News Analysis |
In a latest development, media reports have claimed that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan has held the lawmaker and his employees responsible for the altercation that took place at his farmhouse involving a poor man and his family members.
The JIT was headed by Mr. Irfan Mangi, Director General National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and comprising members of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), had begun its inquiry against Swati and visited his residence in Islamabad on November 7.
The report, comprising five volumes, states that the inquiry against Swati was linked to the situation that arose after the minister’s son had a case registered against a neighbouring family. It also raised questions regarding the transfer of the former Islamabad IG by the government in the aftermath of the altercation.
CM Punjab and IGP submitted written apologies and assured the court to never compromise on the rule of law in future. The court then freed them of the case.
It is reported that the JIT had communicated with a number of people during the probe, and also included Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi in the investigation. It is worth mentioning here that the IGP was allegedly transferred after he refused to take action on a complaint by the Federal Minister Azam Swati’s son. Swati’s son filed an FIR at the Shehzad Town Police Station against several persons (belonging to poor family) for allegedly letting their animals into the former’s fields.
Read more: SC says Senator Azam Swati should resign
On being stopped, the suspects attacked the employees with axes and also snatched weapons from the security guards and held them, hostage, the FIR stated. Things became difficult for the PTI government when Pakistan Peoples’ Party Senator Mustafa Khokhar claimed on October 26th that the police officer was removed because he had refused to obey “illegal orders” of Federal Minister Azam Swati’s son.
The matter came under limelight when the CJP took a suo moto notice of the campaign being run on social media on the immediate transfer of Inspector General Police (IGP) Islamabad. Interestingly, Mr. Swati has admitted that he had messaged to the PM after he failed to contact the IGP.
Supreme Court of Pakistan has held the lawmaker and his employees responsible for the altercation that took place at his farmhouse involving a poor man and his family members.
Mr. Swati maintained that he had made several attempts to contact the inspector-general to inform him regarding the incident and ensuing bomb threats from the “illegal occupants” who later beat up and injured his three guards. He further alleged that “when I got in touch with him [IGP] on Thursday around 6:00 PM, even then he did not do anything, as a result of which three of my chowkidaars (guards) were injured.
Are they not citizens of Pakistan? Will the law of the land not be implemented here?” On the other hand the boy, 12, has also said in a video message that he along with his family members was arrested by the police. “Our cow entered the senator’s farmhouse,” he added.
Social media strongly reacted to the development but overall the opinion remained divided. Prominent TV anchor Dr. Moeed Pirzada said in a tweet that “Sections of Media created a situation, to which all are now reacting, real events & reasons have been sidetracked – IGP’s transfer was long due; he was posted before elections, not directly related to Swati episode, though Senator’s statements mislead too”
Sections of Media created a situation, to which all are now reacting, real events & reasons have been sidetracked – IGP's transfer was long due; he was posted before elections, not directly related to Swati episode, though Senator's statements mislead too https://t.co/2GXG4veLqE
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) October 29, 2018
But many analysts believe that the matter turned from bad to worse when it became a matter of ego for the powerful senator. The other party is poor and does not have enough means to raise voice against a sitting Federal Minister. In such a situation, the alleged high-headedness of the minister is alarming for many opinion makers in the country. Prior to the IGP Punjab’s transfer and the resignation of former IGP KP Mr. Nasir Durrani from the Task Force constituted to reform Punjab police, the transfer of a DPO was in the news.
Swati’s son filed an FIR at the Shehzad Town Police Station against several persons for allegedly letting their animals into the former’s fields.
As a matter of fact, the DPO of Pakpattan Mr.Rizwan Gondal was immediately transferred and made Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for allegedly stopping Khawar Maneka, ex-husband of Bushra Maneka. On August 23, it was reported that a police team led by DPO Rizwan Omar Gondal briefly intercepted Khawar’s car after he didn’t stop when signalled by the police to do so. Khawar was also believed to have misbehaved with the officials.
The officer was later directed to visit Maneka Dera, Khawar’s residence, and tender an apology to him for intercepting the vehicle. Later on, CM Punjab and IGP submitted written apologies and assured the court to never compromise on the rule of law in future. The court then freed them of the case. It is worth mentioning here that the PTI-led government was able to free police from the shackles of the political elite in KP.
The KP police have many times been quoted as model police by the judges of the apex court. PM Khan has promised to introduce the same system of merit and rule of law across the country to make sure the policies of his Naya Pakistan get implemented. It is yet to be seen how he moves forward with the current scenario involving political leader and transfer of police official.