Inquiry Commission Exonerates Former DIG ISI Faiz Hamid in Faizabad Dharna Incident

The Faizabad Dharna of 2017 has been a pivotal event in Pakistan’s recent political history, one that has invited scrutiny and demanded accountability. After an extensive investigation, the Inquiry Commission for the Faizabad Dharna has released a detailed 149-page report that clears former DIG ISI Faiz Hamid of any wrongdoing. This conclusive report comes as a result of the commission’s thorough assessment of the activities related to the protest.

Inquiry Commission Exonerates Former DIG ISI Faiz Hamid in Faizabad Dharna Incident

Headed by former IG Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, the three-member commission, which included former IG Tahir Alam and senior officer of the Pakistan Administrative Service Khushhal Khan, was established under the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Their findings are now shaping the narrative around the infamous sit-in and the roles various governmental bodies played.

Highlights from the Faizabad Dharna Inquiry Commission Report:

  • The report exonerates former DIG ISI, Faiz Hamid, stating that he acted with the approval of the then DG ISI and Army Chief.
  • It acknowledges the endorsements from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal regarding Faiz Hamid’s actions.
  • The report sheds light on the involvement of the Islamabad Police, the Ministry of Interior, the Punjab government, and intelligence agencies like the ISI and IB.
  • Former Law Minister Zahid Hamid’s circumstances have also been detailed in the report.

Recommendations and Observations:

  • The report underscores the urgent need to implement the National Action Plan’s points effectively.
  • It identifies weaknesses in the command and control system of the police and recommends a robust policy revamp.
  • An emphasis is placed on learning from the mismanagement of the Faizabad Dharna to prevent future unrest.
  • The Punjab government is called upon to facilitate, not block, protests to Islamabad, referencing the TLP march in Lahore in March.
  • The absence of police officers during protests in the twin cities and the ensuing casualties and injuries are highlighted as key issues.

Social Media’s Role and Government’s Response:

  • The report discusses how threats against military officials, Nawaz Sharif, and ministers on social media led to delays in action against the spread of propaganda.
  • It suggests that the federal government should have utilized the ISI’s services for negotiating with the protest leaders as was agreed in the November 25, 2017 agreement.

Accountability and Policy Implications:

  • The lack of accountability for national leadership and agencies at the time of the Dharna has been criticized.
  • The report argues that agency intervention can undermine the credibility of state institutions.
  • A zero-tolerance policy against violence and extremism is deemed essential to maintain national security and public order.

The Faizabad Dharna Inquiry Commission’s report is a critical document that not only aims to set the record straight but also to guide future policy decisions. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the events and actors involved, ultimately advocating for greater accountability, improved policy measures, and the importance of learning from past events to ensure a more stable and secure political environment in Pakistan.

Also read Top City Scandal: The Quest for Justice for Kunwar Moiz and the Inquiry Against Former DG ISI Faiz Hameed

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