ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Thursday gave go ahead to a joint investigation team (JIT) to question incarcerated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in connection with the Model Town massacre of 2014.
Deputy Superintendent of Punjab Police Mohammad Iqbal had filed an application before Accountability Judge Arshad Malik seeking his permission to interrogate the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo in Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Nawaz is currently serving his seven-year sentence after being convicted in the Al-Azizia reference. The JIT was bound to seek Judge Malik’s permission before questioning Nawaz because he had convicted the former premier in the reference.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor Mirza Usman opposed the JIT’s application, suggesting that the investigation officer should instead approach the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to obtain such permission.
Following brief arguments, Judge Malik discarded NAB’s objection and allowed the JIT to interrogate Nawaz.
On June 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured after police launched an assault on Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) supporters gathered outside the residence of its leader, Tahirul Qadri, in Model Town, Lahore.
A subsequent judicial inquiry report on the incident pointed fingers at then Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and the Punjab police for what had transpired that day.
In Sep 2018, a Lahore High Court (LHC) full bench had rejected two sets of appeals challenging a trial court’s decision to not summon 12 people, including Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif, in connection to the complaint moved by PAT.
In Jan 2019, the Punjab government had reconstituted a new five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the 2014 Model Town incident.