Faizabad sit-in: Inquiry commission likely to summon former spy chief Faiz Hamid next week

IB official in a recorded statement ruled out the role of agencies’ interference in sit-in, say sources

Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid. — Screengrab/Twitter
  • Questionnaire framed by inquiry commission for former ISI chief. 
  • Joint DG IB Sajid Kiani recorded his three-hour-long statement.
  • Inquiry commission constituted on the order of SC. 

ISLAMABAD: Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid is likely to be summoned by the Faizabad sit-in commission next week, sources told The News on Wednesday.

The sources said a questionnaire has been framed by the inquiry commission for the former ISI chief to record his statement regarding sit-in staged by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) back in 2017.

Meanwhile, Joint Director General Intelligence Bureau (IB) Sajid Kiani on Tuesday recorded his three-hour-long statement before the inquiry commission wherein he ruled out any aspect of interference from any other institution during the operation against the (TLP), the sources said.

Sajid Kiani was serving as senior superintendent of Police (Operations) in Islamabad in 2017 at the time of the Faizabad sit-in.

The probe panel was constituted on the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan under the chair of retired IGP Akhtar Ali Shah after the apex court rejected the fact-finding committee report constituted by the government.

On November 15, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that the commission would be empowered to summon anyone, including former army chiefs, prime ministers and chief justices.

It is important to note that the commission has also probed former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ex-interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, then-secretary to PM Fawad Hasan Fawad and other senior officials serving in Islamabad and Punjab who were involved in the episode.

Faizabad verdict

On February 6, 2019, a two-member bench of the apex court comprising the now-CJP Isa and Justice Mushir Alam recommended that persons, issuing an edict or fatwa to harm another person or put another person in the harm’s way must be dealt with iron hand and prosecuted under relevant laws.

It also ruled that the intelligence agencies must not exceed their respective mandates. Later, the bench disposed of a suo moto case regarding the 2017 Faizabad sit-in staged by the TLP.

The 43-page verdict issued by the two-judge bench and published on the apex court’s website read: “Every citizen and political party has the right to assemble and protest provided such assembly and protest is peaceful and complies with the law imposing reasonable restrictions in the interest of public order.

The right to assemble and protest is circumscribed only to the extent that it infringes on the fundamental rights of others, including their right to free movement and to hold and enjoy property.”

In November 2017, the top court took suo motu notice of the three-week-long sit-in, which was held against a change in the finality-of-Prophethood oath, termed by the government as a clerical error, when the government passed the Elections Act 2017.

The sit-in was called off after the protesters reached an agreement with the government.

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