Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri on Sunday announced that his party has shelved its strategy of protests on the Model Town incident and indicated that he will now seek a “legal and political” solution to the problem.
On June 17, 2014, 14 people had been killed and 100 others injured when police launched an assault on supporters gathered outside the residence of Qadri in Model Town, Lahore.
Following a judicial inquiry, a report compiled by Justice Baqar Najafi had pointed fingers at Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Punjab Police for what transpired that day.
Qadri had since pressed for nationwide agitation to topple the incumbent PML-N government. On January 17, PAT had organised a protest at Lahore’s Mall Road featuring Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan People’s Party.
However, during Sunday’s press conference Qadri indicated that his party is moving away from that strategy, if only for the time being.
“Considering the current situation, [we] are laying aside the strategy of protestation,” Qadri said. “PAT is now prioritising a legal and political strategy.”
“We will now get the 14 nominated culprits, including Shabaz Sharif, called to the court,” he declared.
Qadri praised Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and urged him to give justice to “the widows and orphans” of the Model Town incident.
“As a jurist, the chief justice is a good man,” he said. “The eyes of the widows and orphans of the Model Town incident are on you.”
“The beastly powerful has snatched away the rights of the weak, who is now looking at you.”
Qadri said the CJP has formed a joint investigation team (JIT) against senior police official Rao Anwar to probe the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud, and urged him to do the same against “Lahore’s Rao Anwars,” referring to CM Punjab Shahbaz and provincial minister Sanaullah.
“The Supreme Court’s suo moto on embarrassing and agonising incidents is admirable,” he said. “Innocent people were shot at and killed in Model Town. Was that not state-sponsored terrorism? When will the Rao Anwars of Lahore be caught?”
“It is the Supreme Court’s constitutional responsibility to take notice of this matter.”