LAHORE - Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar had to face a rather embarrassing situation on Tuesday when PAT Chairman Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri sought his assistance in getting a murder case registered against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and others over their alleged role in the June 17 Model Town tragedy.
PAT sources privy to its internal meeting told this correspondent on Tuesday that Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri raised this matter when the governor visited his Model Town residence to discuss various issues. This was the second meeting between them; the first took place on Monday as part of the negotiations to bring Qadri out of the plane.
Prior to seeing Qadri, the governor had a meeting with the prime minister to discuss the political situation and other related issues.
Qadri called the governor his personal friend and brother who, according to him was sagacious enough and could have averted the Model Town tragedy had he been consulted by the prime minister and the chief minister.
PAT sources revealed that Qadri asked the Punjab governor to get an FIR registered against the persons named in an application lodged by a Minhaj-ul-Quran director some days back with Faisal Town police station for their alleged involvement in the Model Town incident.
They quoted the PAT chief as saying during the meeting with the governor that the government should have freed all his workers who had done no wrong; rather dozens of them were booked under Anti-Terrorism Act and the police got their 10-day remand from anti-terrorism courts.
According to PAT sources, Qadri told the governor that he wanted action against the Model Town tragedy perpetrators without any further delay.
Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, a senior PAT leader, when contacted, confirmed some details of the meeting and said, “Our leader will have to opt for a massive agitation if we don’t get justice for our martyrs. Registration of an FIR against the persons involved in the Model Town tragedy is of prime importance for our leader.”
Earlier, unveiling his first line of action at a press conference at Minhaj Secretariat, Qadri announced to take out rallies each Friday during the holy month of Ramazan to express solidarity with Pak Army.
While announcing support for the Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan, the PAT chief announced that he would visit Khyber Pakhtunkhawa to meet the internally displaced people (IDPs). He also termed Zarb-e-Azb operation Zarb-e-Haq, a jihad against the terrorists.
The PAT chief also announced to lodge hijacking cases against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for diverting his plane from Islamabad to Lahore.
Dr Qadri further announced to file a suit for $10billion damages against Emirates Airlines for obeying illegal orders of the Pakistan government.
He announced that the Aitkaf city which Minhaj-ul-Quran had been holding for the last 19 years would not be held this year and all the expenses allocated for it would be donated to the IDPs of North Waziristan. Initially, Minhaj would send 25,000 food packets for the IDPs, he said, urging the government to allocate a separate budget for the IDPs.
Dr Qadri reiterated the allegations that the PML-N government had planned to eliminate him and demanded a commission, comprising three Supreme Court judges, which should probe the matter through reputable officials of ISI, IB and MI.
He asserted that as long as Shahbaz Sharif was chief minister no government commission would be accepted.
Refuting the government allegations of torture on policemen by PAT and Minhaj workers in Rawalpindi, he said all this was done by plain-clothed policemen brought in police vehicles to trap and defame his workers.
He said the government was still trying to tamper with the record of the police firing incident which had left more than 12 PAT workers dead.
Qadri alleged the rulers as well as their ministers and supporters like Gullu Butt were the biggest terrorists of the country.
The PAT chief said that in response to the police attack on the Minhaj Secretariat, he could have directed his workers to attack the Raiwind palace, but he exercised restraint. Similarly, he said, after the hijacking of his plane, he could have asked the workers to occupy the Islamabad airport, but he again abstained.
Replying to a question of giving up the demand of army security, he said he was himself a jurist and knew that the military would never act without orders from the government.
He said the government refused to seek the help of the army despite a six-hour deadlock after which the governors of Sindh and Punjab played an important role in resolving the issue.
Dr Qadri also led the funeral prayers of a worker, Shahbaz Ali, who succumbed to his injuries.
Meanwhile, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, talking to media persons outside Qadri’s residence, said those responsible for the Model Town tragedy would be punished. He added the PAT and Minhaj workers against whom no case had been registered would be freed.
Meanwhile, an MQM delegation, comprising Amin-ul-Haq, Abdul Haseeb, Khalid Sultan, Iftikhar Randhawa, Rehan Hashmi and Asif Hasnain, held a meeting with Qadri and exchanged views on the current situation.
Another delegation of PPP, under the leadership of Manzoor Wattoo and Jahangir Badr, also met with the PAT chief and discussed with him the overall political situation.