PML-N rejects new Abbottabad Commission -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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PML-N rejects new Abbottabad Commission

Tariq Butt

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has quickly rejected the reconstituted inquiry commission on Abbottabad debacle, which dropped Fakhruddin G Ebrahim due to his refusal, saying it runs counter to the unanimous parliamentary resolution.

“Our reservations on the commission remain because the commitment made in the resolution has not been fulfilled,” PML-N spokesman Senator Pervez Rashid told The News when contacted.

The strength of the Abbottabad Commission has been reduced to four from five. Ebrahim was the only member who had been included in it on the recommendation of leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

“We are of the firm view that through this commission the government wants to cover up the facts relating to the national tragedy and is not willing to let the mistakes and failures exposed,” Pervez Rashid said.

In the case of the inquiry commission on journalist Saleem Shahzad’s murder, which was also re-notified on Tuesday, some changes have been made in its composition. Instead of the Deputy Inspector General (DIG), investigation, Islamabad police, the IGP of the federal capital has now been included in the commission. Similarly, in place of the Additional IG, Investigation, Punjab, the IGP has been opted.

No dates have yet been fixed for the separate inaugural meetings of the two commissions, but a senior official said they were likely to be convened during the current or early next week. Ebrahim’s opting out of the Abbottabad Commission has not affected its legitimacy and legality, the official told The News. He said that it was the discretion of the prime minister to constitute such commissions.

However, Pervez Rashid said that the parliamentary resolution clearly provided that the composition of the commission would be decided in consultation between the prime minister and the opposition leader. “This is the very resolution that Gilani had himself read out in the parliament.”

Former Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority Lt Gen (R) Nadeem Ahmad, ex-Inspector General of Police Abbas Khan and former top diplomat Ashraf Jahangir Qazi have been retained as members of the Abbottabad Commission like senior bureaucrat Nargis Sethi, who will act as its secretary. The commission is mandated to ascertain full facts regarding OBL’s presence in Pakistan, investigate the circumstances and facts regarding the US operation in Abbottabad on May 2, determine the nature, background and causes of lapses of the concerned authorities, if any, and make consequent recommendations.

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has been nominated as president of the commission on the journalist’s murder. Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan and the Federal Union of Journalists president have been retained as its members.

The official said that the presidents of the two commissions would regulate their proceedings. The Saleem Shahzad Commission will inquire into the background and circumstances of abduction and subsequent murder of Shahzad, identify culprits involved in the incident and recommend measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents against journalists to report its findings within six weeks.

He said that it would be for the presidents of the commissions to summon any person for the purpose of the inquiries referred to them.

The official said that the commissions would hand over their reports to the federal government, which would decide whether to make them public and has the powers to act on them and proceed against the persons named in them.

He said that at the moment it was not known whether the proceedings of the two commissions would be in camera or open. He said the presidents would take a decision on this point and added that in the past most commissions had held their hearings in camera. “On the receipt of their reports, the prime minister will decide what to do with them,” he said.
Source: The News