LAHORE - After dragging its feet for more than two months, the PML-N leadership Thursday accepted key demand of Tahirul Qadri by ordering police to register a criminal case against 21 people including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for their alleged role in the clashes that killed 14 PAT workers in Lahore on June 17.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief however rejected the FIR stating that Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act was not included in the First Information Report.

Apart from PM, the names of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shahbaz, former provincial minister Rana Sanaullah, and federal ministers Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Pervaiz Rasheed and Abid Sher Ali are also included in the FIR.

The report was registered under sections 302, 324, 109, 148, 149, 395, 427 and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 155/C of the Police Order on the complaint of Mihajul Quran Administration Director Jawad Hamid.

The complainant told the police that the incident took place on abetment of above-mentioned PML-leaders. Police sources revealed that the PML-N leadership was booked on the charges of abetment under Section 109 of the PPC. According to the complainant, the policemen opened straight fire on the PAT workers soon after they received “strict orders” from the Punjab CM and the former law minister.

Several police officers and officials including DIG Operation Rana Abdul Jabbar, SP Ali Salman, SP Omar Cheema and the then SP Headquarters are also named in the criminal case. The name of Gullu Butt, said to be a police tout, is also included in the police report. The complainant claimed that Gullu Butt is blue-eyed of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Amid the ongoing political stalemate, the registration of murder case is the first major concession given to PAT by the government, political pundits say. Earlier, a day after the clashes, an FIR of the same incident had been registered on the complaint of police against 3,000 plus PAT workers in the same police station. Qadri’s son Hussain Mohiuddin was also nominated in that FIR but his name was later cleared on the government orders.

The police have thus registered two separate FIRs of a single incident and the status of previous FIR is not clear yet. Earlier, this month the Lahore Sessions Court hearing the case related to the clashes had ordered the police to lodge an FIR against 21 persons named by the PAT in its complaint.

Punjab IGP Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera presided over a high-level meeting at his official residence, where the new FIR was registered. The station house officer (SHO) Faisal Town police station and other senior officers attended the meeting along with the police record.

The copies of the FIR went viral on the social networking sites with pro and against regime commentary. Hours before Qadri was expected to make big announcement on ‘revolution day’ at the sit-in in Islamabad, the authorities decided to launch the FIR as per his demand. The protesters have been sitting in front of the Parliament House and the Supreme Court building since August 19, demanding registration of FIR, resignations of the PM and the Punjab CM, and their arrest.

But police have no plans to arrest any of the accused nominated in the Model Town case since the Lahore High Court had directed the law enforcing agency to register the FIR but not to arrest anybody until and unless their involvement is proved in the course of investigation.

Early this month, police had booked Qadri for waging war against the state under Sections 506 and 121 of the PPC, and 7ATA, the day after he addressed a press conference at the Minhajul Quran Secretariat but he too has not been arrested.

In his application, Mihajul Quran administration director claimed that several PAT workers witnessed the entire episode and the TV footages and clippings of newspapers could be produced as evidence in the court. The role of a good number of unidentified men some of whom were in police uniform is also mentioned in the case.

More than 100 people were wounded during the clashes as policemen resorted to indiscriminate fire, the complaint claimed. The policemen ransacked the Minhajul Quran Secretariat, destroyed furniture, and also snatched away valuables including mobile phones, he added. “The Model Town incident was well-thought-out and it was executed on the abetment of PM, CM and others,” according to the director.