Four joint investigation team (JIT) members probing the Wazirabad attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Wednesday distanced themselves from "some of the conclusions drawn and being shown on media" as they complained that CCPO Lahore was not "giving due weightage" to their "divergent views".
The former prime minister had sustained a bullet wound to his leg on November 3, 2022, after an armed attack on his container, as he led the PTI’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi March’ in Wazirabad.
One person had died in the incident, while several members of the PTI chairman’s close circle, including Senator Faisal Javaid, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, Ahmad Chattha and Imran Yousaf, were injured.
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Breaking his silence in a video address after the attack, the PTI chairman had alleged that three people – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior military officer, were behind the botched assassination attempt on his life.
Earlier this month, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry had claimed that the JIT constituted to investigate the November 3 attack on Imran had found that there was a planned attempt to assassinate him.
Sharing the findings of the JIT, Fawad had said that by reducing the number of police personnel in Gujarat, an opportunity was provided for the attack and subsequently an assassination attempt was made on Imran.
“The revelations made in the JIT report will be made public soon," the senior party leader had said, while speaking to the media. “A well-thought-out narrative was chalked out to give the assassination attempt the cover of religiously-motivated crime,” he had added.
Previously, however, contrary to PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan’s claim, the JIT had found no evidence of a second attacker.
Last week, the forensic report of the attack had revealed that Imran was hit by three bullet fragments and a metal piece in the attack.
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In a joint statement today, RPO DG Khan Syed Khurram Ali, SSP CTD Punjab Naseeb Ulllah Khan, AIG Monitoring Punjab Ehsan Ullah Chohan and SP Potohar Division Malik Tariq Mehboob said that they "as members of JIT have tried to [carry the investigation] to the best of our abilities" but said contrary to media reports, they held "very different views on the issue".
Contradicting the PTI's stance once again, the statement said that "as such no credible or independent evidence has come on record which shows that there were more than one" persons involved in the attack, adding that thus far "no data, call record or witness has been found that connects the main accused [Naveed Bashir] with any other person".
The statement also said that based on the investigation so far, co-accused Waqas' status remained that of "facilitator only" and that it was "yet to be ascertained who was responsible for the death of Moazzam".
The JIT members also held that the FIR on the case was "still not complete and making it the basis of this investigation makes no sense".
"CCPO Lahore (convenor) of JIT was requested time and again to give importance to our divergent views on the subject case, but for reasons best known to him, our opinion has not been given due weightage," the JIT members said.
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They went on to claim that on December 17, "one of the members of the JIT" had gone on to raise "serious objections in the process and quality of the investigation" and that for "unknown reasons he was not called in the next meeting of the JIT on December 29".
Stressing the need to maintain the "objectivity and impartiality" in the investigation, the JIT members urged caution saying that the investigation was still underway and "making it a subject of discussion on media is very premature".
It may be noted here that on Tuesday, the PTI chief had quoted "media reports" in claiming that members of the JIT were being "pressurised" to distance themselves from the findings of the probe.
Differences in JIT
The Interior Ministry and the Punjab inspector general police were informed yesterday of the differences emerging in the JIT team.
According to the Express News, the four members of the investigating team and CCPO Lahore have disagreements over the probe.
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Sources said that the CCPO has handed over the investigation to an anti-corruption officer, Anwar Shah, who is overseeing the questioning of the accused, while the JIT members are not being permitted to investigate him.
RO CTD Lahore Naseeb Ulllah Khan, RPO DG Khan Syed Khurram Ali, AIG Monitoring Punjab Ihsan Ullah Chohan and SP Potohar Division Malik Tariq Mehboob are among the dissenting JIT members.