LAHORE - Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif Monday appeared before Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for recording statement in the Model Town incident.

To the question of the five-member JIT that whether he directed launching anti-encroachment operation outside Minhaj-ul-Quran Secretariat in Model Town in 2014, the sources say, PML-N President denied and went on to state that instead he asked the police to disengage.

The JIT headed by Inspector General National Highways & Motorways Police (NH&MP) Allah Dino Khawaja was constituted in December 2018 on the orders of the Apex Court for probing the incident in which 14 workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek including women were killed and scores of others injured during hours long clashes with the police.

The other members included a representative of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Col Muhammad Atiq-uz-Zaman, a representative of the Military Intelligence (MI) Lt Col Irfan Mirza, Deputy Director General Intelligence Bureau (IB) Muhammad Ahmed Kamal and Gilgit-Baltistan Police Headquarters DIG Qamar Raza Jiskoni.

JIT head will depute one of the members of the team for submission of the report.

It is the third JIT constituted since 2014 to investigate the tragic incident.

The first JIT was headed by the then IGP Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera though it did not complete the assigned task.

The second JIT formed in November 17, 2014 had conducted and finalised the investigation in May 2015.

That JIT exonerated the then Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former Law Minister Rana Sanaullah from charges of ordering or abetting the police action.