Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has criticized the recently published report of the Faizabad Sit-in Inquiry Commission which gave a clean chit to the former Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) General (retd.) Faiz Hamid and blamed the then-government for the entire event.

Asif opined that the report was neither authentic nor reliable, saying, “Faizabad commission was a joke as General (retd) Hamid and former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa did not appear before the commission but only political workers like me did.”

Questioning the reliability of the commission members, the defence minister said that they were not serious when he appeared before the commission.


“The Faizabad inquiry commission must introspect about whether it fulfilled its duty or not,” he added.

Meanwhile, Khurram Dastgir, a senior PML-N member remarked on GTV that Pakistan has its own parliament and that is the only constitutional and right way to investigate this matter.

“Without accruing criminal liability, parliament must call all those actors to inquire the allegations,” said the former defence minister.

“We shouldn’t leave this up to the annals of history but bring out the truth through parliament,” remarked Dastgir.

Remember the Faizabad dharna? The 2017 Faizabad sit-in was organized by Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), led by Khadim Rizvi, on November 8 to protest amendments in the Elections Bill specifically the word ‘oath’ changed to ‘declaration’. On November 25, the government clashed with protestors after many attempts of ‘peace talks’, resulting in nationwide protests and the deaths of more than six people across Pakistan.

Earlier, the Faizabad Dharna Inquiry Commission was formed after accusations were raised that the then Major General DG (Counter Intelligence), General Faiz (who later became D.G. ISI) was involved in the dharna to pressurise the government and to investigate the TLP 2017 sit-in. The Commission has finalized its report, seven years later, and has sent its report to the federal government. The report completely exonerates General (retd.) Faiz Hamid from any responsibilities in the incident.

The three-member commission was headed by retired police officer Syed Akhtar Ali Shah and consisted of former IGP Islamabad Tahir Alam Khan and Additional Interior Secretary Khushal Khan.

The report put the onus on the then-ruling PMLN government, for mishandling the right-wing religious party’s violent sit-in.

The report said that the fallout from the Faizabad dharna was “more due to lack of courage of conviction of the leader handling the issue and in particular the government of Punjab”.

The report stated that former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had “confirmed that no individual/organization was involved in organizing or facilitating Faizabad Dharna”.

Moreover, Mr Ahsan Iqbal, Mr Zahid Hamid, Mian Shehbaz Sharif and the then Intelligence Bureau (IB) Chief were also asked about the alleged role of agencies in supporting the march and they all denied such allegations.