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Police struggle to find leads in case on alleged attack on journalist’s wife

Car of Journalist Ambreen Fatima that was attacked. Photo: Twitter

LAHORE: The Lahore Police is currently clueless about the alleged attack on journalist Ambreen Fatima, the second wife of investigative journalist Ahmad Noorani, and are not ruling out the possibility that it may have been staged, senior officials said on Saturday.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Investigation Cantt. Division Naveed Irshad, who is investigating the case, told Bol News that the police were unable to find any CCTVs in the area that would help them track the suspect.

Read more: Former CJP Nisar rejects alleged leaked audio clip, terms it ‘fabricated’

“So, we are currently unable to find any clue to move forward in our investigations,” the SP said.

The officer said that the victim of the alleged attack, Ambreen, has also stated that she has not been able to recognise the suspect. “There is no witness of the incident or someone who could recognise the culprit who came on foot and attacked her car and moved away.”

Staged attack

Another senior police officer, who is also part of the investigating team, said that he is also not ruling out the possibility that the incident may have been orchestrated by the victim herself to seek asylum in a foreign country.

His suspicion was based on the lack of CCTV footage and eyewitnesses. He also shared that there has been a history that such events have been carried out for this specific reason.

“They make up such incidents and get it published in newspapers and [get it] covered on television to create hype and achieve the ultimate aim of getting an asylum,” said the officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official also questioned why Ambreen had not contacted the police helpline 15 immediately and took two hours to approach the police regarding the incident.

Sources belonging to the inner-circle of Ambreen and Ahmed Noorani also appear to agree with the police officer’s suspicion.

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Ever since the incident occurred many media houses have linked the alleged crime as a blowback to the story published by Noorani on former chief justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar. The story is based on an alleged audio clip of former chief justice of Pakistan.

Nisar, in the audio clip, told an unidentified man that he purportedly passed instructions to sentence former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, at the behest of some ‘institutions’.

On the other hand, Noorani has clarified that the incident has no link with the story in a tweet. “Many media persons and friends are connecting an incident of attack in Lahore with me and my recent story about Justice Saqib Nisar audio. This is incorrect. I have stated many times and I reiterate that a high-powered judicial commission should probe all allegations against Saqib Nisar,” Noorani said.

Details of the incident

The first information report (FIR), a copy of which is available with Bol News, shows that the case was registered at the Ghaziabad police station on Thursday a day after the alleged crime took place.

“I (Ambreen) and my children left the home at 8pm on Wednesday and as soon as we reached the adjourning street, an unidentified person hurriedly moved towards our car and hit the windscreen three to four times with a metal object having an intention to cause harm,” Ambreen stated in the FIR. She also added that she works for the Urdu-language daily, Nawa-i-Waqt.

She clarified that she has no enemies and urged the police to provide her security and arrest the suspect.

Ambreen snubs asylum allegations

When Bol News asked Ambreen about the asylum allegations, she said that travelling to the United States is not difficult for her, adding that people who have been spreading such rumours are unaware of what she and her children are going through.

“They believe that as if I am telling a lie or its drama (staged to seek asylum), it is their point of view. They can continue saying whatever they want, I do not care [about them],” Ambreen told Bol News.

Read more: Robbers snatch Rs34 mn from family in Lahore

People close to Ambreen’s husband have claimed that Noorani has divorced her and she staged the crime so she could seek asylum and force the journalist to pay her damages.

However, Ambreen dismissed these claims and said she was still Noorani’s wife.

Meanwhile, political pundits believe that the reaction given by PML-N suggests that it was a staged attack as they want to defame the state institutions. They also claimed that if Ambreen gets asylum then it would harm Pakistan’s reputation.

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