The axe falls: Heads finally roll over Model Town tragedy

Published: June 21, 2014
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Rana Sanaullah has been removed from his post. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ZAHOORUL HAQ

Rana Sanaullah has been removed from his post. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ZAHOORUL HAQ

LAHORE: 

Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Dr Toqueer Shah were sacked on Friday over the June 17 deadly police crackdown on Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers.

“I’ve decided to remove Rana Sanaullah and Dr Toqueer Shah from their posts in order to ensure fair and transparent investigations into the incident,” Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif told a news conference at the PML-N Central Secretariat in Lahore.

He added that Sanaullah had spent time in prison and faced many difficulties for the sake of democracy during the dictatorial regime, while Dr Shah had been working with him for the last 15 years and was like his younger brother.

“In order to ensure a transparent inquiry, I have decided to remove them from their positions so that they cannot influence justice,” Shahbaz said, adding that he had already transferred the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), DIG Operations and SP Model Town in order to ensure justice.

Sanaullah, who was also the minister for local government and community development in the provincial cabinet, has sent his resignation to the chief minister and will work only as a member of the Punjab Assembly.

Shahbaz said he was satisfied with the Lahore High Court (LHC) and the judicial commission probing the June 18 tragedy. However, he added that he would not have any objection if someone moved the Supreme Court. “I will welcome, if the Supreme Court takes suo motu notice of the incident,” he said.

PAT chief Tahirul Qadri has refused to meet a delegation of the Punjab cabinet, Shahbaz said, adding that he wanted to visit the Minhajul Quran Secretariat to offer condolences. He said Dr Qadri could come back but it was the government responsibility to maintain law and order.

Referring to the May 12, 2007 killings, Shahbaz said:  “When 42 people were killed in Karachi, those who are shedding crocodile tears today were celebrating with those waving fist in Islamabad.”

According to sources privy to the development, the decision to remove Sanaullah and Dr Shah was taken in a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother. Dr Shah, Sanaullah Khan and Fawad Hassan Fawad also attended the meeting.

Provincial Education Minister Rana Mashhood is being tipped as possible replacement for Sanaullah as provincial law minister. Similarly, Punjab Higher Education Secretary Abdullah Sumbul is likely to replace Dr Shah as Principal Secretary to the CM. However, some sources believe the removal of Sanaullah and Dr Shah is a temporary arrangement and they would be restored once the pressure subsided.

Judicial inquiry

The judicial commission probing the June 17 tragedy has invited the administration of Minhajul Quran Central Secretariat for their statements as it sought records relevant to ‘the gory incident’ from electronic and print media.

The commission – comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najfi of the LHC – directed its registrar to send a formal invitation to the Minhajul Quran administration for presenting their viewpoint and evidence before the commission.

It also invited all electronic media persons to assist the commission. “The tribunal would feel much satisfied if the statements of the media people are also recorded. All media houses are invited to produce all relevant material,” it said.

The IGP Punjab also appeared before the tribunal and submitted report detailing the police officials deputed for the operation and their weapons. The report was made part of the record.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2014.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Safwan
    Jun 21, 2014 - 3:00AM

    Najam Sethi clearly said in his programme Aapas Ki Baat that it was a political decision to go after Qadri and put pressure on him, it was Punjab government decision and Shahbaz Sharif knew and gave his approval to the police. Now, Shahbaz Sharif MUST resign and face the justice system.

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  • Jibran
    Jun 21, 2014 - 3:13AM

    Too little too late!

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  • Muhammad Ahmed Khan
    Jun 21, 2014 - 3:58AM

    Nobody buy this Mr. CM and you know this.
    However thanks but not acceptable.

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  • salman
    Jun 21, 2014 - 4:30AM

    Good first step. But if potentially rana can influence justice, then potentially so could shahbaz…perhaps even to a greater degree. Shahbaz should resign as well if they are serious. I fear temperatures are so raised that this time they may not get away with it….

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  • Salman
    Jun 21, 2014 - 4:38AM

    Why didn’t our beloved CM remove himself?

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  • Blithe
    Jun 21, 2014 - 5:13AM

    It’s unnecessary to ask Rana Sanullah to resign . These were miscreants and a strong state should never allow miscreants to take matters into their own hands. They were using stones and sticks and wounded several policemen.

    There should be zero tolerance for such anti-state elements.

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  • riz
    Jun 21, 2014 - 5:16AM

    Good step to ensue fair justice.

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  • riz
    Jun 21, 2014 - 5:19AM

    Good step to ensure fair trial.

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  • smbfhs
    Jun 21, 2014 - 5:57AM

    Mr Chief Minister Punjab!
    Why did you say; “I have no knowledge of the Incident(recent police action near your house, in Model Town)?

    Maybe, you should not have given open hand to SanaUllah. It’s the first lesson in politics, One must give/delegate authority but keep a check. Not just SanaUllah but few others are on the brink of getting out-of-control & take maters in their own hand.. Just to please you. They won’t loose as much as you in the end, Sir!

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  • Asif Siddiqi
    Jun 21, 2014 - 6:06AM

    If Shahbaz Sharif was even 5% of man that he claims to be He would have resigned long time back. I like his style of innocent even when proven guilty.

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  • i4shad
    Jun 21, 2014 - 6:12AM

    If its indeed proven that TUQ’s security guards fired first then should we arrest TUQ upon his arrival….whats TUQ’s agenda btw he is always talking about revolution but too scared to live in Pakistan not unlike another personality in uk I wont name names

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  • Muhammad Rahman
    Jun 21, 2014 - 6:31AM

    Next Law Minister…Gullu Butt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stop these dramey, pls.

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  • Parvez Amin
    Jun 21, 2014 - 7:19AM

    Further proof that good leaders cannot be elected… they must be selected. Even further proof that elected leaders and their boot lickers do not care about the awam. The awam must opt for a system that puts power in their hands, not that of their elected representatives.

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  • SHB
    Jun 21, 2014 - 7:28AM

    @i4shad:
    This guy ,Mr Qadri should be banned to come back to Pakistan. He lives in Canada and travels on Canadian passport per his own statement. Let Canada take care of him.
    In the mean time Punjab chief minister should resign too. There is life without being a chief minister of Punjab. He is a good administrator but in this case he made an error of judgement. So he should accept the responsibility .

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  • i know
    Jun 21, 2014 - 10:00AM

    this is eyewash ,judges are in the pocket of Shareef brothers

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  • truth
    Jun 21, 2014 - 10:02AM

    see people behind Rana picture…all looks to be same clan

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  • Jun 21, 2014 - 11:39AM

    The real removal will come when he is impartially the courts and indicted for murder. Right now he must enjoying full facilities of the Punjab government. Salams

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  • Timorlane
    Jun 21, 2014 - 11:50AM

    What heads roll ??? They are still roaming scot free with the wealth they have accumulated through their years in government, they would continue to relish that and would soon be back on other posts. Its just a matter of time.

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  • Singh
    Jun 21, 2014 - 5:31PM

    @Timorlane:
    Do you understand what head rolling mean?
    Pathetic education system.

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  • iLaugh
    Jun 21, 2014 - 7:22PM

    @Singh: lol, Sardar jee it’s not exactly a course or school item. It’s just lack of new paper reading in people… with a dictionary nearby.

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  • Proud to be Muslim
    Jun 24, 2014 - 4:23PM

    Why remove Punjab Law Minister? Daily dozens of people killed in Karachi and Peshawar too, how many of PTI, MQM and PPPP ministers have resigned yet?

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