Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Inspector General of the Punjab province to register a case on the gun attack on Imran Khan within 24 hours, a directive hailed by the former Prime Minister's party as a “first step towards justice”.
On Sunday, Mr. Khan said that an FIR has not been registered on the botched "assassination attempt" on his life as authorities are refusing to file the case unless he removes an Army general's name from the complaint.
Mr. Khan, who suffered bullet injuries in the right leg on Thursday, was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after undergoing successful surgery. The 70-year-old former Prime Minister has now been moved to a private residence in Lahore.
The Supreme Court on Monday directed Punjab police chief Faisal Shahkar to register an FIR of the gun attack on Mr. Khan within 24 hours, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that the apex court would take suo motu notice if the FIR was not registered, the report added.
He also asked Mr. Shahkar, who joined the hearing from the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry via video link, why the FIR was not registered.
“Tell us when the FIR will be registered,” he said, adding that there should be a concrete reason for not registering the FIR.
“Working according to the law, the court is with you,” the CJP said, directing the IG to get officials to probe into the matter.
The CJP assured the provincial police chief that nobody would interfere in his work till the time he was posted at the IG.
“IG sahib, you do your job. If someone interferes, the court would interfere in their work,” he said.
Meanwhile, PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry has termed the Supreme Court’s directives regarding the registration of a first information report on the attack against Mr. Khan as the “first step towards justice” . Mr. Shahkar — who has decided to resign from the Punjab government and refused to work with the current political setup in the province led by Chief Minister Parvez Elahi — informed the court that “we have spoken to the Punjab Chief Minister regarding the registration of the FIR and he has expressed some reservations”.
He further said an FIR should also be registered on the complaint of the heirs of the man who was killed in the incident.
Mr. Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer were part of a sinister plot to assassinate him in the same way former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed in 2011 by a religious extremist.
He also said that an FIR was not being registered as some people were afraid of (some names).
The deadlock stemmed from Mr. Khan's insistence on naming the Army officer in the FIR.