Defense Secretary Lt. Gen. (retd.) Hamooduz-Zaman Khan has reportedly written letters to the three services chiefs to review the role of their officers in the 2017 Faizabad sit-in of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) and take appropriate action against anyone exceeding their constitutional responsibility.
According to local media, the defense secretary has written to the Chief of Army staff, the Air Chief and the Naval Chief in line with Supreme Court orders. He has urged them to probe allegations of their respective officials playing a role in the TLP’s 2017 protest against the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government of the time. Any investigation and its results should be provided in writing to the Faizabad Inquiry Commission, he added.
The interim government constituted the inquiry commission last November as the apex court took up appeals against its 2019 verdict and rejected a previously formed fact-finding committee. As all the appeals were withdrawn, the Supreme Court sought an update on the implementation of its order, observing the non-implementation had facilitated the occurrence of subsequent violent incidents like the May 9 riots.
During a hearing on Nov. 15, Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa had said the commission would be empowered to summon anyone, including former Army chiefs, prime ministers, and chief justices. The commission has reportedly already questioned former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and then-interior minister Ahsan Iqbal. It has also summoned then-defense minister Khawaja Asif and then-Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif. Last week, former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt. Gen. (retd.) Faiz Hameed recorded his statement, denying any allegations of conspiring against the government and maintaining he had acted on the orders of the then-government.
The inquiry commission is due to submit a report to the apex court on Jan. 22.