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Intelligence agencies differ on PAT guards’ role in Model Town clash

Intelligence agencies differ on PAT guards’ role in Model Town clash

LAHORE: The Justice Najafi report on the Model Town case presents conflicting claims of premier intelligence agencies – the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) – into the incident. The Special Branch report only shares Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT’s) political activities prior to the incident.

The ISI in its report held the police responsible for the killings, saying the police resorted to straight fire at the protesters, leaving 10 dead and 70 injured, of them 51 sustained bullet wounds.

The ISI report, however, says they found no evidence of firing by the guards or activists of the Idara Minhajul Quran on the police.

The IB, however, stated in its report that the guards manning the post at the residence of PAT chief Tahirul Qadri opened straight fire on the police, leaving two policemen injured.

The Special Branch remained silent about the clash between the police and the protesters.

The ISI reported that PAT leader Khurram Nawaz Gandapur had produced the Lahore High Court orders for the placement of security barriers in the locality to them, but the police did not pay any heed to it and remained firm to remove the barriers.

PAT workers pelted them with stones when the police attempted to remove the barriers.

“At this juncture, a sub-inspector of police in the company of the Model Town SP fired three rounds from his pistol in the air which resulted in a stampede in the workers,” the ISI states in the report submitted to the inquiry tribunal.

At about 9:30am, a heavy police contingent moved towards Mr Qadri’s residence in the presence of then senior superintendent of police Rana Abdul Jabbar. This was strongly resisted by PAT workers.

The IB report stated when the police advanced towards the Minhajul Quran Secretariat, a guard manning the post on the first floor of the terrace of Mr Qadri house opened straight fire which left two policemen injured. This created an impression on the police circle that their colleagues had been killed by the PAT workers. On this, when the police contingent advanced, the sympathisers of the PAT started pelting them with stones and bricks.

“The police as retaliation resorted to firing towards the protesters/agitators, leaving many persons injured at the site of the incident, and some of them succumbed to their injuries later,” the IB report states in the report made public on Tuesday.

Ten PAT workers were killed and 96 others wounded, including 26 police officials, the IB report claims.

The Special Branch reports about meetings in London where Chaudhry Shujaat Husain and Mr Qadri decided to form an alliance of opposition parties against the government and a committee was formed to finalise the modalities. The committee contacted several leaders to launch a campaign against the government and corrupt system, the IB report states.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2017

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