LHC orders releasing of Model Town incident inquiry report


Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday announced its reserved judgment on a petition and ordered release of a judicial inquiry into killings of Pakistan AwaamiTehreek (PAT) workers in police firing incident in Model Town here.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the relatives of victims, seeking release of Justice BaqarNajafi inquiry report in Model Town incident. Justice Muzahir Ali Akbar Naqvi directed the authorities concerned to publish and made public the inquiry report.
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 DrTahirulQadri.
On Tuesday, the court had reserved its verdict on petition after counsel for victims’ relatives concluded his argument.
Barrister Ali Zafar, while arguing on behalf of 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.
Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri has said Nawaz Sharif’s trial has begun, which will not allow anyone from the family to come to power in future.
The PAT chief was talking to media following Lahore High Court’s (LHC) verdict directing the Punjab government to make the judicial report of Model Town tragedy public.
On June 17, 2014, in police action against the party during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of party chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, 14 workers had died as a result of police firing and more than 80 were injured.
“Masses cannot receive justice until the reign of barbarity comes to an end,” he said, referring to the provincial government’s alleged role in the incident, Express News reported.
Qadri, however, appreciated the court’s decision, terming it a positive step towards justice. “Several steps are still needed to be take for justice.”
While demanding that the tragedy’s report prepared by Justice Baqar Najfi be handed over to the victims, he said, “Shehbaz Sharif had assured that the commission’s recommendations will be implemented, but that did not happen.” He went on to add that the inquiry report was deliberately kept secret.
He also demanded that the names of the accused be put on the Exit Control List (ECL). “In spite of this, we did not take law into our hands, we did not lose patience”, he remarked.
On July 28, a five-member Supreme Court bench hearing the Panama Papers case of Sharif family’s offshore assets had disqualified Nawaz from the PM’s office for failing to declare a salary, which he had not withdrawn as an executive of Dubai-based company, as an asset when filing his nomination papers in 2013. In line with verdict, the National Accountability Bureau also filed four corruption references against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad’s accountability court earlier this month.—TNS

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