Faizabad Dharna: Inquiry Commission Given Another Month To Complete Probe

ECP submits a detailed implementation report consisting of 11 volumes in sealed envelopes to the SC in the case. SC says they will review the report and issue any order if necessary

Faizabad Dharna: Inquiry Commission Given Another Month To Complete Probe

A commission formed by the federal government on the implementation of the Faizabad Dharna Judgement was on Monday granted another month by the Supreme Court to complete its probe and submit a final report. 

The extension was granted by a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali, as they heard an application moved by the government requesting additional time for the commission to complete its tasks. 

During Monday's hearing, Attorney General (AG) for Pakistan Mansoor Usman appeared before the bench. He informed the court that the government had enlarged the scope of the commission's original terms of reference (TORs). He requested the top court to grant the commission 30 days to implement the Faizabad Dharna Judgment.

When Chief Justice Isa asked how long it would take for the government to complete the inquiry, the Attorney general submitted that the inquiry would be completed by February 14. 

At this, the bench allowed the AG's request and directed the Faizabad Dharna Inquiry Commission to submit a report. Subsequently, it adjourned the hearing for a month.

During Monday's hearing, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) submitted a detailed implementation report containing 11 volumes in a sealed envelope.

The bench remarked that it would review the ECP's report and would possibly issue an appropriate order if necessary. 

Last November, the federal government formed an inquiry commission under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017. Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, a former civil servant who had served as the inspector general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, had been appointed as the head of the commission. Other members of the commission included Tahir Alam Khan, another former police officer, and Khushal Khan, an additional secretary at the Ministry of Interior.

The initial ToRs of the commission included an inquiry into any illegal financial and/or other support provided to the TLP for staging the sit-in at the Faizabad junction and the events which followed.

The commission was tasked with recommending action against all those who had issued edicts or fatwas during or in relation to the sit-in, which either harmed the public or put people in harm's way. The commission would also inquire into inaction by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) against broadcasters and cable operators who violated the law and the code of conduct.

The commission has already issued summons to key figures such as former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director-general Lt-General (retd) Faiz Hameed, former prime ministers Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Shehbaz Sharif and former defence minister Khawaja Asif.

On January 5, Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed, in response to questions from the inquiry commission, submitted a written response.