Model Town : Judiciary upheld law & justice: Tahir ul Qadri

Judiciary upheld law & justice: Qadri


Pakistan Press Club LAHORE: Terming the Lahore High Court (LHC) decision on making the Model Town report public as historic, which upheld law and justice, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri has said both the Sharif brothers would be behind the bars very soon.

“Our demand is the resignation of Shahbaz Sharif from the office of the chief minister,” said Qadri, who was addressing a press conference on Tuesday, a few hours after the LHC ordered the release of the inquiry report on the June 2014 Model Town incident.

Qadri congratulated his supporters, saying they had been rewarded in their struggle for justice and added that the innocent people were meaningless for the heartless leaders. The inquiry report was buried since it highlighted the role of the real perpetrators, said the PAT chief, adding that after the 2014 sit-in, his party had decided to fight a legal battle to ensure provision of justice to the aggrieved.

Qadri said the PAT was fighting a battle on two fronts for the past two years and that the FIR of the Model Town tragedy was registered after the intervention of former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif. He said PAT contested the case both in people’s court in the form of sit-in and in the court.

Former LHC CJ finds serious flaws in report

Pakistan Press Club ISLAMABAD: A one-man committee, comprising former Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Khalilur Rehman Khan has pointed out over a dozen flaws in the Model Town inquiry report and asked the Punjab government not to accept the inquiry report as it could fan sectarian tensions.

While making public the Model Town inquiry report on Tuesday on LHC orders, the Punjab government has also published a review of the report by Justice (R) Khalilur Rehman Khan. The review report points out serious contradictions and flaws in Justice Baqar Najafi’s report and term it against sectarian harmony.

“I for the deficiencies noted herein above and for the reason enumerated would recommend that the government will be advised not to accept this report. Moreover, making the Report (public) specially the marked pages will be against public interest as it is likely to damage sectarian harmony and public peace”, says the 68-page analysis of Model Town Inquiry Report signed by Justice (R) Khalilur Rehman who has also served as a Supreme Court judge.

The review noted that judgment of tribunal regarding Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif not passing the order of disengagement to police was “grossly unfair”. It says the finding of tribunal in this regards are self-contradictory as on the one hand the Tribunal says that such a direction “may have been passed listlessly” while on the other hand the Tribunal has observed that the “order of disengagement was not passed at all.

In his detailed review, the former LHC Chief Justice noted that Model Town Inquiry Tribunal ignored a number of facts and witness statements regarding firing on police by armed Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) workers on the day of unfortunate incident. The incident known as Model Town Tragedy took place on June 17, 2014 in which 14 people had been killed and 100 others injured when police launched an operation against the PAT workers gathered outside the residence of party chief Dr Tahirul Qadri in Model Town, Lahore.

The review report wondered why the tribunal ignored report of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) which detailed firing from the PAT chief’s residence injuring policemen. “The three police officials received bullet shots at about 9.30 a.m totally unprovoked when the police wanted to recover the besieged police officials. The police officials received gunshot injuries as is apparent from medical record produced during the inquiry,” it says.

In his statement Superintendent Police Tariq repeatedly stated that, PAT workers resorted to severe aerial firing during attacks on the Police. “The above stated version as to firing by PAT workers appears not to have been challenged in cross-examination by the Tribunal,” Justice Khalil’s report says.

In this connection CCPO’s report that two SMGs and three 30 bore pistols were taken into possession from the PAT miscreants. “In the presence of aforesaid evidence on record how could the finding be made that PAT workers had not used fire arms,” the report says.

Also the report pointed out that the Tribunal of Inquiry visited the site of incident on 19-06-2014 in the evening in dark hours, noting that visit at such a time would not be of any practical utility. “May be for that reason notes of the visit and the facts seen were not prepared, despite requirement of the law”.

The review noted: “The Tribunal of Inquiry has assumed the role of a Judge while recording verdict/ decision in respect of these issues.” It adds that conclusions recorded by tribunal suffer from factual and legal infirmities.

It is evident that the then Minister of Law and Local Government Rana Sanaullah has based the decision for removal of the barriers on legal grounds and not for any extraneous reasons. “The observation of the Tribunal suggesting that the decision was taken because of some strong point of view not to allow Dr. Qadri to take any opportunity is therefore not borne out from record,” report says.

Thus the decision to remove the barriers at site was not the real cause “leading to most unfortunate incident in the history of Pakistan” rather it was something that transpired at the site on 17.06.2014 that triggered off the said incident and the attitude of the Management of Idara Minhajul Quran which admittedly had given an ultimatum to the SP Model Town to leave within 10 minutes (see page 55 of the report).

The record sufficiently describes the situation which developed resulting into the death of 10 persons and injuries to PAT workers and police officials. It is on record that there was at least three occasions on which the police had attempted to negotiate with the PAT leaders for removal of the barriers on their own, of which two such occasions are mentioned at page 53 of the Report while third is mentioned at page 27 of the Report.

The review also termed the remarks of tribunal on page 57 as most unfortunate where tribunal states “it was painfully noted that armed policemen stated manhandled the women and heard announcing to call Hussain and Ali.”

The review questioned a witness Javed Iqbal who is described as overzealous as he wrongly described the events of the day which could not be verified from other witnesses. The reviewing judge noted that the said witness wanted to arouse sectarian feelings.

“The crafty Javed Iqbal knew about the faith of presiding officer and intended to invoke his religious feelings”. It says that the tribunal did not unearth the factors involved in vandalism by Gullu Butt apparently in the presence of police. It wondered how the tribunal missed the incident, which was reported widely by media.



Report defective, inconclusive: Rana Sana

Pakistan Press Club LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday termed Model Town report defective, saying the evidence on which the document was based was irrelevant in the eyes of the law. “We did not publish the report earlier because we believe in rule of law”, said Rana Sana, addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

Announcing that the report could be downloaded from the Directorate General Public Relations’ website, he requested the honourable judiciary that some other inquiry commission reports were yet to be made public and they could please consider those as well. The reasons for not making the report public earlier were multifold, he added.

Rana Sana said the chief minister decided not to make the report public because the appointment of the commission was challenged by the PAT, which never accepted it. This, he said, caused legal complications and complexities in releasing the report. The second most important reason was that “the report is inconclusive, it does not fix responsibility on any government or police official,” he said, adding that there was also a possibility of the report being misused to further inflammatory sectarian agenda.

“Although, I respect Justice Najafi but I have the right to point out whatever legal deficiencies there are in the report,” said the veteran PML-N leader. “It is rather interesting that the inquiry tribunal did not visit the place of occurrence.”

He also pointed that Justice Najfi stated in his report that he could not find enough plausible information to fix responsibility on any individual, yet he wrote, “Reader of report can easily fix the responsibility although tribunal could not reach a conclusive fixing of responsibility”. Justice Khalil-ur-Rahman had also stated in his analysis of the report that “it does not affect the FIR, prosecution or investigation of the case,” Rana Sana added.

“There is not a single word in the report that fixes responsibility on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The report mentions that when the CM was notified of this issue he told the secretary to visit [the spot] to disengage the police and protesters,” said the law minister.

“The report does not even express complete confidence in this as well and expresses doubt if the CM’s directions were maybe not communicated, maybe not communicated in real spirit. This report is only trying to make this remark doubtful,” he said.

“Shahbaz recorded his statement before the tribunal, and accorded to the law of the land. The statement is either accepted or confronted by the tribunal. The chief minister was never summoned in front of the tribunal according to the law of land, therefore that statement has attained finality,” he told.

The chief minister decided to seek an overview of Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman of the report, instead of making the inconclusive findings public to the millions to make their own opinion, he stated.

Talking about himself, Rana Sana said the report accused him of presiding over a meeting with one of the items being the removal of barriers as part of an anti-encroachment drive. He disputed this observation and said the removal of barriers had never been a part of the agenda and was discussed with him after the meeting by the official concerned.

“The chief secretary, home secretary, members of intelligence agencies and other officials were also present in this meeting and they are witness to this fact,” he stated. No secret orders were given or recorded regarding carrying out an armed raid on the PAT headquarters, Rana Sana stressed.

Talking about the information on which the report is based, he said the evidence was either from the government side or security agencies, as PAT had boycotted the inquiry completely and refused to contribute. The tribunal, therefore, relied upon source reports that were secondary evidence and defective in the eyes of the law, he added.

“Even those reports have not been tagged with the tribunal inquiry report despite repeated reminders by the government and are still missing to this day,” he added.
Rana Sana said, “While the tribunal report fails to fix responsibility on who fired first, the agency reports mention that firearms were fired from both sides.”

He said Qadri needed bodies to make their Islamabad sit-in a success and had been using the issue for political mileage. He said Qadri had been complaining on the streets that justice was not being done, while at the same time, the PAT workers and members had been recording their statement in persuasion of their complaint before the anti-terrorism court (ATC).

He said the delay in the judicial process was because of the PAT itself as they had changed their stance several times through multiple FIRs and then submitting a complaint against 135 persons in the ATC. The ATC had already acquitted the 12 main Political leaders who were accused by PAT of offering settlement at the PML-N office, because of total absence of evidence, he mentioned.

The ATC had also rejected the application to incorporate the tribunal report as evidence, he added.

Talking about the sectarian aspect in the report, Rana Sana said there were no sectarian divide or preferences in recruitment of police and to assume anything of the sort would be outright wrong and a dangerous assertion that could spark sectarian conflicts.

“Police is never made to act on sectarian basis as it comprises all sects,” he said. They were not instigated with any sectarian slogans and there is no evidence that the slogans flared sectarian conflict at the spot, Rana Sana noted.

What Next?

Related Articles