Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday assured Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri of transparency in the fresh probe of the Model Town case by a new Supreme Court-constituted Joint Investigation Team (JIT), media reports said.
According to the reports, PM Khan and PAT’s Qadri had a telephonic conversation in which they discussed matters pertaining to the formation of the new JIT in the Model Town case.
Qadri thanked PM Khan over the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s role in the formation of the new investigation team to probe those responsible for the incident, reports stated, adding that the prime minister vowed to fulfill all requisites of transparency and justice in the due course.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Punjab government to form a new investigation team to probe the Model Town case in which Lahore police killed 14 political activists during an “anti-encroachment operation” allegedly on the orders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.
A larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Faisal Arbab and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, resumed the hearing to determine whether a new JIT could be formed to probe the case which is still pending judgement.
During the hearing, PAT chief Tahirul Qadri apprised the bench that the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had formed two JITs but the teams failed to record statements from the injured and the accused alike. He accused the Punjab police and prosecution of acting under the government’s influence.
The new JIT would be formed under Section 19 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, the court declared.
On Dec 5, 2017, the Punjab government released the Model Town inquiry tribunal report after three years following a Lahore High Court (LHC) directive to make it available for public consumption.
The report, prepared by Justice Baqir Najfi commission, had blamed the provincial government, including then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and former law minister Rana Sanaullah, and police for the 2014 incident in which 14 supporters of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were killed.
Moreover, the report expressed disappointment over the fact that the Punjab government did not empower the tribunal under Section 11 of the Punjab Tribunals Ordinance, 1959.