Addressing a heavily attended press conference after the Lahore High Court handed down its decision on the petition of PAT, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has said that those who are the principal accused in Model Town case have not been summoned. He said that the dissenting note of the head of the bench deserves attention. He said that the punishment for those who plot and get it plotted is capital punishment. He asked on whose orders 1000 shooters of 50 police stations were gathered in Model Town. He said that those who hatch conspiracies and plan always operate from behind the curtains. If the IGP sent the heavy police contingent, then who got him transferred from Quetta to Lahore overnight? If the masterminds and the planners of the horrible incident are not summoned, who will answer these critical questions?
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that we had petitioned the LHC not to award capital punishment to the perpetrators but only to order their production in the anti-terrorism court. He said that the stage of awarding the punishment or letting go of the accused comes only after the cross-examination. He said that the spirit of justice was not kept in view when the LHC bench handed down the verdict. He said that we are not satisfied with the decision and will move the SC against it.
PAT leaders namely Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Noorullah Saddiqi, Jawad Hamid, Ch Sharif, Sohail Raza, Sardar Ghazanfar Advocate, Mian Rehan Maqbool, Qaiz Faiz-ul-Islam and others were present on the occasion.
Throwing light on some of the points of the dissenting note written by the head of the LHC bench, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that 13 questions raised by the honourable judge are noteworthy, adding that they represent our point of view as well with regards to conspiratorial role of the Sharif brothers:
- The trial court looked at the case from the angle of defence and totally ignored the established principles of the law of evidence.
- It is not out of question to make Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s purported plan of agitation against the government the cause of this incident.
- The trial court did not even bother to examine the JIT report nor did it take notice of the minutes of the meeting held on June 16.
- The trial court also did not collect information about the exact number of barriers placed across Lahore and where they were placed and that whether those barriers were removed in a similar manner.
- The then Chief Minister asked his Secretary Dr Toquir Shah regarding his order of disengagement which the latter said was conveyed to Rana Sanaullah.
- The Law Minister directed the CCPO Lahore to complete the task at hand.
- No reasonable justification was offered for deployment of a heavy contingent of the armed police for removal of barriers at night.
- The facts have established that all these incidents are continuation of the same mindset.
- If the statements of Shahbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah and Dr Toquir Shah that they submitted to the JIT are read together, the viewpoint of the complainant stands endorsed.
- No reasonable logic was shared as to why the aircraft carrying Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri was diverted from Rawalpindi to Lahore.
- The trial court ignored many important points regarding diversion of the aircraft: how many flights were diverted as a result of inhospitable circumstances? Was the weather bad on that day? Was a report from the metrological department called for? When the aircraft was ordered to divert to Lahore, was the control with the Civil Aviation Authority or anyone else? Information should have been collected about all these proofs that were beyond the access of complainant.
- The post-mortem report and MLC show that the people started to get injured at 9:20 am, whereas this incident had come into knowledge of the Chief Minister at 9:00 am.
- The police unleashed brutality on the unarmed, innocent people who had no enmity with police. The perpetration of so much oppression in the name of removal of barrier is enough to gather that there was something fundamentally wrong or rotten somewhere.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri told the media men that the head of the bench wrote a 71-page dissenting note whereas the justice who opined against summoning the accused wrote it in 33 pages and the third honorable member of the bench did not make any comment and only supported the stance taken in 33 pages. He said that we do not have even an iota of doubt that the Sharif brothers and their accomplices are the masterminds of the Model Town tragedy. He said that justice was slaughtered, adding that the powerful are everything in this country whereas the weak do not matter.
In reply to a question, Dr Qadri said that we are giving our opinion on the judgment not on any of the honourable justices. He stated it emphatically that we never uttered even a single word about the judges or judiciary nor should anyone expect this from us. He said that whatever has been stated in our favour, it is our right to talk about it. He said that we will continue to wage battle for justice within the confines of law. He said that our biggest victory is that we have not let this case be shelved or pushed under the carpet, stating that we rendered sacrifices after the tragedy but kept the case alive.
Responding to another question, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Prime Minister Imran Khan called him that morning in which he reiterated his resolve to ensure provision of justice to the martyrs of Model Town incident. He said that the government wants to bring the perpetrators of tragedy to the dock. He said that provincial minister Abdul Aleem Khan and Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch. Pervez Elahi also met him in this regard. He said that these people have been standing by us in our struggle to get justice of the families of martyrs.