LAHORE - The Punjab Home Department is in a fix on what it should do in the light of the one-judge commission report on the Model Town tragedy that has asked the Punjab government to fix responsibility for the killings on June 17.
As per a source, the commission did not fix responsibility on any public position holder, including CM Shahbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sana or former principal secretary to CM Dr Tauqir Shah. It however, asked the Punjab government to proceed in light of its report.
The Punjab government would implement the commission’s report after receiving all the evidences the commission used during the proceedings, a senior officer in the Punjab government said. He said the CM office wanted the commission recommendations to be implemented soon to avert public criticism from the opposition forces which have been demanding resignations from the CM and his cronies. “The earlier the Punjab government fixes the responsibility for the Model Town killings the better,” the officer opined.
According to the source, the commission report says the police officers could not show enough responsibility to handle the incident. At the same time, the commission made it clear that no political administrative figure ever ordered such massacre in the Model Town. The source further said that as per the report, no high-level meeting was held that decided firing on June 17. The police brass could not handle the situation on the spot that resulted in the killings of over a dozen PAT workers, including two women, the source quoted the report.
A source in the Punjab government confirmed that such a report from the commission was received a couple of days back, but it could not be released for lack of decision by the top political elite. However, he held the government had decided to implement the commission’s recommendations in letter and spirit. He said as the report was not fully substantiated with documents and other evidences, the Home Department could not completely analyse it.
When asked, how the government would release the recommendations of the commission, the officer said the political hierarchy would decide about it soon. He said the responsibility of the government has become many fold after submission of the report to the Home Department which would hold the officers responsible for the incident after giving them an opportunity to clear their position on the issue. He said the government would consult the JIT report too before proceeding further.
A senior officer of the Punjab government, conditioning anonymity, called it an irony of the fate that the commission, to fix the responsibility, forwarded the report to the Punjab government, the main accused in the incident as alleged by the PAT victims. He said it would be hard enough for the Punjab government to do so.
A spokesman for the Punjab government on Saturday confirmed that no responsibility for the Model Town incident was fixed on the Punjab chief minister in the report of the judicial commission. He further said the Punjab government had started immediate action for implementation on this report without any delay.