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Punjab assures SC to form new JIT for Model Town massacre probe

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ISLAMABAD, (TLTP): Punjab government Wednesday assured the Supreme Court to form new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe into Model Town incident where a skirmish between Punjab police and Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers took lives of 14 people including two women and more than hundred people sustained serious injuries during 2014.

Taking up application of one of the PAT worker Bisma Amjad whose mother was killed during the incident; a five-member larger bench of the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar accepted her plea and issued directives to Punjab government for reconstitution of JIT in the matter.

It would be the third investigation team to probe the same matter as PAT had shown no confidence over the findings of last two probes in the Model Town incident on the grounds that impartiality of the team was in question. It is worth mentioning that member from inter-services intelligence and military intelligence was part of the earlier two JITs in the matter.

Appearing before the larger bench, PAT chairman Dr.Qadri claimed due process of law was not observed during investigation of the matter saying an FIR was launched after two months protest of the PAT in Islamabad. Dr.Qadri submitted that neither statement of victims was recorded nor PAT turned up before the earlier formed investigation teams, adding then how it could be said a fair investigation.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif, then Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shahbaz, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar and retired inspector general police of Punjab Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera and others are accused persons behind the incident. Currently, the matter is under adjudication before the Anti-Terrorism court of Lahore which had indicted Sukhera in the case.

On Wednesday, during the course of proceedings, a member of the bench Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa said that all statements would have to be recorded again when Dr.Qadri informed the court that at first Punjab police formed JIT on its own FIR and on the second time another JIT was formed in response to FIR registered by the PAT.

Urging the larger bench to issue directives to examine the causes of the Model Town incident, Dr.Qadri submitted that a judicial commission also gave findings over the incident saying there are as many as 157 witnesses in the case whereas a total of 23 witnesses have testified before the Anti-Terrorism court so far.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed during the proceedings that the PAT chairman opted for protest instead of seeking remedy through a legal course of action for registration of FIR in the matter.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar further said that during a protest of the PAT in D-Chowk Islamabad besides general public the Supreme Court judges also faced difficulty to reach apex court, adding Supreme Court is the apex institution to dispense justice.

Later, issuing directives to the Punjab government for constitution of JIT in the matter in hand, the bench disposed of the case.

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