LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri on Friday rejected a Joint Investigation Team formed by the Punjab government to investigate the June 17 killings in Lahore's Model Town.
Speaking to supporters in Lahore via video link from Toronto, Qadri refused to accept any JIT either formed under the Punjab police or without the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
“If the prime minister had to form a JIT, he should have headed it himself and given himself a clean chit,” he remarked.
The five-member JIT, headed by Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema and comprising one member each from two security agencies and an SP and a DSP nominated by the Punjab IG, was notified by the Punjab government on Thursday about two and a half months after a sessions court ordered registration of a fresh FIR on a complaint of the PAT.
Related: New JIT for Model Town case notified
Party leaders say Qadri, who is currently in Canada apparently to reorganise his party and raise funds, will return to Pakistan on Nov 20 to lead a countrywide anti-government campaign.
The cleric-turned-politician, who has been at the forefront of widespread anti-government protests by the opposition, also reminded Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif of what he claimed to be promises that he made in a meeting during an anti-government sit-in in Islamabad in protest against the Model Town incident.
“Army Chief Sahib! You had given your word on the resignation of CM Punjab. You had also promised transparent investigation into the Model Town tragedy,” he said. “When will the arrest warrants be issued for Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif?”
Qadri also claimed that his party registered the FIR of the Model Town incident at the Army chief’s behest. “We now ask you to fulfill your promise of having justice served on the martyrs of Model Town,” he said.
Also read: ATC declares Imran, Qadri absconders
Qadri’s words come two days after an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for inciting people to attack PTV and Parliament buildings and making an attempt on the life of senior police officer SSP Asmatullah Junejo.
Earlier today, the court declared both PTI and PAT leaders as absconders in the case.
Both leaders deny the charge, while Khan says he will not seek bail from the ATC, and has dared the government to arrest him.