LAHORE - Interior Minister Ch Nisar said on Friday that the security officials who allowed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) member Zamurad Khan to try to grab the gunman in Islamabad a day earlier would be suspended.
Gunman Sikander Hayat accompanied by his wife and children brought Islamabad to a standstill on Thursday by waving two sub-machine guns and occasionally firing into the air.
“The policemen shot Sikander in the chest and on his leg after Zamurad stepped in. The third bullet hit his wife,” Nisar said, “but we had wanted to avoid all casualties.”
“We didn’t want any firing,” he added, claiming that Sikander Hayat was two kilometres away from the Red Zone.
The interior minister said that when he was told of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Nabeel Gabol’s arrival at the site, he urged that he be kept away, saying that “security measures should be left to the security agencies.”
Talking about the demands made by Sikander, he said that his first demand was for the release of his son, who is imprisoned in Dubai. “Secondly, he said that he wanted employment here at any embassy,” he stated, adding that the armed man was not connected to any terrorist organisation but was not mentally sound.
Nisar said that they could have easily fired at Sikander but “there was no guarantee that he wouldn’t have fired back.”
He also said that there was no guarantee that the firing would have incapacitated him.
Condemning how the media covered the operation live, the interior minister said that restrictions should be placed on the media so this doesn’t happen in the future.
“We had made a plan to switch all the street lights off and then carry out an operation in the dark but Zamurad had already stepped in,” he said, claiming that they just wanted “15 minutes” from the media.
“I could have asked media to back off completely but this would have caused another crisis,” the interior minister said, adding that the incident should serve as a lesson for times to come.
The interior minister further said that he is planning to talk to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) about it.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday ordered inquiry into Jinnah Avenue incident.
The Prime Minister directed Secretary Interior to conduct inquiry and present the report by evening today.