Pak: Reports by probe commissions are seldom officially released

12 May 2017 No Comment

by Usman Manzoor in The News, May 12, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Keeping the reports of inquiry commissions secret is a fashion in Pakistan as the governments failed to make public any of the reports; yet many were ‘leaked’ to the media but hardly saw any action upon them. A few reports of the inquiry commissions were released by the Supreme Court but not the government.

Right from Hamoodur Rehman Commission, it has remained a habit of the successive governments not to make public any of the reports complied by the commissions constituted on matter of national security, important issue and failures of the state organs.

Hamoodur Rehman Commission formed to investigate the factors that led to fall of Dhaka in the supervision of Chief Justice Hamoodur Rhman on 26 December, 1971. The commission complied its report and submitted it to the then government but the, first the report was kept in the closets of Prime Minister House and later when the Military Dictator came to power in 1977, the report was taken in the custody of the military without any action on it.

In 2000, when an Indian website somehow obtained it and published it only then it was made public; that too only to be seen in the GHQ alone. It is yet to be made public officially.

The Abbottabad Commission formed to investigate the failures of state organs over the American Action in Abbottabad that killed Osama Bin Laden, has not been made public yet. Even its Chairman Justice (retd) Javaid Iqbal went public demanding the government to officially make the report public however, his appeals fell on deaf years. However, Abbottabad Commission Report was leaked to Al Jazeera but the government is yet to reveal it to the public officially.

The report of a commission, under the supervision of Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, formed to probe the circumstances and reasons of murder of a Pakistani Journalist Saleem Shahzad, is yet to see the light of the day despite passage of many years.

In 2014, a high-level judicial commission was formed to inquire into the attack on Senior Journalist Hamid Mir on April 19, 2014, in Karachi. An unconfirmed draft of the report was leaked on the social media. The government neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the leaked report. The report is yet to be made public. Similarly, assault on The News Journalist Umar Cheema in 2010 also remains a mystery as the report of the inquiry committee has never been made public.

A judicial commission was also formed on the incident of Model Town killings in 2014 and the report was submitted to the government thereafter. Thought it has been reported in the media through sources but it has never been released officially.

In the recent past, only those reports were made public which were either submitted in the Supreme Court or were conducted by sitting judges of the apex court. For example, the commission report that has been released officially is the report of commission formed to ascertain the reasons of attack on lawyers in Quetta last year.

The commission comprised a judge of Supreme Court who made it public. Similarly, the report of the Memogate Commission was also made public by the Supreme Court in 2012 as it was submitted in the SC. Even the 2010 Flood Commission report kept on gathering the dust for years until the Supreme Court implementation on its findings.

Of late, the report of Dawn leaks has also been submitted with the government and a Minister, a Special Assistant to Prime Minister and a Principal Information Officer have been removed over its recommendations but again there is a call to make the report public.

The finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the government will release the Dawn leaks report officially but how much time swill it take to be made public is not known.

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