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Tahirul Qadri calls for Panamagate JIT like probe into Model Town incident

LAHORE: Stepping up his prolonged campaign against Punjab government and Sharifs, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri on Sunday demanded a Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) like probe into Model Town tragedy.

Talking to journalists here after holding a meeting with Sheikh Rasheed, Qadri held Sharifs and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah responsible for the Model Town massacre.

Calling for immediate resignations of Shehbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah, the PAT chief said the incident report was suppressed to cover up their barbaric acts. “Involvement of Nawaz Sharif cannot be ruled out as IGs and DCOs [District Coordination Officers] were changed during the probe of incident,” Qadri underlined.

He said the Baqar Najafi inquiry report into killings of party activists disclosed the names of culprits.

On the occasion, Pakistan Awami League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed said Rana Sanaullah and Shehbaz Sharif should immediately step down from their posts if they have ‘an iota of morality’ left in them.

He vowed his party support to Qadri’s campaign against responsible of Model Town incident, adding, the entire opposition is with PAT leadership on the matter.

The PML-N government has been facing pressure from opposition parties calling for immediate resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah over Model Town tragedy which claimed 14 lives of PAT activists.

Earlier this week, former president Asif Ali Zardari and PAT chief Tahirul Qadri unanimously demanded resignation from Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif over the Model Town incident.

Expressing support to PAT, Zardari threatened to take to streets and launch a campaign against Shehbaz, if he did not resign after Baqar Najfi report made public.

“We equally share grief of heirs of the victims and the PAT. Such an incident has never been witnessed in Pakistan,” Zardari said while talking to media in a joint press conference with Qadri.

On other hand, a six-member delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also held a meeting with Qadri and vowed the party support to his campaign .

At least 14 people died in the Model Town tragedy or the Lahore massacre on 17 June 2014.

Punjab government on Tuesday released the report of the judicial inquiry carried out into the 2014 Model Town incident hours after larger bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered the government to release the report regarding the incident which left at least 14 people dead and several others injured.

Amongst other conclusions, the report said that Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif did not pass the “disengagement” order as he claimed before the judicial commission. It also maintained 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”.

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