LAHORE: The Punjab government, at the behest of the Lahore High Court, made the report for the Model Town incident public.
“The government promised, when the matter was sub-judice in the high court, that it would make the report public and it duly fulfilled its promise,” Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.
The minister, however, repeatedly dismissed the report as defective during the media talk.
“The report is defective in the eye of law as it is based on secondary evidence, which is not admissible as per the Evidence Act,” Sanaullah said.
The law minister accused Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s leader Tahir ul Qadri (PAT) of creating a fuss over the [Model Town incident] report.
“The [Model Town inquiry] report holds no government official responsible for the incident,” Sanaullah said, adding that ‘not a single word’ in the report holds the Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif responsible for the incident.
The provincial minister, in the press conference, said that the report mentions in certain places that PAT workers gave resistance to police, which later became the reason for police action.
“Qadri blames the government for the tragedy, but he incited the people towards violence and he kept saying the night before that the time of martyrdom is here,” Sanaullah said.
“None of the police personnel present at the incident was held responsible,” he said, adding that a chaos was created by PAT workers.
The report was not made public because a court trial was underway and the government wanted to protect the rights of all parties involved in the case, the law minister said.
Discussing the issue of making the report public, Sanaullah said that the Punjab chief minister ordered the report to be made public immediately after the high court announced its decision on the case today (Tuesday).
“The report did not have any impact on the case and it is public as we speak,” he said.
Responding to a journalist, Sanaullah said that he could ‘swear’ that Qadri knew exactly what happened.
“He [Qadri] knows exactly what happened and just making this allegation to stir trouble for the government,” he said, adding that it didn’t suit Qadri’s stature, as a religious scholar, to make false allegations.
“There are no two ways about it that this issue is politically motivated.”
At least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured in the police action against PAT workers during an ‘anti-encroachment operation’ in June 2014.