Tahirul Qadri to return to Pakistan on August 8

Updated 01 Aug 2017

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Qadri's announcement comes as Pakistan is gearing up to elect a new PM after Nawaz Sharif's disqualification. — File
Qadri's announcement comes as Pakistan is gearing up to elect a new PM after Nawaz Sharif's disqualification. — File

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chairperson Tahirul Qadri announced on Monday that he would be returning to Pakistan on August 8, DawnNews reported.

Qadri's announcement has come just as Pakistan is gearing up to elect a new prime minister after Nawaz Sharif's disqualification by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate case.

After the Supreme Court's decision to de-seat Sharif, Qadri had commented on the verdict saying: "Pakistan wins today. It is the victory of people. The nation is indebted to the SC judges who gave this historic verdict. #PanamaVerdict"

He was then quick to point out that the victims of the 2014 Model Town incident also awaited justice: "It is hoped now that the families of martyrs of Model Town will get justice as well. #PanamaVerdict"

A Lahore ATC, on Feb 7, had refused to try the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and eleven others, including some federal and provincial ministers, for the killing of PAT workers during riots in Model Town.

The court, however, had summoned IGP Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera, former Lahore DCO Muhammad Usman and 123 others to face the trial.

Qadri did not take Shahbaz Sharif's nomination as PML-N's candidate for the next PM lightly, tweeting on July 30:

"The elevation of Shahbaz Sharif, who is responsible for Model Town killings, to premiership is not acceptable at all. There will be #GoShahbazGo now."

The PAT chief had spent a few weeks in Pakistan in June and left the country on July 1 to visit Egypt, UK and Norway.

On July 13, he had said that he may return to the country at any moment and had demanded that Nawaz quits because “his crime now stands proven” after the JIT report had surfaced.

Seperately, on July 14, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Islamabad moved to seize properties belonging to Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan after the two repeatedly failed to appear in hearings of the Asmatullah Junejo case, which pertains to an attack on a policeman during the 2014 sit-in in Islamabad.