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SC to establish JIT for 2014 Model Town incident

19 November, 2018

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The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered the formation of a larger bench to establish a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the 2014 Model Town incident.

Bisma Amjad, a woman affected by the incident, had filed a petition requesting to constitution a new JIT to probe the killings of killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in the incident .

The larger bench, including Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and three other SC judges, will also include representatives from other provinces, and will begin hearing the case from December 5.

PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri who was present in court today said that since the indictment of former IG Sukhera, the case has "gone to zero".

Qadri requested the formation of another JIT to re-investigate the case.

The lawyer for Shahbaz Sharif and others, Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, said that time is required for preparation.

On Saturday, the SC, while hearing the case in the Lahore registry, had issued notices to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and 137 others nominated in a case lodged by PAT regarding the 2014 Model Town incident.

On June 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured after police launched an assault on PAT supporters gathered outside the residence of 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.

From a reading of the conclusions of Justice Baqar Najafi's report, it is understandable why the provincial government fought tooth and nail to prevent its release.

It is also understandable why its publication was preceded by a lengthy press conference by Rana Sanaullah in which he sought to highlight the report's flaws, including what he called its reliance on "secondary evidence" and it, therefore, having no legal status whatsoever.

He kept referring to it as "defective", and the Punjab government made sure the Justice Najafi report was accompanied online by a one-man committee's report on a review of its flaws.

Delineating the chronology of events, Justice Najafi reported that then Punjab minister for parliamentary affairs Rana Sanaullah seemed to have already decided on June 16, 2014, that the PAT Chairman Qadri would not be allowed any opportunity to hold a long march from Rawalpindi to Lahore, as the latter had planned to do on June 23, 2014.

This single-minded determination of the minister to thwart Qadri's political objectives ended up influencing the police's heavy-handed strategy in dealing with the situation, which resulted in the needless loss of lives the very next day, Justice Najafi argued in the report.

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