Capital gunman leaves PML-N govt 'speechless'; Nisar face tough time
17 August, 2013
LAHORE: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had a tough time facing the media, as he remained unable to give satisfactory answers regarding security concerns at a press conference on the issue of the Islamabad gunman drama.
The minister accepted his responsibility for restricting the police to open fire on the gunman and endangering lives of senior police officers by saying "they are meant for dangers".
About maligning Pakistan's security image abroad, he could respond vaguely and held the live coverage by the national media responsible.
Chaudhry Nisar said although the intention of PPP leader Zamurd Khan was fair, he should not have interfered in the security operation.
He said all police officers, including senior officials, would be suspended for allowing Zamurd to breach security.
When asked why an FIR was not being registered against Zamurd for his interference in the security operation, the interior minister said this would not be an appropriate step.
Nisar also accepted the responsibility for prolonging the operation for so long. However, he held the media responsible in this regards. "I don't want to become 'Sultan Rahi'; otherwise it was hardly a 30-minute operation. I ordered [the authorities] to approach the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and stop the live coverage for 15 to 30 minutes for conducting the operation; however, this was not ensured," he remarked.
When our sources asked why at the cost of national repute and the repute of law enforcement agencies the police were not allowed to take action, he remained unable to give any satisfactory response. "I had analysed that there was no threat from this man; therefore. I ordered [the police] to catch him alive, because I did not want [the police] to attack him before his children and wife."
Chaudhry Nisar said they have learnt many lessons from the incident and "we have identified our weaknesses, like inability to conduct any police operation in the dark, unavailability of infrared guns and stun guns and stun bullets, and the procedure to isolate the crime scene".
The minister said there were two main demands of the gunman; first to get his son freed from Abu Dhabi's prison, and second to allow him to go to UAE embassy along with his weapons. The minister said the first demand was unmanageable, however, to the surprise of many media persons present there, he said there was no problem in accepting his second demand.
To another query about PPP leader Zamurd Khan, he said Zamurd tried to show his bravery, but he could not overpower the gunman. He said the PPP leader could have been hit, but fortunately the bullet got struck in the gun chamber.
He said the condition of the gunman, Sikandar Hayat, was critical, but he was now stable. "He remained on a ventilator for nine hours, and at 12:30pm on Friday, he started breathing on his own."
The minister said that Sikandar was an addict, and according to his wife, he got off drugs in March this year.
Nisar said he had given three orders when he received information about the incident. "First, there should be no fire if he has not held anyone hostage, second, there should be no violence in front of the children, and third, he should be arrested alive."