Model Town tragedy: Shehbaz, Sanaullah offer sworn statements

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah have said that they are willing to issue their sworn statements in regards to the Model Town incident and clear any misunderstandings, media reported.

Calls for the resignation of Shehbaz and Sanaullah have gained momentum after the release of the Justice Baqir Najfi commission report on the Model Town tragedy.

That the provincial government is not willing to apologise as they maintain the incident was not preplanned.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah also said that he was willing to state under oath that the Model Town tragedy was not preplanned.

“A JIT was formed with civil and military official and we recorded our statements under oath that the tragedy was an incident and was not done due to prior planning,” said the law minister.

Sanaullah added that Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers and their chief, Tahirul Qadri, were equally responsible as Qadri had also incited the workers to clash with police personnel.

Referring to reports that he had met PAT leader Khurram Nawaz Gandapur on multiple occasions, the minister confirmed and said he had met the PAT representative in 2015 and 2016.

He further said that the provincial government has always tried to engage PAT and has asked the party to let the matter reach its logical conclusion according to the law.

PAT has called an all parties conference on the matter and the Qadri has claimed 40 political parties are in attendance.

After meeting Qadri on Friday, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had said the PPP will abide by the decisions taken in the conference.

The Punjab government, at the behest of the Lahore High Court, made the report for the Model Town incident public on December 5.

The report termed the 2014 tragedy in Lahore’s Model Town as the “most unfortunate incident” in the country’s history.