LAHORE - An additional district and sessions judge on Saturday directed both the sides to come up with arguments on a petition seeking registration of a criminal case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and other officials for their involvement in the Model Town tragedy which left 15 people dead and 85 injured.

Judge Safdar Ali Bhatti was hearing a petition filed by Minhajul Quran. As the proceedings started, a representative of the joint investigation team submitted an interim report in the court, stating that the investigation would be completed soon. The JIT told the judge that they had recorded statements of eyewitness, injured persons and police officials, but could not record the statements of workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek.

The investigation team further said that time and again they contacted PAT General Secretary Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, asking him to join the investigation, but he refused to do so. “Neither the workers nor the management of Minhajul Quran accepted their invitation to join the investigation,” the JIT representative told the judge.

Jawad Hamid, director administration, Minhajul Quran Secretariat, had filed the petition, submitting that the respondents were directly involved in the killing of the innocent people. He said an application for the registration of an FIR was submitted to the Faisal Town SHO, but no action had been taken so far.

The petitioner alleged the police were not independent and were acting on the orders of the rulers. He requested the court to order the police to book all the respondents under murder charges. The court adjourned further proceedings till Monday (tomorrow).