LAHORE - Pakistan Awami Tehreek yesterday received a serious legal blow as a local court dismissed its plea seeking trial of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and eight other MNAs who the party has been consistently alleging are responsible for 14 killings in Model Town more than two years ago.

Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Ch Muhammad Azam passed the order while partially allowing the private complaint moved by Minhajul Quran Secretariat over the Model Town incident in which 14 people were killed and 100 others got severely injured.

In his order, the judge allowed trial of Inspector General Police Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera, ex-SSP (Operations) Rana Abdul Jabbar and 123 others.

While rejecting PAT’s plea seeking trial of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif,  MNA Hamza Shahbaz, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, former information minister Pervez Rashid, State Minister Abid Sher Ali, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, then personal secretary to chief minister Syed Tauqir Shah, Home Minister Azam Suleman and the then Lahore commissioner Rashid Mahmood Langrial, the judge held the court cannot try anyone without solid evidence.

The judge directed the accused to appear in person on February 17, the next hearing, and deposit surety bonds of Rs 500,000 each.

The decision on maintainability of the private complaint came after around 10 months as Jawad Hamid, director administration, Minhajul Quran, filed it on March 16, 2016.

During the arguments on maintainability of the complaint, 56 witnesses recorded their statements and more than 10 videos were presented before the court, which showed the whole incident in and outside Minhajul Quran Model Town Secretariat.

In his statement before the court, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur alleged Prime Minister Nawaz sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders of the party called him and Fayyaz, a PAT worker, to their residence at H Block-Model Town and asked them to stop Dr Tahirul Qadri from coming to Pakistan.

Jawad Hamid, the complainant, had alleged that the workers of PAT and Minhajul Quran were killed by police at behest of the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister. He had further alleged that on June 15, 2014, PML-N leadership, at a meeting held at his residence in Model Town, had asked them to stop Dr Tahirul Qadri from coming to Pakistan and had hurled threats of dire consequences in case of Dr Qadri’s arrival.

On June 16, 2014, the complainant said, a meeting was held at Punjab Civil Secretariat where a conspiracy was hatched to attack the Model Town residence of Dr Qadri over the issue of barriers put on the roads around Minhajul Quran Secretariat.

The government, later, made a joint investigation team (JIT) which declared Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and others innocent and ignored the facts in the case, said the complainant.

He requested the court to initiate proceedings against the accused and punish them for killing 14 workers and leaving 100 others injured.

In a press statement issued yesterday evening, the PAT leadership said those who obeyed the orders had been summoned, but those who gave the orders had not been summoned. The future plan, they said, would be decided after reading the judgment, because, they said, Sharif brothers were behind the Model Town killings.

Soon after the judgment, the PAT workers started chanting slogans against PM Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, law Minister Rana Sanaullah and others. They also blocked the road outside the anti-terrorism court, which created a huge traffic mess at Shadman Chowk.