Model Town victims see ray of hope after LHC order


LAHORE: Bismah, a student of intermediate second year, was standing outside the central secretariat of Minhaj-ul-Quran on Thursday in Model Town, making the victory sign as Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered to disclose the judicial enquiry report of the Model Town tragedy.

“That horrific day still haunts me when they brutally killed my mother and I was in Grade IX at that time,” Bismah recalled, while talking to Pakistan Today. She further added that more than three years have passed but she is still waiting for justice as she believes that the killer of her mother could not be booked so far. “I could not find any reason why they killed my mother,” Bismah said, whose mother Tanzeela Amjad was killed in the Model Town tragedy. Tanzeela was among those 14 people who were killed on June 17, 2014, in the clash between police and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) workers outside the secretariat of Minhaj-ul-Quran during the alleged ‘anti-encroachment operation’ launched by the police; over a hundred were injured in the incident as well.

Ghulam Rasool, 54, a resident of Lahore’s Mughalpura area, was also an unfortunate person who lost his life that day. Talking to Pakistan Today, his son Muhammad Ishtiaq said that the order of LHC is a ray of hope for the families of people who were killed in the standoff with the police. “We have been fighting this case for the last three years and today’s judgment of making the report public depicts that the day is not far away when we would get the ‘Qisas’ for our father,” he said. He further added that the rulers were reluctant to make public the judicial enquiry report of Justice Baqir Ali Najfi Commission and that shows that these very rulers were responsible of those 14 killings. “My father had a long association of 25 years with Dr Tahi-ul-Qadri and he also got a bullet in his chest just because of the love he had for Qadri sahib.

Sufi Iqbal, 47, also lost his life on June 17, 2014 outside the Model Town secretariat of PAT. Kashif, his son, told this scribe that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is responsible for his father’s killing. “How is it possible that CM of a province remained unaware of that dreadful incident, keeping in view that he lives just few yards away of that place,” Kashif said. He further added that there were 27 deaths actually that day but the government was successful in managing the relatives of other 13 people who lost their lives. “We were offered millions of rupees and visas of foreign countries from the government but we refused to budge from our position and finally the ray of hope has started appearing in our favour,” he commented.