ISLAMABAD - Punjab Chief Minister Buzdar on Saturday informed the Supreme Court that the gist of the inquiry report of Coordinator National Counter Terrorism Authority Khaliq Dad Lak merely rubberstamped the statement of District Police Officer Rizwan Gondal.

NACTA’s Lak as Inquiry Officer in its inquiry report on the matter regarding transfer of DPO Gondal from Pakpattan after refusal to seek apology from first lady’s former husband Khawar Manika had concluded that the transfer orders of the police officer were issued from the Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s office.

However, CM Buzdar in his reply while levelling objections over inquiry report stated: “In a nub, the inquiry report merely rubberstamps the statement of the DPO.” He added: “there was hardly any need for this inquiry if it was only conducted to support the DPO concerned and to discard everything else.”

It further stated that the Lak’s report treated the statement of Rizwan Gondal as gospel and rubbished all other statements without justifiable reasons.

CM Buzdar further contended that Lak conducted inquiry with the personal grudge against the government for overlooking him for the post of Inspector General of Police (IGP) and appointed Syed Kalim Imam, who is now heading Sindh Police.

“It may be very important to add here that the inquiry officer had his own axe to grind against the present government since he nursed a grudge against the government for not appointing him as IGP Punjab,” CM Punjab Buzdar stated.

“The observations in the report about IGP being more loyal than the King betray a case of ‘sour grapes’ and nothing more,” CM Buzdar further informed the top court.

In the last date of hearing on the matter, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar after Lak’s report warned and told the counsel to convey CM Buzdar to remain conversant of Article 62 (1)(f) on account of his mis-statement before the court.

In his 9-page reply, CM Buzdar responded that Lak’s report attributing to direction to the IGP from elsewhere was rooted in the imagination of the inquiry officer and had no basis whatsoever adding that the report treated presumptions as facts.

“At the outset it is submitted that the report against which the present discourse is directed is absolutely conjectural, based on a figment of imagination of a fertile mind, rooted in probabilities and surmises and, therefore, not worthy of any reliance whatsoever,” CM Punjab Buzdar maintained.

Stating that the Lak’s report based on grudge, CM Buzdar maintained that name of Lak was included in the list of three police officers sent by the federal government to the provincial government for the purpose of appointment of IGP.  “However, before the three names could be considered by the competent authority in the province, the federal government itself posted the Inquiry Officer as the head of the NACTA and, therefore, the provincial government did not overlook the inquiry officer but his name was taken out from the list by the federal government itself.”

The CM Punjab said that he was fully cognizant of his duties to uphold the rule of law and not allow his office to be misused and it is, therefore, as submitted in his statement before the top court and the Inquiry Officer that he ended the meeting by reposing confidence in the RPO to have the matter resolved amicably.

“Had the Chief Minister entertained any other designs, then the meeting would have ended on a different note and which is not the case,” CM Buzdar contended.

The reply added that the RPO and DPO were summoned because IG Kalim Imam was in Islamabad adding that the CM had not asserted undue influence and that in fact the issue was neutralized.

Regarding the transfer, the CM Punjab responded that IG Imam already categorically stated that the latter without being influenced transferred DPO because of the unbecoming conduct on account of not informing about the incidents.

“Needless to add that the IGP was embarrassed by the factum of not being properly informed about the state of affairs existing within a district of the province that he headed and also reflected poorly on the command structure of the police force,” the reply further contended.

“Unfortunately in the report under discussion this aspect has been given a short shrift and has been gratuitously discarded without a demur. It is trite that reasons can only be overtaken by better reasons and not probabilities, conjectures and surmises.”

“The report, insofar, as it does not grant any weightage to the plausible explanation offered by the then IGP with reference to the transfer of the DPO comes across as conjectural and based on probabilities rather than being based on cogent or reliable evidence,” it added.

The CM Punjab further informed the top court that the unwarranted hype attributed to telephonic calls made from his office to the then IGP or DPO Gondal come across as a damp squib when considered in its proper context and contours.

It stated that CSO to Chief Minister was two batches junior to DPO Gondal so the former called to check as to why his fellow police officer had been closed to headquarters adding that the call was made to express sympathy and prayers for future.

The reply contended that all the telephonic conversation between CM Office’s staff and IGP took place for CM Buzdar visit to Khanewal and Pakpattan.

“That, likewise, the conclusion drawn by the inquiry officer with reference to the calls made from the Chief Minister office to the IGP and then from the IGP to the Chief Minister office seems superfluous and exaggerated because the reason for contacting the IGP to sensitise him about the Chief Minister’s tour to Khanewal and Pakpattan and nothing else.”

It is also submitted that the CM Buzdar was committed to ensure absolute impartiality and independence of the police force.

It prayed the top court to discard the inquiry report of NACTA’s Coordinator Khalid Dad Luk as being lopsided, presumptuous and conjectural.

Ahsan Jamil Gujjar, who allegedly threatened the DPO and RPO at CM Office in the presence of CM Buzdar, in his 4-page reply stated that he could not be held liable for any misconduct since he was neither a government officer nor the holder of public office.

He further stated that he attended the meeting at CM House on behest of Manika Family to put their grievance.

Gujjar, in his reply on Luk’s report, stated that the said report was vague, ambiguous and also lacked lucidity regarding his conduct.

Moreover, Luk overstretched Gujjar’s statement to bring it within the ambit of misconduct, the reply stated.

The reply added that the answering respondent Gujjar neither holder of any government officer nor the holder of any public office but rather an ordinary citizen.

“Thus, he (Gujjar) cannot be held liable for misconduct having breached any code of discipline,” it added. 

“The report also carries no definite finding nor does the same fix a strict liability against the respondent.”

The reply of Gujjar stated that his presence in the meeting at CM Officer was only on account of the fact that he was asked to join the meeting, as a close friend of Manika family, to put up their stance.

“At best, the respondent (Gujjar) may only be seen to have acted in a state of anxiety in a naive manner, beleaguered by the whole episode of ignominy and obloquy, for which he had already expressed his remorse and repentance.”