Lahore, December 13
A Pakistani court on Tuesday remanded the lone shooter arrested for the assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Imran Khan into the custody of the joint investigation team probing the incident for 10 more days for further interrogation.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Khan, 70, suffered bullet injuries in the right leg on November 3 in the Wazirabad area of Punjab, some 150 km from Lahore, where he was leading a rally against the Shehbaz Sharif government to press for snap elections.
“Police presented suspect Muhammad Naveed before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) Gujranwala, which remanded him into the JIT’s custody for 10 more days for interrogation,” a court official told PTI.
He said a JIT member informed the court that its investigation into the gun attack on Khan is underway as it also has to carry out a polygraph test of the suspect. “The suspect may be brought to Lahore this week for the polygraph test,” the official said.
The police produced Naveed before the ATC for the first time on November 17 after he was arrested on November 3.
The court granted the physical remand of the suspect to the JIT for 12 days and summoned the JIT head to the next hearing on November 29.
However, the JIT stopped working late last month after its head, Lahore police chief Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, was suspended from service by a tribunal court. The JIT resumed the probe after the Supreme Court earlier this month reinstated Dogar to his post.
Khan has repeatedly blamed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer of ISI for hatching a plot to assassinate him.
The Punjab Police had registered the FIR in connection with the assassination attempt on Khan but didn’t mention any of the high-profile names taken by the ousted premier.
Khan had said the FIR is a mere “piece of trash” without the mention of the names of Sharif, Sanaullah and Faisal in it.
The Punjab Police had said they nabbed Naveed from the crime scene and that he had confessed to his crime.
Indirectly blaming the powerful military establishment, Khan had said: “I wonder if I, being former Prime Minister of Pakistan, can’t get an FIR registered in connection with the attack on me and other PTI workers what will happen to the common man.” He claimed that Naveed is a trained shooter and there was another shooter who opened fire on him from another direction.
Interestingly, in Punjab, Khan’s PTI party is a senior partner in the ruling coalition. A source in the Punjab Police told PTI on Tuesday that the police chief of the province had requested Khan to exclude the name of the ISI’s top official from his application and they would register FIR against the Prime Minister and interior minister but he refused.
The source further said that during interrogation it has not been established that the arrested suspect (Naveed) was a member of any religious outfit or he acted at the behest of “someone” as alleged by Khan.
The JIT has so far recorded the statements of the policemen and PTI workers who were present close to Khan when the attack on him took place. However, senior PTI leaders who were present at the time of the attack are yet to respond to the JIT calls to record their statements.
Khan is recovering from his wounds and is currently residing at his Lahore’s Zaman Park residence.
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