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PTI to join Qadri in Model Town massacre protest

Model Town massacre
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News Analysis |

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday announced that his party will join Pakistani Awami Tehreek (PAT)’s protest over Model Town killings. Addressing a news conference at his Banigala residence, Khan urged the chief justice to take a suo motu notice of the Model Town massacre because four years have passed and no action was taken against the perpetrators.

He also requested the chief justice to take a notice of security expenditure of Sharif’s Jati Umra residence. PAT chief Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri announced on Monday that his party would hold an anti-government protest from the mall on 17th January in Lahore. He said this in a news conference after the meeting of the multi-party conference committee; he also announced that the central leadership of all political and religious parties will join him in the protest.

A similar situation has emerged in Punjab and this time the demands are even higher, if the trend of 2017 continues, we can expect a new chief minister in Punjab following the one in Baluchistan.

Qadri blamed Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah over the Kasur incident where a minor girl was raped. The PAT chief assured that the protest will be peaceful but any interference from the police will be severely dealt with. Imran Khan had earlier offered his full support to Qadri’s cause of getting justice for the Model Town victims but yesterday, he made a formal announcement that he will be joining PAT’s protest to take down the Punjab government.

Read more: Tahir ul Qadri holds press conference after Model Town report decision

He, however, did not clear whether his participation will be symbolic or would he stay there until the demands are met. Khan severely reprimanded the Punjab government for Sharif family’s security expenditure. He said that citizens of this country are not safe while 2500 policemen have been deployed to provide security to the ‘royal family’.

The PTI chief lamented while speaking on the murder and rape of six-year-old Zainab that her family was demanding justice from the army chief and the chief justice of Pakistan, they had no faith in the Punjab government and the Punjab police.

Last year, we witnessed the strength of a protest group led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi of Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TYL), their obstinacy forced the government to give in to their demands and Law Minister Zahid Hamid was made to resign.

He regretted that if severe action had been taken against the 2015 Kasur child abuse scandal, such incidents wouldn’t have happened again. PTI chief compared the performance of KPK police with Punjab police, stating that they had reformed the provincial institutes and presented statistics to back his claim, he showed optimism that Punjab police can also be reformed in the same way.

Read more: A conversation with Dr. Tahir ul Qadri

On 17th June 2014, Punjab police opened fire on Minhaj-ul-Quran protesters, killing 14 and injuring more than a hundred people. The case has been going on ever since without any major breakthroughs but at the end of last year, Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered that Justice Baqir Najafi’s judicial report about the Model Town incident should be made public. The report was released on Punjab government’s website on 5th December 2017; it pointed fingers at Rana Sanaullah, Shehbaz Sharif and the Punjab police.

The PTI chief lamented while speaking on the murder and rape of six-year-old Zainab that her family was demanding justice from the army chief and the chief justice of Pakistan, they had no faith in the Punjab government and the Punjab police.

PAT chief has since demanded the resignation of the CM Punjab and the law minister, stating that they had lost the moral ground for staying in power. He earlier given a deadline of 7th January but later extended it to 17th January. It appears that the PML-N government in Punjab is surrounded on all fronts. Religious parties were already demanding the resignation of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah over comments that hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims; corruption cases are ongoing in the NAB court against CM Shehbaz Sharif and now the Model Town protests.

Read more: ‘Jannat’ born on Multan bound PIA flight

Last year, we witnessed the strength of a protest group led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi of Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TYL), their obstinacy forced the government to give in to their demands and Law Minister Zahid Hamid was made to resign. It was a big blow back to the writ of the state and the government of PML-N in the center. A similar situation has emerged in Punjab and this time the demands are even higher, if the trend of 2017 continues, we can expect a new chief minister in Punjab following the one in Baluchistan.


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