PAT protests against non-release of Model Town inquiry report
LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on Friday staged a protest demonstration outside Civil Secretariat against the provincial authorities for withholding the Model Town incident inquiry report in defiance of the Lahore High Court verdict.
PAT activists carrying placards inscribed with slogans demanding the release of the report criticized the PML-N government and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for dragging their feet to implement the court orders.
Speaking to media, PAT leader Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said the government had withheld the report in violation of the LHC verdict. If it did not release the report, the party will again approach the higher court seeking contempt proceedings against the authorities for flouting its orders, he added.
Earlier on Thursday, the LHC single bench had announced its judgment on a petition seeking court orders for release of the report of a judicial inquiry into the killings of PAT workers during police operation against encroachments outside PAT chief residence in Model Town.
Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi directed the authorities concerned to publish and made public the inquiry report.
The verdict came on a petition filed by the relatives of victims, seeking release of Justice Baqar Najafi inquiry report in Model Town incident.
It merits to mention here that as many as 14 workers of PAT had been killed on July 17, 2014 in police action against the party during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of party chief Dr Tahir ul Qadri.
Barrister Ali Zafar, while arguing on behalf of the victims’ relatives, contended that releasing the inquiry report was a matter of public interest since the government was bound under the law to provide the required information to the public.
He further asserted that the report was in the government custody, but even after a lapse of three years, the government had been refusing to make it public.