Shun politics on Model Town tragedy

The 2014 Model Town tragedy in which fourteen people lost their lives in a Police action was undoubtedly a deplorable incident that warrants condemnation in the strongest possible terms and one fully agrees with the demand that all those responsible for this massacre are brought to justice at the earliest. While the provincial government should have fulfil its responsibility on the matter yet at the same time doing politics or using the incident for petty political interests is injustice to the victims and amount to rubbing salt to their wounds.
Given the timing of all parties conference held under the aegis of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in Lahore on Saturday which saw both adversaries, the PPP and the PTI, sitting with Dr Tahirul Qadri leaves no doubt that it was more a political affair to bring Shahbaz led government under pressure rather than demanding justice for the victims. If the PPP was really feeling pain of the victims, why it did not join Dr Qadri’s sit-in on the matter three years ago? At that time, the PPP declared Dr Qadri’s move a threat to democracy. Following the ouster of Nawaz Sharif as PM, the opposition parties see Shahbaz Sharif as the only hurdle in their way to gain electoral victory in Punjab, as the province plays a decisive role in forming a government in the centre. While the PPP has lost all its impact in the province, the PTI has managed to make inroads but Sharifs still enjoy popularity owing to development work carried out by Shahbaz led government in different areas over the last few years. This is the reason that the opposition want to remove Shahbaz from the current slot to dent the ruling party. Dr Qadri led APC again demanded the resignation of Shahbaz and Rana Sanaullah by January 07 warning that a protest will be launched if the demand was not met. Dr Qadri and his political cousins have built their case on Baqar Najafi inquiry report, which for many people is inconclusive and leaves many questions unanswered. 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 himself suggested the provincial government not to accept the report and also advised it against making the report public as a large extent of which is based on source reports and secondary evidence not admissible in courts. We suggest Dr Qadri and opposition parties to stop doing politics on the blood of innocent people and rather pursue the legal course if they are really interested to take the case to logical conclusion and provide justice to the victims. It is time for the parties to demonstrate more maturity and seriousness in their conduct and prepare for the next general elections while adhering to basic norms of democracy.

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