LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairperson Imran Khan reiterated his support for Pakistan Awami Tehreek cheif Tahirul Qadri and his party in pursuing justice in the Model Town case.
The Punjab government, at the behest of Lahore High Court, made the report for the Model Town incident public on December 5. The report was drafted by Justice Baqir Najfi and called the 2014 tragedy in Lahore’s Model Town the “most unfortunate incident” in the country’s history.
“I came here today with my team to reassure PAT and Qadri that our party and the people of Pakistan are with them,” said the PTI chief while addressing a joint news conference alongside the PAT chief. “Whatever decision PAT takes, PTI will stand alongside it.”
Imran added that the tragedy of Model Town is not only PAT’s issue, but it is an issue for the people of Pakistan.
The PTI chief criticised Nawaz, saying the latter was brought to the forefront by a dictator but is worse as “they are a mafia”.
“They tried their best to hide what they did in Model Town.”
Imran further said Nawaz was brought to the forefront by a dictator and he is worse than a dictator as “they are a mafia”.
Imran also alleged that the Punjab police works on the orders of the Sharif family and are on their “beck and call”.
The PTI chief, referring to the movement announced by the former prime minister, said he is waiting for the campaign to start and added that “Nawaz can never start a movement”.
He further claimed that Nawaz is finished and he has not realised the reality yet.
Speaking at the news conference while sitting beside Imran, Qadri welcomed the support and said the PTI chief has stood by him and has fought the case as his own.
“Imran has jointly struggled with us and has stood by us throughout,” said Qadri. “The connection between PTI and PAT is very strong and our 2014 sit-in was a proof of that.”
Referring to the upcoming All Parties Conference called by PAT, Qadri said the future course of action will be announced after the conference.
Qadri, elaborating on the Model Town tragedy, claimed the former prime minister, Nawaz, also played a part in the episode.
“I am sure that the bloodshed could not have happened without Nawaz Sharif’s agreement, orders from [Punjab CM} Shehbaz Sharif and execution by [Punjab Law Minister] Rana Sanauulah.”
The PAT chief further claimed that the Punjab chief minister never gave the order to pull back the police forces.
He questioned on whose authority, if not the chief minister’s, could at least 1,000 police “shooters and snipers of the police” could be summoned to the spot.
Qadri also said all limits of injustice were crossed in the Model Town incident. “One brother was sent home over Panama, the other will go due to Model Town.”
He also said that the army’s help in the matter is not required and they need not step in.
The Model Town incident had claimed lives of at least 14 people and left over 100 others injured during an ‘anti-encroachment operation’ by Punjab police outside Idara Minhajul Quran in Lahore.
‘Police tried to cover up who gave orders to shoot’
Justice Baqir Najfi commission enquiry report stated that police tried to cover up the facts regarding who gave orders to open fire on protesters.
The report added that no legal opinion was sought from the Punjab advocate general prior to the start of the operation.
The commission also stated that on the ground, the standoff continued the whole night, resulting in minor injuries to police constables as well as PAT workers.
It was after 9am that the DIG operation arrived at the site, who called the SPs of different divisions of Lahore, and a result the policemen started increasing in response to the swelling up of the PAT activists.
The commission observed in its report: “The level of cooperation in digging out the truth is that no police official from top to bottom, whether actively participated in the operation or not, did utter a single word about the person under whose command the police resorted to firing upon the PAT workers.”
Further, in its conclusion, the commission stated, “It is shocking to note that everyone has deliberately but unsuccessfully tried to cover each other from possible adverse legal effects.”