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Lahore High Court orders to make Model Town inquiry report public within 30 days

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On Tuesday, a three-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered the release of the Model Town inquiry report within the next 30 days. LHC has rejected the Punjab Government’s appeal and has demanded the release of the report.

The three members of the bench Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh, Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin reserved the verdict due to an intra-court appeal filed by the Punjab Government on the 24th of November that challenged the decision of the bench that wanted the report to be made public.

This decision further increases the pressure faced by the ruling PML-N. If the report that is to be released reveals that Shehbaz Sharif was involved in ordering the attack on the protestors.

The crucial order by the bench to release the report within 30 days comes over 3 years after the incident took place. On the 17th of June 2014, a violent clash between the Punjab Police and activists supporting Dr. Tahir ul Qadri took place. The activists were members of his political party, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Minhaj ul Quran, his international non-government organization. At least 14 were killed and 100 were left injured in this attack.

Several protestors were shot and killed by the Police and this became a topic of huge controversy as some analysts claimed that the government ordered the Police to open fire at the protestors so that Dr. Tahir ul Qadri’s movement would stop in its tracks. Qadri condemned the attack and labeled it as state terrorism.

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The Punjab Government has since tried its best to not let any inquiries take place and has consistently blocked the release of reports until now. The bench has declared the report must be released and that copies should also be provided to the families of the victims.

After the order by LHC today, the leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed said the following, “We demand the immediate resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. After Nawaz, now Shehbaz will go home. I am seeing the end of his politics”.

The activists were members of his political party, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Minhaj ul Quran, his international non-government organization. At least 14 were killed and 100 were left injured in this attack.

Qadri said in a television interview that this decision by the court is a blessing and that he will continue to seek justice for the horrible attack until the people responsible are hanged. He said he would further elaborate on this in a press conference at 3 pm this afternoon.

Read more: Lahore terrorism: abject failure of Pakistani intelligence & policing institutions

This decision further increases the pressure faced by the ruling PML-N. If the report that is to be released reveals that Shehbaz Sharif was involved in ordering the attack on the protestors, it could have dire consequences for the brother of the recently ousted Prime Minister. Shehbaz was said to be next in line to lead the country but the report’s results could burn this plan to the ground. Could this be the final nail in the coffin for PML-N?


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