Maheen Akhtar |
On June 17th, 2014 a tragedy unfolded at Minhaj-ul-Qura’n International which remains the most heinous crime which is tantamount to state terrorism. This atrocity was carried out by the Punjab police, which acted on behest of the government, against the innocent, unarmed and peaceful workers of Minhaj-ul-Qura’n.The final death toll of 14 citizens included 2 pregnant women, youth and elderly. Punjab police’s brutality injured over a hundred people and left most of them disabled for the rest of their lives.It was June 16, a few days before the return of Tahirul Qadri when the Lahore police tried to remove the barricades from outside his residence.The PAT and Minhaj workers resisted the move and the situation turned ugly in no time.
It was further revealed that Minhajul Quran International (MQI) workers hurled stones at police and in return they were fired upon. Police followed Punjab government’s orders.
The camouflaged findings
The one-Judge judicial commission comprising Justice Baqir Ali Najfi of the Lahore High Court held the Punjab government “directly responsible” for the bloodbath at Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town on June 17, 2014.It was further revealed that Minhajul Quran International (MQI) workers hurled stones at police and in return they were fired upon.Police followed Punjab government’s orders.
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There is no denying the fact that the action of such scale cannot be undertaken without the orders, approval, and clearance of the rulers.
Living in the same city and not much far from Model Town the CM Punjab Mr Shehbaz Sharif was fully aware of what was happening in Model Town but he didn’t order the police for disengagement which resulted in deaths of 14 innocent lives including 2 pregnant women. CCTV and Media footage showed that Punjab police was helping the goons like Gullu Butt who were damaging the infrastructure. Gullu Butt was an active PMLN worker and often used in different crimes by the local leadership.
Read more: From Model Town to Gujranwala: PMLN on road to violence?
There is no denying the fact that the action of such scale cannot be undertaken without the orders, approval, and clearance of the rulers. It was the government who planned the attack by thinking through minutest details and got it executed by Police. Did Police, which was equipped with the state of the art weapons come to remove barriers only? Actually, there were ulterior motives behind the whole operation. The idea was to carry out a merciless operation by targeting PAT workers including women and children, shed their blood and term it as a routine operation against encroachment. This worst ever incident in the country’s history happened due to police officers who get postings on the recommendations of their political masters and then leave no stone unturned to obey their illegal orders both ‘in letter and spirit’.
One of the main figures of the Model Town tragedy, SSP Tariq Aziz got posting in Lahore soon after the release of Gullu Butt from the jail. He was posted as SSP Discipline and Inquiry in Lahore Police HQ. SSP Tariq Aziz was SP Model Town when Model Town Tragedy happened. He was the leading police officer during the operation. He was removed soon after the killing and was not able to get any field posting around two years but suddenly he got promotion and was appointed SSP D & I Lahore.
It is a gainsay that the carnage of Model Town will go on to haunt the House of Sharifs. The case will be tougher than the Panama Case.
For all those who still say that PML-N has done nothing must ask the government to release the full text of Justice Baqir Najfi’s report in which he held Rana Sana Ullah, SP Tariq and CM Punjab responsible for the Model Town massacre. PAT Chief Dr Tahir ul Qadri has announced his return to Pakistan on 8th August. It is reasonable to expect that the demands to release the Najafi Report will gain traction and momentum.
Read more: Model Town Incident: Three years and no hope of justice, yet!
One of the reasons of Shehbaz Sharif’s reticence to leave the position of Chief Minister is that he and the N-League fear the reopening of the Model Town Case. It is a gainsay that the carnage of Model Town will go on to haunt the House of Sharifs. The case will be tougher than the Panama Case.
Maheen Jibran has done Masters in International Relations from NDU, Islamabad. She has a penchant for writing on domestic and international issues. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect GVS editorial policy.