LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri says he wants justice and Qisas for his party workers who were killed in the police firing in Model Town on June 17, 2014.
Addressing a sit-in on The Mall on the second anniversary of the Model Town killings late on Friday night, Qadri called upon Army Chief Raheel Sharif to order trial of the Model Town case in a military court. He said the judicial system of Pakistan was not capable of dispensing justice to the victims. He said the FIR of the Model Town killing was registered on the intervention of the army chief.
Qadri said that family members of the deceased were offered high-level jobs abroad. He said, “The poor families of the 14 martyrs of the Model Town incident are committed to getting justice for their beloved ones.” He said the cruel and vicious leaders dominated the administrative system in Pakistan. The PAT chief said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had been acting as a workaholic, but he was sleeping on June 17 when the Punjab Police shot 14 people dead in Model Town. He said the murderers were police officers, but the masterminds of the plan were Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. He said the government would fall before September this year.
The PAT chief said he was just postponing the sit-in due to Ramazan; he was not ending the protest. He said the rulers destroyed the country politically and economically. He said that Pakistan’s total foreign debt was Rs 6100 billion in 2008 when General Pervez Musharraf quit. This figure increased to almost Rs 14,000 billion when the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) completed its five-year tenure in 2013. He said that Pakistan’s foreign debt rose to Rs 25,000 billion in 2016, just after three years of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in power.
Earlier, PAT workers staged a sit-in on The Mall to mark the second anniversary of the Model Town firing incident in which at least 14 party workers were killed and more than 100 injured. Personnel of the Punjab Police opened indiscriminate firing on PAT workers outside the offices of the Minhaj-ul-Quran Trust of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri when they did not allow the police to remove barriers outside the trust. A big number of PAT activists from across the country reached The Mall before iftar to participate in the sit-in. Women and children were also participated in the sit-in at daytime. PAT chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri reached the venue of the sit-in venue at midnight. The PAT set up a stage in front of the Punjab Assembly and made seating arrangements for about 15,000 people on The Mall – from Charring Cross to Regal Chowk. The bombproof and air-conditioned container, which Qadri used during the 72-day PAT sit-in in Islamabad in 2014, was brought to the venue of the sit-in in the evening. The district administration blocked The Mall from Charring Cross up to Regal Chowk for traffic.
Huge contingents of police were deployed for security of the people taking part in the sit-in. Traffic wardens were also deployed on the roads leading to the sit-in venue to control the traffic flow.