In what can best be seen as a return to strong-arm tactics of the Punjab government, two senior officials of the Punjab Police were forcibly picked up in midnight raids on their homes after it transpired that both of them had distanced themselves from an alleged intelligence report that warned of an attack on the Lahore High Court Chief Justice, Khwaja Muhammad Sharif.

Additional IG Special Branch, Colonel (retd) Ehsanur Rehman and his deputy, Shahid Mahmood, were picked up from their residences and detained in an unspecified location where they were allegedly manhandled, say sources.

Highly-placed officials say that it was this treatment that forced the two to retract their earlier statements to the FIA in which they had stated that they had no knowledge of any report into the plot to kill the Lahore High Court chief justice. Instead, they went ahead and said they had authored the report.

Sources said that during the two-day detention in a safe house of the Punjab police, both the Special Branch officers were put under pressure to make them fall in line. One source even claimed that Colonel Ehsan and Shahid Mahmood were manhandled during their custody to make them own the information report before the FIA inquiry commission.

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