From Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan yesterday announced he would join Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri for the protest he has announced for January 18.
Qadri has called for supporters to ‘topple the government’ after a deadline given for the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah over their alleged complicity in the 2014 Model Town tragedy expired earlier this week.
Khan today asked the chief justice to take suo moto notice of the Model Town incident, saying there had been “no headway” in the case for the past four years “because Shahbaz Sharif is sitting at the top” in the province.
He also criticised the alleged role played by Sanaullah in the tragedy, who, Khan alleged, “had been accused of murders” by people in his own party.
Speaking on the murder and rape of six-year-old Zainab in Kasur, he said that the people, including the victim’s father, had been demanding justice from the CJP and the chief of army staff (COAS) because they had lost faith in the Punjab police and government.
“It is not as if these kinds of crimes do not happen in other countries; but a civilised society decides that such crimes will not be allowed to take place in the future whenever such incidents happen. Just as we, as a nation, decided to collectively fight terrorism following the Army Public School attack.”
He explained his perspective saying that the incident may not have taken place had strict action been taken against the culprits involved in the 2015 Kasur child abuse scandal. He also criticised the police’s firing on grieving protesters on Wednesday, which ended up killing two people, asking: “What professional police does this?” he asked.
He also criticised the police in Punjab for acting with impunity because the Sharif family had been “using it to protect themselves and act on their orders.”
“I also demand that the chief justice take notice of the billions of rupees being spent on the security of Jati Umra [Sharifs’ residence] and the 2,500 policemen being appointed for their protection.”
The PTI chief, whose party is leading the government in Khyber Pakhtnukhwa (KP), also presented statistics on how crime has fallen in KP since 2014, adding that the same could happen in Punjab if police reforms are initiated.
“All of his [talk of] development is showmanship,” he said while criticising the Punjab chief minister. “Despite spending 19 years in government in the province, not a single institution has been reformed by the Sharifs,” he claimed.