LAHORE - The inspector general of police (IGP) Punjab has ordered the Rawalpindi police to ensure transparent and merit-based probe into the claims of retired military lawyer, Col Inam-ur-Rahim, that unidentified men allegedly set his car on fire and assaulted his teenage son on Saturday morning.

Well-placed sources disclosed to The Nation on Sunday that the Rawalpindi police in its initial findings sent to the Central Police Office (CPO) within 24 hours of the happening have observed that the incident was fabricated as the son of the ex-army officer was repeatedly changing his statements before the investigators. “We don’t think this was an incident. We smelt a rat,” a senior police officer said, requesting his name not be mentioned because of the sensitivity of the matter. According to the retired army man, intelligence operatives allegedly beat up his 19-year-old son, Shoaib Inam, and, later, set his car on fire in Rawalpindi on Saturday morning.

However, security officials termed the claims concocted and baseless, stating it seemed that a conspiracy had been hatched to defame the state institutions by creating a false situation purely for political purposes. “This may be the handiwork of someone who wanted to tarnish the image of the Pak Army and intelligence agencies,” a military official commented when contacted.

The alleged car-fire incident took place three days after the so-called physical attack on Col (retd) Rahim which left him with injuries to his face and other body parts.

“Are agencies are so senseless that their men would attack a leading lawyer at a time when he has filed several lawsuits against the army and the agencies?” the official questioned assertively. Unfortunately, he said, the lawyer wanted to get cheap popularity through point-scoring and staging dramas for political gains.

Earlier, Punjab IGP Habib-ur-Rehman had verbally ordered the regional police officer (RPO) Rawalpindi to ensure a merit-based inquiry into the alleged assault on the son of the retired military lawyer and submit the initial report within 24 hours.

A police officer also noted that soon after the so-called car-fire incident, the lawyer immediately contacted his ‘colleagues’ to instigate protests at the bar councils for political mileage rather than informing the police instantly.

When asked why the police refused to register a case as alleged by him, a senior police officer said the lawyer was himself unwilling to get his case registered. “That man (Col Rahim) was interested in media coverage rather than getting his case registered,” the officer remarked.

More interestingly, Col Rahiem told a leading international media group that when he went to the police to report the attack, they refused to register his case. As a matter of fact, the police said, a case under sections 365, 511 and 536 of the Pakistan Penal Code had been registered at the Airport police station on the statements of Shoaib, the son of the ex-army man.

Reportedly, an investigation officer said the car had been set on fire and two parties were fighting with each other by the time he reached the crime scene on being informed by officials of the Rescue 15 about a brawl going on in Kashmir Colony on Saturday.

The police officials believe Inam-ur-Rehim is in the habit of irritating others as his track record reveals and his fight with the taxi drivers was not the first example of this kind. The ex-army lawyer, a controversial character, got extensive media cover locally and internationally for filing lawsuits against the army and the intelligence agencies. According to his ex-colleagues, Col (retd) Rahim is fanatic and publicity monger who could go to any extent for cheap publicity.

When asked whether the police would register a criminal case against the retired army lawyer if it was proved that car-fire incident was a fabricated incident created for political gains, a police officer said, “Of course, the police are bound to book a cheater and fraudulent if it is proved.”

It is important to mention here that the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society has also disowned Col (retired) Inam-ur-Rahim, the so-called convener of the society, stating the man has vested interests and is playing in the hands of anti-Pakistan elements. According to a member of the society, who wished not to be named, some vested interests are using Col (retd) Rahim to defame the Pakistan Army.

Col Inam-ur-Rahiem had also represented Brig Ali Khan, a military officer facing court-martial for his alleged links with a banned outfit, Hizb-ut-Tahrir.