LAHORE: Appreciating Lahore High Court (LHC)’s decision of releasing a report of the judicial inquiry into the killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in Model Town, Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Dr Tahir ul Qadri on Thursday said that his party has been waiting for the justice for over three years.
In a press conference on Thursday, Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the decision of the high court was a breath of fresh air. He said that the plight of the martyrs of the Model Town massacre had been heard. “Today’s decision by Lahore High Court is a rightful step in the direction of justice,” he said. “I salute Justice Mazahir Ali for his bravery,” he added.
He lauded the valour of Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi for making Model Town JIT report public, adding that names of suspects in the report – including those of Sharif family – should be put on Exit Control List (ECL).
The PAT chief called it the victory of justice and claimed that his party never talked ill about the judiciary.
Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had stated that he would resign if it was discovered in the report that he gave the order to the police to crack down on PAT workers. “Shehbaz Sharif himself had formed the Baqir Najafi commission,” he said.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri also slammed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, claiming that Nawaz as well as his ministers were indulged in badmouthing the judiciary.
“Nawaz Sharif is speaking the language of enemies. He was disqualified for one reason and he reacted by starting a battle against judiciary,” he added. “No one took notice of the fourteen bodies after massacre. The Sharifs have started provoking people despite not facing any such damage yet.”
“Nawaz Sharif is speaking the language of the enemies of Pakistan,” he said. “Ever since his disqualification, he has been criticising the judiciary,” he added.
Tahir-ul-Qadri said that in total, 27 people were killed in the Model Town massacre and not 14. “The Model Town incident is a unique event that highlights the bravery and prestige of our workers,” he said. “Our workers were poor but no amount of money bought them,” he added.
The PAT chief lauded media for highlighting who was behind the Model Town massacre and paid tribute to them for disclosing the truth of the massacre.
“Media highlighted everything that happened on that day,” he said. “It unmasked those who were behind the killings.”
Tahir-ul-Qadri demanded that those people whose names were mentioned in the FIR be included in the ECL. He said that if the government did not release the Baqir Najafi report, it would be guilty of contempt of court.
Earlier today, the LHC announced its judgment on a petition ordering release of a judicial inquiry into killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in police firing incident in Model Town here.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the relatives of victims, seeking release of Justice Baqar Najafi inquiry report in Model Town incident. Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi directed the authorities concerned to publish and made public the inquiry report.
It merits to mention here that as many as 14 workers of PAT had been killed on July 17, 2014 in police action against the party during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of party chief Dr Tahir ul Qadri.
Barrister Ali Zafar, while arguing on behalf of victims’ relatives, contended that releasing the inquiry report was a matter of public interest since the government was bound under the law to provide the required information to the public.
He further asserted that the report was in the government custody, but even after a lapse of three years, the government had been refusing to make it public.
On July 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured when the police opened fire to scatter protesting PAT workers during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.
Meanwhile, Punjab government has decided to file an intra-court appeal against LHC verdict to public the judicial inquiry report of Model Town incident. The verdict reserved two days back was announced by Justice Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi. LHC also accepted the petition filed by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).