Shehbaz Sharif skips inquiry commission hearing in Faizabad sit-in probe

The PML-N president asks the inquiry panel to submit a case-related questionnaire.
ISLAMABAD: According to sources cited on Thursday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif did not show up for the inquiry commission’s Wednesday meeting to look into the sit-in in Faizabad.
Instead, the sources claim that the former prime minister requested that the commission send him a questionnaire about the investigation they intended to carry out.
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According to the sources, the commission has received his request and has sent a 21-point questionnaire with a deadline for a response.
Since he was Punjab’s chief minister at the time of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)-organized sit-in in 2017, the inquiry panel had called the PML-N president to testify in person and provide a statement on the matter on January 3.
The inquiry panel has called former Director of Inter-Services Intelligence Lieutenant General (retd) Faiz Hamid three times so far, but the former military man has not returned their calls.
According to the sources, the commission is considering video-linking Faiz’s statement.
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On January 22, 2024, the commission will turn in its inquiry report after the investigation is finished.
The inquiry commission was established by the interim federal government in November of last year to oversee the execution of the 2019 Faizabad ruling by the Supreme Court.
The probe panel, led by retired IGP Akhtar Ali Shah, was established by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on its own initiative following the court’s rejection of the government-appointed fact-finding committee report.
Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa stated on November 15 that the commission would have the authority to call anyone, including prime ministers, chief justices, and former army chiefs.
The probe panel had previously heard testimony from former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, former PM Fawad Hasan Fawad’s secretary, and other high-ranking officials from Punjab and Islamabad who were involved in the incident.