By Iram Salim
(Pak Destiny) Younger Sharif – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif – if has any iota of self-respect should resign from his office forthwith after the publication of damning report of Justice Baqar Najafi’s report that implicates him for his ‘criminal’ role in the killing of 14 supporters of Canada-based cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri in Lahore in June 2014.
The one-member judicial commission inquiry is available on the Punjab government’s website – www.dgpr.punjab.gov.pk . The Punjab government had to make it public on the Lahore High Court’s order.
The report reveals the Model Town killings were virtually staged to stop Qadri from long march he planned along with PTI chairman Imran Khan in August 2014. To anticipate this, Shahbaz’s lieutenant Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah had given the task and the operation was carried on the pretext of ‘removing barricades’ outside Dr Qadri’s house.
“This single-minded determination of the minister to thwart Dr 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,” the report says.
Although the whole Punjab government is critical of Justice Najafi for not fixing responsibility the judge believes the readers after going through facts and circumstances, can themselves fix the responsibility of the unfortunate Minhajul Quran tragedy.
Some incriminating points of the Najafi report are here
Rana Sanaullah should suggest his fate after this revelation – the damning report says: “The operation planned and designed under the chairmanship of the then law minister (Sanaullah) resulted in gruesome killings could have easily been avoided.”
— The facts and circumstances of the bloodbath clearly show that the police officers actively participated in the massacre.”
— The apathy and recklessness of all authorities in Punjab in the matter under hand created genuine doubts about their innocence.”
— The actions of police of firing and severely beating the people on the crime scene is irrefutably suggestive that the police did exactly for which they were sent and gathered over there.”
— During the June 16, 2014 meeting, Sanaullah was told that the PAT was seeking to overthrow the government and bring a “revolution”, which Sanaullah made clear that Qadri would not be allowed to achieve.
—- The commissioner Lahore is then said to have briefed the minister about the barriers placed on roads around the PAT-run Minhajul Quran Academy, which were technically illegal and could be considered and treated as encroachments by the authorities.
— Sanaullah seems to have seized on this ‘excuse’ to disperse the PAT supporters from Minhajul Quran’s vicinity.
—– It was decided to remove them the encroachments with immediate effect.
Shahbaz’s Protégée – Dr Tauqeer Shah – who has fled the country after the incident
— Dr Tauqeer Shah also consented on behalf of the Chief Minister, Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for the removal of the barriers,” he sates, hinting at the possible involvement of the provincial chief executive, his boss.
—- The police were sent over to take action. They reached the spot around midnight of June 16, 2014 to execute their orders, but “the furious mob and [PAT] sympathisers commenced pelting stones on police.
—– The police, as a retaliatory measure, resorted to firing towards the protesters, leaving many persons injured at the site of the incident … some of whom succumbed to their injuries afterwards.
— Level of offensive used by police was not by any stretch of imagination commensurate with the resistance offered by the “unarmed PAT workers”.
— Police non-cooperation to bury the truth was hall mark of the report. “No police official from top to bottom, whether those who actively participated in the operation or not uttered a single word about the person under whose command the police resorted to firing upon the PAT workers. .. can Shahbaz has any answer to this.
—– Understandably, all police officials were in unison in withholding the information from this tribunal… unfortunately, such are the facts and circumstances under which 14 persons have been shot.
—- The judge also notes that the order to open fire must have been given specifically by an officer of the police not below the rank of an Assistant Superintendent or Deputy Superintendent of Police, according to Section 128 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
—-The tribunal, therefore, remained conscious of the deliberate silence and concealment of facts by police officials/officers … creating circumstances to think that the police had to abide by the command announced secretly (or openly) to achieve the target at the cost of even killing the unarmed but precious citizens of Pakistan.
—- This led the tribunal to say that this motif of betrayal of law by the police aimed at burying the truth speaks volumes of their high handedness,” he states.
— When the federal government was asked why the Punjab police chief and DCO Lahore were changed in the run-up to the Model Town “bloodbath”, it did not provide any satisfactory response. Such facts and circumstances obviously lead to an adverse opinion.
— The day (Jun 17, 2014) and time (between 10.30am to 12pm) both are very vital as the IG Punjab did not practically take over the command of Punjab Police by then and at the same time the honourable new chief justice was about to take oath. Had this tribunal been empowered to investigate, the hidden truth regarding the government’s behind-the-scenes machinations might have been exposed.
—-Doubts are also raised regarding the intentions of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.—- So terrible
According to CM Shahbaz having seen the standoff at 9.30am on TV, he immediately contacted his secretary, Dr Tauqir Hussain Shah, on phone to order the police to disengage forthwith. However, he notes, this statement does not corroborate with what Rana Sanaullah or the Punjab home secretary deposed before him.
Now Shahbaz Sharif should show some self-esteem and resign forthwith after this damning report. He has not only lost moral ground to rule the largest province but also he may not escape the punishment for his criminal role in the killings of 14 innocent people. Pak Destiny