Inconclusive Model Town report

17

FOLLOWING a Lahore High Court (LHC) directive to make Justice Baqar Najafi’s report — compiled after a judicial inquiry into the 2014 Model Town incident, the Punjab government on Tuesday evening released the report through the website of its public relations directorate. The report does not directly affix responsibility but on the face of it points fingers at the police for the operation against the furious workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek which also resulted in loss of many lives.
Though it was a positive act on the part of Punjab government to make public the report in pursuance of the high court’s order but by and large the report spanning over one hundred and thirty pages is incomplete, inconclusive and leaves many questions unanswered. We understand this was the reason that retired chief justice Khalilur Rehman Khan, who was appointed to ascertain the facts and fix responsibility on the basis of evidence gathered by the Najafi Commission, had suggested the provincial government not to accept the report and also advised it against making the report public – a large extent of which is based on source reports and secondary evidence not admissible in courts. Also addressing a news conference on Tuesday, Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah while describing the report deficient said vital agency reports on which the Commission’s findings were based were missing from the document. What is the credibility of the report when it has been rejected both by the provincial government as well as the other party – the chief of PAT Tahirul Qadri who has announced to go ahead with its march towards the Civil Secretariat. Indeed Model Town tragedy was a regrettable incident and the inquiry report on it is equally disappointing but still we understand the PAT chief should rather pursue the legal course instead of agitation as in the recent past the protests by a religious party both in Lahore and Islamabad have already greatly harmed the country. People in fact are also fed up of such frequent calls for protest demonstrations and sit-ins. It is therefore time to give them some peace of mind when other relevant forums are available for redressal of grievances.