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Shahbaz records statement with Model Town JIT

Updated March 19, 2019

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PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif says he did not have any knowledge about Model Town operation in which 14 people were killed. — DawnNewsTV/File
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif says he did not have any knowledge about Model Town operation in which 14 people were killed. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif on Monday appeared before a five-member joint investigation team (JIT) probing the 2014 Model Town incident and recorded his statement.

The new JIT, which was constituted by the Usman Buzdar administration, reportedly quizzed Mr Sharif about whether he ordered the operation against encroachments around the Model Town resident of Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.

“Shahbaz Sharif told the JIT members that he neither ordered the operation nor was it in his knowledge. When he was told about the killings, he ordered disengagement,” a source told Dawn.

When contacted, PML-N Punjab spokesperson Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan told Dawn that the party had reservations over the formation of the new JIT in the presence of a judicial probe into the incident. “Nothing can go beyond the court proceedings,” he said and added Shahbaz Sharif’s statement was the same which he had given to the one-member judicial commission.

The JIT is headed by National Highways and Motorways Police Inspector General Allah Dino Khawaja. The committee members included a representative of the Inter-Services Intelligence, a representative of the Military Intelligence, the Intelligence Bureau deputy director general and the Gilgit-Baltistan police headquarters deputy inspector general. This is the third JIT to investigate the Model Town incident.

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, had disposed of the suo motu notice on Dec 5 after the Punjab government apprised the bench of a new JIT going to be formed to investigate the Model Town case.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2019