Home South Asia Pakistan Sharifs in trouble as SC orders JIT formation in Model Town case

Sharifs in trouble as SC orders JIT formation in Model Town case

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News Desk |

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday wrapped up proceedings of the Model Town case, ordering the Punjab government to form a new Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

The larger bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan was hearing the case of model Town massacre in which 14 people were killed in 2014. The bench comprises Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Faisal Arab, and Justice Mazhar Alam Mian.

The court had issued notices to 146 people, including, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar and former foreign minister Khawaja Asif

This single-minded determination of the minister ended up influencing the police’s heavy-handed strategy in dealing with the situation, which resulted in the needless loss of lives the very next day, Justice Najafi argued in the report.

Justice Nisar on November 19 announced constitution of a five-member larger bench of the SC to hear a petition seeking the formation of new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Model town carnage.

Bisma Amjad, the daughter of Tanzila Amjad who was among those who got killed in the incident, had filed a petition requesting to constitute a new JIT to probe the killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in the incident. The court, while accepting the petition, had issued notices to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif for being respondents made by the petitioner in the case.

The notices were also served to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders including Rana Sanaullah, Hamza Shahbaz, Daniyal Aziz, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Asif, Abid Sher Ali, and Pervez Rasheed. The Lahore High Court had earlier rejected a petition by Minhajul Quran seeking to nominate Sharif brothers and others as accused in the Model Town incident case.

Read more: New Bench and New JIT: Model town incident to be re-investigated

A three-judge bench had given a majority verdict, rejecting the plea to include Sharif brothers and half a dozen others in the list of the accused nominated in the Model Town case. Pakistan Awaami Tehreek then approached the SC to challenge the LHC’s verdict.

Model Town Carnage

In a deadly assault launched by police on PAT supporters, 14 people got killed and 100 others injured on June 17, 2014, while they gathered outside the residence of Tahirul Qadri, in Model Town Lahore. The then Chief Minister immediately ordered the judicial inquiry into the matter, which Tahirul Qadri rejected, claiming it could not independently conduct an impartial investigation under PML-N’s government.

Bisma Amjad, the daughter of Tanzila Amjad who was among those who got killed in the incident, had filed a petition requesting to constitute a new JIT to probe the killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in the incident.

The judicial tribunal headed by LHC’s Justice Ali Baqar Najafi completed the inquiry and submitted the report to the Punjab government on August 9, 2014. However, the government refused to make it public. After three years, on Dec 5, 2017, following a Lahore High Court (LHC) directive, Justice Baqar Najafi’s report was made public.

Justice Najafi reported that then Punjab minister for parliamentary affairs Rana Sanaullah seemed to have already decided on June 16, 2014, that the PAT Chairman Qadri would not be allowed any opportunity to hold a long march from Rawalpindi to Lahore, as the latter had planned to do on June 23, 2014.

This single-minded determination of the minister ended up influencing the police’s heavy-handed strategy in dealing with the situation, which resulted in the needless loss of lives the very next day, Justice Najafi argued in the report.

Read more: Will Dr. Qadri achieve justice for Model Town victims?

Though Justice Najafi himself did not affix responsibility for the tragedy, he invited readers to review the facts and circumstances and “easily fix the responsibility of the unfortunate Minhajul Quran incident” themselves.


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