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PPP-PTI joined PAT for Shehbaz Sharif resignation

08 December, 2017

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LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Thursday joined hands with Pakistan Awami Tehreek in its demand for resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif over his alleged role in the Model Town tragedy.

Former president Asif Zardai called on Tahir ul Qadri at the Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Lahore and held a meeting, also attended by Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Manzoor Watto and Qamar Zaman Kaira.

Later at a joint press conference, the PPP leader demanded the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his ‘role’ in the Model Town incident of 2014. “After this report, he (Shehbaz) stands condemned. And a condemned man is not capable of being the CM of the largest province of Pakistan,” said Zardari, referring to the Model Town inquiry tribunal report that was made public on Tuesday (December 5), three years after the incident.

“Enough is enough. Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz also has to resign and come in front of the court,” Zardari said. “We have come here to express our solidarity with Allama sahib. Now we will not tolerate Shehbaz. Now we will fight and take to streets with him (Qadri),” he added.

PAT chief Tahir ul Qadri also reiterated his party’s demand seeking criminal charges against Shehbaz. “We are willing to do all that is necessary – within the ambit of the law, that our constitution allows – to ensure our demands are met,” he said, a day after calling on his supporters to ‘prepare’ his container for another sit-in.

Qadri said the Model Town inquiry report clearly indicated Shehbaz Sharif as a ‘murderer’. “The barriers [around Minhajul Quran Secretariat] were lawful and no one had objected to them for three years. The force which was sent used unlawful means. They were there to drop bodies and not remove barriers,” he said of the incident which took place on June 17, 2014.

The PAT chief alleged the entire operation had been conducted under the supervision of Rana Sanaullah. “People, who say the report is not conclusive, are lying,” he said, adding that anyone who reads the report prepared by Justice Baqir Najfi commission will know who was responsible for the Model Town tragedy.

“Rana Sanaullah should step down and surrender himself to law,” he demanded.

“We will take steps, with in the ambit of the law and the constitution, to bring those responsible for Model Town incident to justice,” Qadri announced.

PTI chairman Imran Khan had earlier in the day promised his support to Qadri to get justice for those killed and injured in the Model Town incident after police opened fire on PAT supporters following the clashes.

During a phone call, Khan assured Qadri that PTI would join PAT if it decided to launch protest against government’s failure to nab the culprits. Both leaders decided to chalk out a joint strategy in this regard. “Senior leaders of both parties will soon meet to work out a joint strategy,” said a statement issued by the PTI.

Talking to media outside an anti-terrorism court earlier, Khan alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah were behind the Model Town incident. “Both of them should be put behind bars immediately as Justice Baqir Najafi’s report exposed all their lies about the incident,” he said.

He said he wanted to assure Qadri that PTI would join him whenever he announced protest against Punjab government over the case. “I will request all Pakistanis to come forward and protest against those killings to give a clear message to the rulers in Punjab that people will no longer tolerate killing of innocent citizens,” the PTI chief said.

PML-N leader and son of Punjab chief minister Hamza Shehbaz meanwhile called Dr Tahir ul Qadri an ‘enemy of democracy’.

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