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LHC turns down PAT’s request to summon Sharifs in Model Town case


News Analysis |

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday, 26th September, has turned down Pakistan Awami Tehreek‘s (PAT) plea that sought to summon ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother, former Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) Shahbaz Sharif and ten other ministers in a case pertaining to the Model Town carnage of 2014. A three-member bench announced the verdict which had been reserved on June 28th.

In a 2:1 judgment, the tri-member bench rejected the appeal where Justice Alia Neelum and Justice Ahmed Naeem ruled against summoning 12 individuals in the case while Justice Qasim Ali Khan gave a dissenting note. However, ex-Inspector General of Punjab Police (IG) Mushtaq Sukhera was directed to appear in the court. The former top cop had been IGP Punjab at the time of the carnage.

The Chief of Minhaj Ul Quran, cleric-turned-politician, Dr. Tahir Ul Qadri staged sit-ins at various places in different cities to protest the killings and to pressurize the government to step down.

On June 17, 2014, Punjab police went to remove the barriers placed outside PAT Chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri’s residence and MQI Secretariat in Model Town. The workers of Minhaj Ul Quran resisted the move which led to a deadly clash leaving 14 workers dead and dozens injured.

Read more: Qadri adds to Sharifs’ misery: The Model Town Case is back…

The Chief of Minhaj Ul Quran, cleric-turned-politician, Dr. Tahir Ul Qadri staged sit-ins at various places in different cities to protest the killings and to pressurize the government to step down. It is pertinent to note that PAT, in its appeal against the ruling of the trial court, had requested LHC to call former ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Asif and others in the case.

On February 7, 2017, the ATC ruled that former premier Nawaz along with cabinet ministers and political personalities were not guilty of the incident, instead declaring IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera including all police personnel at the scene responsible for the tragedy. PAT then challenged the ATC verdict in LHC in April 2017.

In a 2:1 judgment, the tri-member bench rejected the appeal where Justice Alia Neelum and Justice Ahmed Naeem ruled against summoning 12 individuals in the case while Justice Qasim Ali Khan gave a dissenting note.

Earlier, the report compiled by Justice Baqir Ali Najfi of LHC had directly held Punjab government responsible for ‘bloodbath’ in Model Town area. The report, after being withheld for several years, was made public in December last year, which directly implicated Punjab Government officials for the massacre. It was categorically stated in the report that Shahbaz Sharif had not ordered the police to ‘disengage’ from the clashes with PAT supporters.

Read more: LHC has 14 days to wind up Model Town killing cases

It further revealed that Minhajul Quran International (MQI) workers hurled stones at police and in return they were fired upon. Police had followed Punjab government’s orders.

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