LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has offered to quit the office in case he is found responsible for the killing of Pakistan Awami Tehrik workers at Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town on Tuesday.
Addressing an emergently-called news conference on the killing of at least eight PAT workers, the CM said he is much grieved at the police barbarity on the PAT activists and condemn the incident. He, while dissociating himself from the police act, said the police took action against the PAT men without his knowledge and permission. He announced to set up a judicial commission to probe the incident and urged the Lahore High Court chief justice to direct the commission complete inquiry within weeks, so that chaff could be separated from the fodder.
The CM, who was visibly disturbed over the killing of the innocent women and men at PAT office near his own residence in Model Town, said that his heart is bleeding over the incident as he could understand the pathetic situation the families of the victims were passing through at the moment. He said he would not come to rest until the perpetrators are traced out and duly punished. The perpetrators would not be spared, he maintained.
The CM also expressed sympathies with PAT chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri and appealed to the people to observe patience. He said he never favoured or supported the politics of violence and bullet, and added he would stand like a rock against the oppressors to protect the oppressed. He said the judicial inquiry would make clear everything.
To a question, Shahbaz said he would not mind if an FIR is get registered against him and quit the office if he is found responsible through the judiciary inquiry. Such an oppression in his government is intolerable to him, he said while pointing out the prompt notice he took of the incident. He asked the political opponents not to exploit the situation for their personal gains as the country was already facing a difficult time.
The CM said, no doubt, the people are disturbed over this tragic incidents but he assured that strict punishment would be awarded to the guilty persons as per law. He said that his six years’ tenure is witness to this fact. He said that he has always took action against those people who are dishonest, play with the lives of the people, rape the women and commit cruelty, and he will also take action against those who have committed violence against the people in Model Town.
Replying to questions of media, Shahbaz said that a request has been made to the Lahore High Court for the establishment of a judicial commission regarding Model Town’s incident and no one should have any doubt in this regard. He said that as Khadim-e-Punjab, he never hesitated to put behind the bar even if his close relative is involved in any unlawful activity. He said no one should have any doubt that stringent action would be taken against the persons responsible for this tragedy.
Answering another question, Shahbaz said that removal of barriers from the road is not his duty; rather it is the responsibility of administration. However, as Khadim-e-Punjab, he is accountable for the deaths of eight innocent persons before the court of the people and Almighty Allah. He requested the Lahore High Court chief justice that a judicial commission should hold investigation on daily basis and if this it brings the facts before the people by completing investigation within a few weeks, it will be a big favour to the nation.
Shahbaz said that he has never done politics of opposition for the sake of opposition and like previous rulers, never committed violence against big religious processions, and there is no such word as opposition for the sake of opposition in his dictionary. He said that he did not believe in jugglery and did not want to quote the examples of previous rulers.
Replying to a question, the CM said that according to his report, 97 people were injured in this incident, out of which 52 are civilian while 28 are police officers and officials. He said that as a result of the incident eight people have lost their lives.