Former law minister claims ISI chief pressured him to resign in Faizabad sit-in case

ISLAMABAD: Zahid Hamid, the former Federal Law Minister, disclosed that during the Faizabad sit-in, he was approached by Lieutenant General (retd) Faiz Hamid, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General, who urged him to step down from his ministerial position.

Hamid recounted that junior officers from the ISI Lahore visited his residence on November 26, 2017, to request his resignation amidst the sit-in turmoil.

His account was documented in the report submitted to the Faizabad Sit-in Commission, where he testified as part of the investigative process initiated by the Supreme Court following the 2017 protest led by former Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

Hamid, who relinquished his ministry due to the sit-in, detailed his interactions with ISI officials during the protest. He mentioned a meeting with unidentified individuals, possibly colonel-level officers, at the Law Ministry, where he briefed them on his adherence to the directives of then-Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leadership.

Subsequently, Hamid recounted a second meeting with Faiz Hamid, then serving as the head of ISI’s counter intelligence wing, who proposed the idea of a temporary resignation to resolve the crisis. However, Hamid expressed reluctance, citing the Prime Minister’s refusal to accept his resignation.

As tensions escalated, Hamid conceded to pressure and agreed to announce his resignation, with ISI officers visiting his Lahore residence to facilitate the process. After consultation with the Punjab Chief Minister, Hamid consented to publicize his resignation before formal submission to the Premier.

Reflecting on the events, Hamid acknowledged the necessity of intervention as the situation deteriorated. He also disclosed a meeting between PML-N leaders and a TLP delegation during the sit-in, emphasizing the baselessness of accusations regarding his faith.

Despite efforts to appease protesters, Hamid recognized the persistence of the demonstrators, ultimately leading to his resignation from office.


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