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Model Town incident: LHC turns down request to implicate Sharifs

LAHORE: A larger bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday turned down a petition by the Minhajul Quran seeking to nominate the Sharif brothers and others as accused in the Model Town incident case.

A three-judge bench gave a majority verdict, ruling in favour of former premier Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sanaullah and half a dozen others.

The bench upheld a ruling of an anti-terrorism court that excluded them from the list of the accused nominated in the Model Town case.

Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem and Justice Alia Neelum gave the 2-1 verdict while Justice Qasim Khan wrote a dissenting note.

The petitioner’s lawyer contended that there were enough evidence to summon 12 political leaders, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, ex-Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and others, to interrogate them in the case.

However, he argued that the trial court overlooked facts and excluded the respondents who had been nominated in the private complaint of his client.

The Case Background

On July 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured when the police opened fire to disperse protesting PAT workers during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of PAT chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri.

The one-man judicial commission formed to probe the 2014 Model Town incident held that the operation planned and designed under the then Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah “could have easily been avoided” and that the “police officers actively participated in the massacre”.

“This tribunal has very carefully seen the CD of the first press conference of Chief Minister Punjab after the incident in which he did not specifically mention about his direction of disengagement. It has become crystal clear that order of disengagement was not passed at all, rather position taken by CM Punjab appears to be an afterthought defence not taken before the nation in the press conference,” says the report.

The commission maintained that it arrived at the conclusion after “putting all facts and circumstances in juxtapositions”.

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