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LHC seeks comments on petitions against PAT protest

LAHORE: A larger bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued notices on petitions against the Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) scheduled protest on January 17 for justice to the victims of the Model Town incident.

The full bench, headed by Justice Ameenuddin Khan and comprising Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and Justice Shahid Karim, directed the PAT and other respondents to come up with response on Wednesday morning.

Earlier, a larger bench was dissolved after Justice Farrukh Irfan recused himself from the bench citing personal reasons. As a result, the matter was referred to the chief justice to constitute the bench afresh.

Earlier, a bench had referred a petition seeking restraining order against the upcoming protest of the PAT-led opposition parties to the Chief Justice to constitute a larger bench to hear the case.

The bench, however, rejected the petitioner’s request to restrain the PAT-led political alliance from launching the protest drive from January 17.

On Jan 08, PAT chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri announced to launch a protest movement against the PML-N government for failing to bring the culprits of the Model Town incident to justice.

Almost all major opposition parties have announced their support for the movement for justice to the victims of the Model Town massacre.

The movement is aimed at mounting pressure on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah to resign for their alleged role in the incident.

“Our demand of resignations has not been accepted. We will no more ask for resignations now, but we will take it by force,” Qadri had said while addressing a press conference following a prolonged steering committee’s meeting in Lahore on Jan 08.

The steering committee, which comprises leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Awami Muslim League, Pak Sarzameen Party, and Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, was formed to finalize the modalities of the protest movement.

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