] FIR, when I informed him about it, he expressed extreme displeasure,” Fawad Chaudhry said in response to journalist Hamid Mir who had shared the copy of the FIR.
“Filing treason cases is not our [PTI government’s] policy. These were the tactics [used during] Nawaz Sharif’s tenure,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif booked for sedition
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was named in the FIR for delivering provocative speeches from London “to defame Pakistan’s institutions”.
The Shahdara police registered the FIR on October 1 under the sedition laws against Nawaz Sharif on the complaint of a citizen, Badar Rasheed, son of Rasheed Khan, a resident of Mohallah Khurshid Park, Shahdara, under sections 120, 120B, 121, 121A, 123A, 124, 124A, 153, 153A and 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 10 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016.
The complainant claimed that Nawaz hatched a criminal conspiracy by delivering speeches from London on the electronic and social media on Sept 20, 2020 during the All Parties Conference (APC), and PML-N’s central working committee (CWC) and central executive committee meetings on Oct 1, 2020.
The complainant alleged that the former prime minister, in his speeches, supported the policies of India, and claimed that Nawaz wanted to give an impression that Pakistan would be listed in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) black list in its upcoming meeting.
The citizen, in the FIR, claimed that Nawaz, in his speeches, wanted to divert the attention of people across the world from Indian forces’ atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and India’s occupation of the territory.
“Nawaz Sharif’s speech was aimed to indirectly benefit his friend Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” stated the FIR. It also alleged that the former prime minister’s speeches defamed Pakistan’s high courts and armed forces in front of the international community.
Besides Nawaz Sharif, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan and three retired generals are among 40 PML-N leaders nominated in the FIR.