Faizabad commission absolves Faiz Hameed of charges, suggests sagacious handling of affairs

Faizabad commission absolves Faiz Hameed of charges, suggests sagacious handling of affairs


The three-member commission issues a 149-page report

  • Commission drafts recommendations to avoid Faizabad-like incidents in future
  • The report urges institutions to work within their ambit to avoid criticism
Follow on
Follow us on Google News

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The inquiry commission probing the November 2017 Faizabad sit-in absolves former director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), retired Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, of the charges. 

The three-member commission, set up on the orders of the Supreme Court, has issued its 149-page report. 

According to sources, the commission cited various loopholes in the handling of the issue and drafted recommendations after evaluating the circumstances related to the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan's sit-in at Faizabad.

The report highlights the role of the Islamabad Police, the Ministry of Interior, the Punjab government, the ISI and the IB, and contains details of matters related to former law minister Zahid Hamid. 

The report stated that Faiz Hameed as Maj Gen DG (C) ISI was authorised by the then army chief and the ISI director general to sign the agreement with protesters. Moreover, then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and then interior minister Ahsan Iqbal also agreed on retired Gen Faiz Hameed's role as a mediator. 

The commission stressed on ensuring implementation of all the points of the National Action Plan and recommended that weaknesses in the command and control system of the police should be addressed.

The inquiry commission pointed out that Faizabad-like incidents occured because of flaws in the government policy. It stressed on “policymakers” to learn lessons from the Faizabad incident. 

The report held the Punjab government responsible for “allowing the TLP to proceed to Islamabad instead of halting it in Lahore.” 

The report also highlighted that a lack of communication in the police of twin cities resulted in deaths and hundreds of injuries. The report mentioned that the federal government sought the services of the ISI to gain access to the leadership of the protesters. 

It stated that on Nov 25, 2017, an agreement was reached with the cooperation of the ISI and the protesters eventually dispersed. 

During the sit-in, military officers, Nawaz Sharif and ministers were threatened on social media, and the government failed to take action against the social media, the report added. 

The commission said that during the Faizabad sit-in, Shehbaz Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab. None of the country's leaders at that time blamed any institution or official for the incident. "Interference by the military or an agency in a civilian matter seriously affects the institution's reputation," it said. 

The commission suggested that the army should not get involved in public affairs to avoid criticism. "Handling of civilian affairs is the responsibility of IB and civil administration," it added. 

The commission found the government of Punjab “negligent and weak” which led to bloodshed. Steps should be taken to end faith-based violence. The state should not compromise on the constitution, human rights, democracy and the rule of law, said the commission. 

The commission suggested that police officers should be deployed in difficult areas before being deployed in Islamabad.

“Public order is the responsibility of the government; other institutions should avoid interference. Zero tolerance policy is mandatory to deal with violent extremism,” the report concluded. 

The inquiry commission was headed by former IG Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, and included former IG Tahir Alam and Pakistan Administrative Service's senior officer Khushal Khan.