The Punjab government has submitted a 52 page report questioning the role of the army and intelligence agencies in the course of two specific terrorism cases on army personnel – the suicide attack on the Surgeon General of the Pakistan army and the attack on an army bus
The report was accompanied by 11 straightforward questions that were sent to ISPR which the ISPR is yet to reply to. We are republishing these 11 questions because they form the basis of a number of concerns about the worrying role of the military and the agencies in terrorism prosecution:
1. A Punjab government inquiry report blames the Complainant Department (Army) for lack of interest and non-assistance in the trial of the accused arrested in connection with attacks on Gen. Mushtaq Baig and NLC bus near RA Bazaar. Do you agree?
2. None from the Army offered to become witness in the cases. Is it true?
3. There was no senior level representation during the hearing of the cases by Anti-Terrorist Court. Is it true?
4. The accused remained under probe with the intelligence agencies but no information was shared with the local police. Is it true?
5. Is it true that the Army even didn’t register the FIRs in both cases and the police had to do it on its own?
6. Is it true that no technical evidence was shared with the police? If yes, then why sophisticated gadgets have been provided to the intelligence agencies if they can’t be of use for other departments?
7. The investigation was conducted by persons who were neither vested with the power nor were the members of Joint Interrogation Team (JIT). Is it true?
8. Is it true that the accused were handed over to police after one year and FIR registered from backdate?
9. The inquiry report proposed action against those held responsible (the officials who overstepped their duty and those who under-performed). Has any action been taken against them?
10. Could you please explain if the agencies/Army has any legal power to detain and arrest any person?
11. May I know what rules govern the working of intelligence agencies, other than their SOPs that don’t have any legal importance?
After the release of this report by the Punjab government the military’s only response seems to have been to leak news of its displeasure at the Punjab government through its trusty media channels (in this case Dawn’s diplomatic correspondent Baqir Sajjad Syed). As observed by LUBP reader Shahid:
Super PR exercise by the military. Once again showing the might of their PR power and the power of collaborating with the media to get their word out.
The Secretary Prosecution report had clear and precise statements. It was 52 bloody pages long and raised precise points about each individual attack and the lack of cooperation, lack of witnesses from army and not filing even FIRs from their side.
This is a hollow report and merely a reply to the “negative portrayal” the army got yesterday. Shame on Dawn.
Will the military respond to the 11 specific questions raised by the Punjab government? Or will it continue to simply play media games through its establishment-friendly journalists?