LAHORE: Government of Punjab has made inquiry report of Model Town incident public on Tuesday after Lahore High Court (LHC) upheld its verdict over review petition filed by chief minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government.
The report was compiled by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi commission after the incident was probed following killing of at least 14 persons and scores were left wounded on June 17, 2014 in a clash between police and workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in Model Town of Lahore.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif did not pass the “disengagement” order as he claimed before the judicial commission formed to launch an inquiry, the report says.
‘This tribunal has very carefully seen the CD of the first press conference of Chief Minister Punjab after the incident in which he did not specifically mention about his direction of disengagement. It has become crystal clear that order of disengagement was not passed at all, rather position taken by CM Punjab appears to be an afterthought defence not taken before the nation in the press conference,” says the report.
The commission maintained that it arrived at the conclusion after “putting all facts and circumstances in juxtapositions”.
The report also maintains that the operation planned and designed under the then Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah “could have easily been avoided” and that the “police officers actively participated in the massacre”.
Punjab Police had moved to remove the barriers placed outside Dr Tahirul Qadri’s residence and Minhajul Quran International (MQI) Secretariat in Model Town. The workers of MQI resisted the move which led to a deadly clash.
The report made public today stated: “The participants were in knowledge of the orders passed by Lahore High Court (LHC) and no legal opinion from Advocate General Punjab was sought prior to the decision to start the operation.”
“The then law minister, Rana Sanaaullah, had a strong point of view who decided not to allow Dr Qadri to take any opportunity to fulfill his objective,” the report added.
Report of the commission further reads: “Admittedly such a level of offensive by police by any stretch did not commensurate with the level of resistance by unarmed PAT workers.”
The court dismissed three appeals filed by the Punjab government against the release and ordered to public the report of Justice Baqir Najafi Commission within 30 days.
Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) had argued that the report should be made public because it is the right of people to know who killed their loved ones in the incident.
The ruling PML-N leader has reaffirmed his claim that the Model Town incident inquiry report doesn’t hold Shehbaz Sharif responsible. “The (Model Town incident) report only says probably the order of Shehbaz Sharif wasn’t forwarded,” the Punjab Law Minister said while speaking to a press conference in Lahore on Tuesday. He said that the report bears shortcomings.
On June 17, 2014 police moved to remove the barriers placed on roads leading to Minhajul Quran institutions and residence of Dr Tahirul Qadri in Model Town of Lahore, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief.
PAT chief had announced to lead a long march against alleged corrupt government on June 23, 2014.
Removal of barriers deemed encroachments resulted in deadly clash between the law enforcers and workers of the political front claiming 14 lives and leaving numerous injured.
Understandably, all were in unison in withholding the information from this Tribunal.”
“Unfortunately, such are the facts and circumstances in which they continued to proceed,” Justice Baqar wrote in the report.