The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday accepted an unconditional apology of Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar, Ahsan Jameel Gujjar, and former Punjab IG Kaleem Imam in a case pertaining to transfer of former Pakpattan district police officer (DPO) Rizwan Gondal.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, who headed a three-judge bench of the apex court, expressed dissatisfaction over the statements submitted by the Punjab chief minister, ex-IG Punjab, and Ahsan Jameel Gujjar in response to the inquiry report of Coordinator National Counter Terrorism Authority Khaliq Dad Lak.

Justice Ejazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, termed the chief minister’s reply an attack on inquiry officer Khaliq Dad Lak. CJP Nisar said that he was surprised by the statement of the Punjab chief minister. Buzdar, ex-IG Kaleem Imam and Ahsan Jamil Gujjar withdrew their respective responses.

A provincial law officer tendered an unconditional apology on behalf of the CM, while Imam said that he threw himself at the mercy of the court. The CJP directed the three respondents to submit their written apology which they did after a break. The court accepted their unconditional apology, cautioning them to not indulge in such practices in future.

NACTA’s Khaliq Dad Lak in his inquiry report concluded that the transfer orders of DPO Gondal came from the Punjab CM Usman Buzdar’s office. CM Buzdar in his response stated, “In a nub, the inquiry report merely rubber-stamps the statement of the DPO. There was hardly any need for this inquiry if it was only conducted to support the DPO concerned and to discard everything else.”

Remarking on the probe into the case, the Chief Justice said he could order a joint investigation team to investigate the matter. He further noted that the Punjab AG had raised objections of personal nature against the inquiry officer.

“The prime minister has said that Usman Buzdar will continue as the Punjab CM till the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in power. Let the court make it clear; Buzdar will continue as CM only if the court orders the same,” Justice Nisar said.