LAHORE - The Inquiry Tribunal probing the massacre at Minhajul Quran Secretariat concluded its proceedings here on Saturday with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz’ submitting an affidavit carrying his formal statement over the matter.

“I ordered police to retreat when I came to know through a television channel that the situation might get worsened outside Minhajul Quran as large number of Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s workers and police contingents have come together, and at that time I was at Governor House to attended swearing in ceremony of Lahore High Court chief justice,” stated CM Shahbaz.

Punjab Advocate General Hanif Khatana, representing the CM, read out the affidavit to the court. It was submitted by an authorised agent of the chief minister before the inquiry tribunal headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najfi.

The CM stated he snubbed his principal secretary Dr Tauqir Shah for keeping him unaware about the incident. He said, later, from Governor House he went to Model Town where he met a foreign delegate and during his meeting he was told again that the situation had worsened as some people had lost their lives and some of them had been injured severely by bullets.

He further stated he removed senior police officials, including Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Deputy Inspector General (operations) and SP Model Town, from their offices and ordered best treatment for injured persons.

The chief minister said he also called an urgent meeting on the issue. After consultations with his ministers in the meeting, he said, he constituted a Joint Investigation Team and requested the court for constitution of an Inquiry Tribunal for impartial investigation of the matter.

Shahbaz Sharif said that a meeting was held under the chair of then Law Minister Rana Sanaullah regarding the removal of barriers outside Minhajul Quran but he was kept unaware about the meeting and its action due to which he snubbed his Principal Secretary.

The tribunal made the affidavit part of its record. During the proceedings, ISI Deputy Director Asad Ali Khan placed on record the analysis report prepared on basis of telephone data, except for that provided by the Warid Telecom Company because it had incorrectly sent the cell phone data of 16th and 17 of July instead of 16th and 17th of June, 2014.

The tribunal issued notice to Warid Telecom to immediately send the cell phone data of the relevant numbers the same day (Saturday). The tribunal concluded its proceedings and observed that the findings would be properly conveyed.

On June 17, Punjab government issued a notification requesting the court to constitute an inquiry tribunal to probe into the Model Town incident. The tribunal held total 19 hearings on the matter but Minjhajul Quran administration, the victim party, did not accept its status and refused to join its proceedings.