Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri said Tuesday that the Model Town tragedy tribunal report has been tampered by the Punjab government to conceal facts from the public and families of the deceased.
On June 17, 2014, workers of PAT and Punjab Police clashed violently, which left 14 people dead and many injured as a result of police firing.
While talking during a programme on a private news channel, Qadri said that the first paragraph of page 65 of the Model Town tragedy report was doctored as it showed a lot of inconsistencies, thus indicating towards concealment of facts by the Punjab government.
He said that failure to delegate complete responsibility to the tribunal by the provincial government meant that facts regarding the incident were being hidden from the public eye.
He further said that the year mentioned in the first paragraph of page 65 of the report was 2017. “How come a meeting held on June 16, 2014 was shown to be held in 2017?” he questioned.
According to details on page 65 of the report: “In the said meeting dated 16-6-2017 held under the chairmanship of the former Punjab Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Local Government and Community Affairs, Rana Sannaullah, and attended by Chief Secretary, Secretary to the Chief Minister, Home Secretary Punjab, Commissioner Lahore, CCPO Lahore, Representative of Special Branch in which the latter gave the source reports which came under discussion in the milieu of violations, ouster of the Government, system, and bringing in the revolution on account of return of Dr Tahirul Qadri and his call to hold a long march from Rawalpindi to Lahore on 23 of June 2014.”
Qadri said that Punjab government’s efforts to keep the crucial report under wraps depicted the mindset of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which promoted the culture of terrorism and high-handedness in the province.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Qadri had said that the Punjab government had put all-out efforts to trash the Model Town inquiry report.
He said that despite the availability of facts, the provincial government was adamant to release the Justice Baqar Najafi inquiry report covering details of the killing of 14 PAT workers by the police.
Earlier in the day, the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected the Punjab government’s petition which challenged a single bench’s decision to release the report of a judicial inquiry carried out into the Model Town massacre.
The honourable court directed the provincial government to make the report public within 30 days and provide a copy of the report to the families of deceased PAT activists.
A single bench of the LHC, comprising of Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, had allowed a petition filed by the victims’ families on September 21, and directed the government to make the report public.
Hailing the LHC report as a step in the right direction, Tahirul Qadri said that his party had been patiently waiting for justice since the last three years, and had finally achieved a victory.
He said that Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif’s name had also been included in the commission report, adding that the CM should step down from his office for being involved in the killing of PAT activists.
Qadri claimed that both Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif would be thrown behind bars soon for ordering the attack on peaceful PAT supporters. Ever since Justice Baqar Najafi submitted his report to the provincial government, attempts have been made to sweep the issue under the carpet, he added.
On the other hand, Punjab government spokesman Zaeem Qadri said that the inquiry report was not being published yet as it still needed some final touches. He also said that the provincial government would challenge the report in the Supreme Court whenever it was made available to the public.