LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday took notice of the delay in the provision of justice to the victims of the Model Town tragedy and summoned the record of the case from the Anti-Terrorism Court.
A group of people were staging a protest at General Post Office (GPO) Chowk while Nisar was leaving home after hearing the cases at the Supreme Court Lahore registry. They were carrying placards and banners appealing to CJ Nisar to provide justice for the Model town massacre. The CJP was informed by the protesters that four years had passed since the Model Town incident and the people had yet to receive justice.
“You will get justice. As long as I am here, you need not be afraid,” Chief Justice Nisar assured the daughter of a woman who was killed in the incident.
The 2014 incident had taken the lives of 14 people, while over 85 were injured as the police cracked down on Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers after a dispute over the removal of barriers placed around the Minhaj-ul-Quran Secretariat.
An FIR was registered against police officers and the provincial government. PAT had staged many protests for justice and a judicial commission was also formed to investigate the incident. However, its report was not made public for three years, until orders from the Lahore High Court last year.
The case is still under trial at an Anti-Terrorism Court.
The CJP came down hard on the Government of Punjab while hearing the Saaf Pani Project case and vowed to hold accountable everyone involved in illegal appointments and embezzlement in Punjab Saaf Pani Company (PSPC) and other companies.
He ordered the Government of Punjab to bring the record of 52 more public sector companies next week. The CJP also refused to accept the report submitted by PSPC CEO Muhammad Usman and ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor general to share the facts about the scandal with the apex court
Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed, Punjab Advocate General Shakilur Rehman, former PSPC CEO Waseem Ajmal, and other officers were also present. Muhammad Usman provided the record about the staff, salaries, vehicles in use and other facilities exposed tendered by the company to the court.
Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed conceded before the court that the company was unable to kick-start the provision of clean drinking water despite over Rs400 million having already been spent on it. He also informed the court about 116 small set ups in different parts of Punjab.
Meanwhile, Ajmal explained the Pattoki project and why it failed. He also presented details about the members of the board of directors of the company. The court also asked him to share the profiles and expertise of the staff and the directors. Ajmal told the court about the appointments that were made on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.