LAHORE - In what appears to be a move to calm down and pacify workers of Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT), the Punjab cabinet, at its special meeting on Wednesday, decided to send a delegation of the ministers to Idara Minhajul Quran Secretariat to condole the deaths caused by police firing on Tuesday and share grief of the bereaved families.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif offered fateha for the departed souls and expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of lives.
Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said he was deeply grieved over the killings of the innocent people by the police and, in order to fix responsibility, a judicial commission had been set up, which would conduct proceedings on day-to-day basis so that guilty persons could be duly punished without waste of time. He said he had also transferred the CCPO, the DIG pperation and the Model Town SP to ensure a fair inquiry and stop them from influencing the probe by any means.
The chief minister warned of strict action if any attempt was made to temper with the evidence or record. The CM said his past was witness that he had never thought of using force during his tenure. He reiterated that a deterrent punishment would be awarded to those responsible for this tragedy.
The members of the cabinet expressed grief over this tragic incident and termed it highly condemnable. They said that sentiments expressed by the CM at a press conference after this incident reflected the feelings of the cabinet members, the Punjab government and public representatives of the province. The steps announced by the chief minister in this regard were timely and essential and the Punjab cabinet supported these steps.
The cabinet members were of the view that setting up of judicial commission for investigation of this tragic incident and meeting the demands of justice and law was a commendable and positive step. They expressed their belief that not only responsibility could be fixed through the investigation of this commission but facts would also be brought before the nation.
Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera confirmed during the cabinet session that Gullu Butt is a police’s tout.
Official sources said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over the cabinet session in which IGP admitted Butt’s link to the Punjab police.
According to reports, Gullu Butt had been barred from entering Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) ceremonies and provincial assembly six months ago.
NISAR, SHAHBAZ DISCUSS
Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahhaz Sharif met on Wednesday and shared views on issues faced by the country.
It was their second meeting in a short span of just 24 hours.
Both PML-N leaders shared views on the current situation in the country, onging military operation in North Waziristan, killings in Minhajul Quran Secretariat and general peace and security situation in the province.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan condemned the police action at Minhajul Quran Secretariat on Tuesday, in which nine people were killed and at least 90 others injured.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission said, “HRCP condemns in the strongest words possible the unfortunate events on Tuesday in which nine people, including two women, were killed at Minhajul Quran Secretariat when the administration reportedly tried to remove some barriers from roads around the place.”
It further said, “HRCP condoles with the bereaved families and finds it difficult to accept that the fatalities occurred in an exercise aimed at removing encroachments alone. The barriers had been there for a number of years and removing them just before the Tahirul Qadri’s arrival in Pakistan has led many to conclude that the move was politically-motivated.”
This is not the first incident that exposed the lack of police training for the controlling the masses without violence.
It is not likely to be the last. In fact, the Tuesday’s incident makes it abundantly clear that there are no bounds to police brutality in action against the political rivals of the parties in power.
The government’s case has suffered from confusion and lack of clarity about the purpose of the raid. The incident has certainly diluted the political government’s reputation and its ability to deal with the agitated crowds.