Families still seek justice four years after incident

Fatima and Qaisar recall their stories and hope to get justice after protest


Ammar Sheikh January 18, 2018

LAHORE: Families awaiting justice took the front row to the protest staged on Wednesday almost four years after the Model Town incident where 14 workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were killed by the Punjab police.

Sitting on the first few rows near the stage of the PAT-led sit-in, family members say that they were unable to get justice during the current regime’s tenure as the rulers themselves were the murders of their beloved family members.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Fatima, the daughter of Ghulam Rasool, expressed her resolve to get justice for his father. Ghulam was killed when the police stormed Minhaj ul Quran Secretariat in Model Town to remove barriers. She said that she along with her two brothers would fight until she gets justice.

Recalling the day when her father died, she said, “We heard about the attack on PAT at Fajr. My father reached the secretariat after performing prayers. My siblings also accompanied my father. At around 12, we heard that he received a bullet and was martyred.” She said that they didn’t receive any help afterwards from the authorities. She alleged that the families of those killed that day were later harassed by the police to not pursue the case.

“We will not let this go and will get justice. Now all political parties of the country have united and this is because of the blood of the martyrs,” she said. “Justice could not be served until the current government and rulers are in power.”

Qaisar Iqbal, whose two sisters were killed in the incident, said that his entire family went to Model Town to protest against the police. “They were both standing in front of Dr Sahib’s house when the police shot them,” he recalled. He said that after his sisters, Tanzeela 35 and Shazia 30, were martyred, his family had been facing hardships.

Iqbal said, “Policemen and the influential people, affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had been threatening us to withdraw our case. With the support of our leader, Dr Tahir ul Qadri and PAT, we have not backed down.”

Iqbal hoped that justice would be served after the alliance of major political parties. He said that if justice was served for the victims of the Model Town tragedy, then incidents like Kasur would not have happened and Zainab would not have faced savagery. “Many such daughters would have been saved,” he added.

He said that he would like to appeal to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to provide justice to the aggrieved families of Model Town incident so that others would not have to face cruelty and injustice in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2018.

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