LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday appeared before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and recorded his statement about the Model Town incident in which over a dozen supporters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek had lost their lives at the hands of the law-enforcers.

Shahbaz Sharif who personally went to the office of JIT stated that he did not pass order for undertaking operation at Model Town office of Idara Minhajul Quran nor ordered for opening fire, according to media reports. He said when he came to know about the incident he immediately took action and dismissed the people prima facie responsible for the incident, from the service.

It may be mentioned here that former law minister Rana Sanaullah also recorded statement before the JIT two days ago. Following the Model Town carnage, the chief minister had removed Rana Sanaullah as law minister and his principal secretary Dr Tauqeer Shah when the PAT had built pressure against the Punjab government laying on it responsibility for the killings. Previously the incident was inquired into by a single judge of the Lahore High Court that had coincided with the JIT probe. In the judicial inquiry, certain points were left out for further investigation for which a new Joint Investigation Team was constituted.

It is worth noting that Pakistan Awami Tehreek has got an FIR registered about the incident following directions by court in which the prime minister, the chief minister and four federal ministers among 19 others had been nominated as accused.

PAT DEMANDS INDEPENDENT INQUIRY

Punjab chief minister did not appear before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) rather it was the JIT which managed to get his statement recorded, claimed secretary general PAT, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur.

He made this claim while speaking to newsmen after the chief minister’s statement recording before the JIT on Model Town incident. He said that the real facts could only be revealed after an independent inquiry into the tragic incident.

The PAT leader claimed that the JIT had no legal or moral value, as it was partisan and formed to give a clean chit to the culprits involved in the Model Town event.

He further claimed the JIT which had served tea to the chief minister could not pursue an independent inquiry.

He said, “We cannot expect justice from a government which is not ready to provide us with a copy of the JIT report.”