JIT allowed to grill Saad in Model Town incident

The IO submitted an application pleading that the former minister was nominated in an FIR in Model Town incident


Our Correspondent March 19, 2019
A file photo of Model Town mayhem.

LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday granted permission to a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating Model Town tragedy to record the statement of former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique in jail.

The investigation officer submitted an application before the court pleading that Saad was nominated in First Information Report (FIR) in the Model Town incident. He was currently in jail on judicial remand in Paragon Housing Society scam. He further asserted that the team had approached anti-terrorism court for permission that ordered them to approach the accountability court.

The accountability court after hearing the plea allowed the JIT to record Saad’s statement from jail.

Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders including former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif, Rana Sanaullah and others had recorded their statements. The statements of concerned police officers had also been documented. The JIT has also taken permission to record the statement of former premier Nawaz Sharif in Model Town incident.

Model Town incident took place on June 17, 2014, in which 14 people were killed and 100 others injured after police launched an assault on Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) supporters gathered outside the residence of their party chief Muhammad Tahirul Qadri in Model Town, Lahore.

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A subsequent judicial inquiry report on the incident pointed fingers at then Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and the Punjab police for what had transpired that day.

Meanwhile, an accountability court allowed an extension of 15 days in the judicial remand of former Punjab health minister Khawaja Salman Rafique in Paragon Housing Society scam.

The former federal minister was allowed to appear before an accountability court in Islamabad when it was learnt that he was travelling to the federal capital to attend a meeting of standing committee.

The court ordered the prosecutor to submit final report of the case at the earliest and adjourned the hearing.

Strict security arrangements were made in and around the court. A heavy contingent of police including Anti-Riot Force (ARF) officials was deployed to avoid any untoward incident. The roads leading to the court were closed using containers, barbed wires and barricades.

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An accountability court also extended judicial remand of former director general Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Khan Cheema in LDA city corruption case for 15 days. The court was told that the report of the case has been finalized and would be presented during next hearing. The court adjourned the hearing till April 4.

Meanwhile, Fawad Hasan Fawad, former principal secretary to ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif was handed over a copy of reference pertaining to alleged accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income. Notices to three other accused were also issued for April 2.

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