LAHORE: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on Thursday announced that it would stage countrywide protests from tomorrow over the decision of a joint investigation team (JIT) — constituted to investigate last year’s Model Town tragedy — to give clean chits to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah from charges of ordering or abetting police action against the supporters of PAT chief Tahirul Qadri.
Speaking at a press conference in Lahore on Thursday, PAT President Raheeq Abbasi and Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur announced countrywide protests and demanded the transfer of the case to a military court.
Both the representatives further added to form a new, unbiased JIT — that too excluding the members of police.
They explained that police is also a ‘suspect’ in the incident therefore it should be kept out of the JIT.
The party representatives further complained that government, during the sit-ins, had promised to form the JIT through a mutual agreement between PAT and government — but their concern was not taken.
Moreover, PAT demanded of the government to change the Model Town JIT’s head as well, alleging the current head of JIT of holding close ties with Sharif family.
Last year on November 13, the government had formed a five-member JIT to probe into the Model Town incident.
Other than law enforcement agencies, the probe also included representatives from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).
Eleven workers of PAT were killed and over 100 people were injured in the June 17 clash between police and PAT workers in Model Town, Lahore.
The killing led to anti-government protests led by Qadri who also staged a two month long sit-in in Islamabad.