LAHORE Dec. 30 (TNS): Delegations of major political parties are attending an All Parties Conference being held at the Minhaj-ul-Quran secretariat called by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) over the Model Town incident inquiry report.
PAT chief Tahirul Qadri addressed the conference and began by thanking the party delegations for their participation.
Qadri said that it is not his doing that over 40 parties have come to the same table, but the political leaders have gathered to stand against oppression.
“They have come together in support of the judiciary, the army and state institutions,” he said.
“The blood of the innocent people killed in the incident is what unites us today.”
“The Sharifs ordered the police to open fire and then they tell us to go to courts for justice,” said the PAT chief, adding that there can be no justice till the Sharif brothers are power.
Slamming Nawaz Sharif and his party further, the cleric said the former premier’s lifelong deeds led to his disqualification.
“Your character has been revealed in the Panama Papers case and now you are planning to run away and leave Pakistan, which is why you are seeking help from foreign powers,, claimed the PAT chief while referring to the Saudi visit by the Sharif brothers.
“However, they can not save you now, nothing can save you now.”
Warning the incumbent government, Qadri said that they have the option to protest, conduct sit-ins or take other measures which are deemed necessary in their quest for justice.
Leaders from PSP, PPP, PTI, MQM, PML-Q and other parties will present a joint front against the government in protest against the 2014 Model Town tragedy in which 14 people were killed and scores injured.
Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rehman Malik, Manzoor Wattoo and Latif Khosa are representing Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), while delegations of Pakistan Muslim League-Q and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam have are also present at the conference.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen, Aleem Khan and Shafqat Mahmood are also present at PAT’s secretariat.
Qadri has stepped up demands for the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanuallah after the release of the Model Town inquiry report prepared by Justice Baqir Najfi commission.
PTI and PPP have meanwhile assured PAT of support for getting justice for the victims of the incident.
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said, while addressing a joint press conference with Tahirul Qadri, that the party will abide by all decisions taken in the All Parties Conference scheduled for December 30.
“Shehbaz Sharif will have to step down, cases are registered against Nawaz and Rana Sanaullah will also need to step down,” said Zardari while reiterating his earlier demand.
PTI chief Imran Khan also reiterated his support for the PAT chief on Friday, saying the Model Town incident is a humanitarian issue and he will always support Qadri in raising voice against the injustice.
Earlier, Pakistan Sarzameen Party chief Mustafa Kamal in a media talk after arriving at Lahore airport today said that those identified as responsible by the Najfi report should be brought to justice.
The report has brought out everything in the open, he added.
“We will see what the agenda of the APC is, and what decisions are made,” Kamal said, adding that he is attending the conference to express solidarity with those who faced brutalities.
The incident on June 17, 2014 claimed lives of at least 14 people and left over 100 others injured during an ‘anti-encroachment operation’ by Punjab Police outside Idara Minhajul Quran in Lahore’s Model Town.
The Punjab government on Lahore High Court’s orders had made the report of the Model Town incident public on December 5.
The inquiry report said that police tried to cover up the facts regarding who gave orders to open fire on protesters.
It added that no legal opinion was sought from the Punjab advocate general prior to the start of the operation.