Home Latest News Lahore CCPO Tapped to Head JIT Probing Wazirabad Shooting

Lahore CCPO Tapped to Head JIT Probing Wazirabad Shooting

Nearly two weeks after attack on PTI long march, JIT has yet to commence investigation due to frequent alterations to its makeup

by Staff Report

Ambulances arrive at the long march on Nov. 3 to shift injured PTI workers to hospital

The Punjab government has reformed for the fourth time a joint investigation team tasked with probing the Nov. 3 attack on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s long march, this time appointing Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar to head the probe.

According to a notification issued by the provincial government, Dogar will be joined by Dera Ghazi Khan Regional Police Officer (RPO) Syed Khurram; Punjab Assistant Inspector General (Investigation) Ehsanullah Chauhan; Superintendent of Police Malik Tariq Mehmood; and Superintendent of Police (Counter-Terrorism) Naseebullah as the JIT’s members.

On Nov. 8, a day after police registered a First Information Report (FIR) into the Wazirabad shooting on the orders of the Supreme Court, Punjab Police constituted the first iteration of the JIT, naming Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Riaz Nazir Gara as its head and including DIG (Investigation) Nasir Satti and Assistant Inspector General (Monitoring) Ehsanul Haq as its members.

Just a day later, the provincial government rejected this JIT, notifying a new one led by DIG Tariq Rustam Chohan and including Dera Ghazi Khan RPO Syed Khurram and Vehari District Police Officer Zafar Buzdar, a relative of former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar, as its members. This JIT also lasted only one day, being reconstituted by Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi on Nov. 10.

The third iteration of the JIT then named RPO Khurram as its new head. This lasted barely four days amidst reports that it was unable to commence work due to bureaucratic hurdles, with the fourth—and latest—iteration finally coming to light on Tuesday (Nov. 15). The new head, CCPO Dogar, is currently considered close to the PTI-PMLQ combine, as he was suspended by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Nov. 5 for allegedly failing to comply with transfer orders issued by the Establishment Division. The Punjab chief minister has publicly assured the official that he would “not let him leave.”

The rapid alterations to the JIT have triggered confusion over who might be influencing the process, with sources within the police saying the perception of interference could be challenged in court. Sources within the government have alleged that differences between the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) and the PTI—which rule the Punjab government via coalition—are to blame, adding that the latest JIT head had been appointed on the recommendations of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who does not wish to include cops that he believes do not “favor” his party.

Since being injured in the shooting at Wazirabad, PTI’s Khan has been demanding that police register a FIR against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) DG-C (Internal Wing) Maj. Gen. Faisal Naseer, who he accuses of “orchestrating” the attack. However, the FIR registered does not include Khan as a complainant and has nominated the sole armed suspect arrested from the crime scene. As a result, Khan has been demanding the Chief Justice of Pakistan intervene, though he has admitted he could be “wrong” about his allegations and an independent probe should clarify the situation.

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