Clean chit to Shahbaz, Rana 'height of injustice': Imran

Imran says the JIT's decision will give a message to police that they carry out such acts again with impunity. —Reuters/File

KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan strongly criticised the decision of a joint investigation team (JIT) — constituted to investigate last year's Model Town tragedy — to give clean chits to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah from charges of ordering or abetting police action against the supporters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Tahirul Qadri.

In a tweet posted Saturday, Khan termed the JIT's decision to absolve the chief minister and the former law minister as "shocking" and the "height of injustice". He added that the JIT's decision will give a message to police that they can carry out such acts again with impunity.

A report by the Model Town JIT read,“On rumours that PAT activists had abducted two policemen and that another policeman had been killed, some personnel of the force opened fire either on the orders of then superintendent of police (SP) security Salman Ali or at their own."

According to the report, all JIT members unanimously declared Shahbaz and Sanaullah ‘innocent’ and dismissed allegations levelled against them in the FIR lodged by Minhajul Quran’s director administration as ‘baseless and without any evidence’.

The PAT held a protest demonstration on Friday outside the Punjab Assembly building against the JIT report in which Shahbaz and Sanaullah were exonerated.

Families of activists who were killed in the police raid on PAT office also joined the protest. They raised slogans against the JIT report terming it influenced by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) to absolve the accused who had ordered police to fire on the activists.

Last year on November 13, the government had formed a five-member JIT to probe into the Model Town incident.

Other than law enforcement agencies, the probe also included representatives from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).

Eleven workers of PAT were killed and over 100 people were injured in the June 17 clash last year between police and PAT workers.

The killing led to anti-government protests led by Tahirul Qadri who also staged a two month long sit-in in Islamabad.

'Disturbing silence' over Rohingya Muslims

In a second tweet, PTI Chief Imran Khan said that the silence of the Muslim World, including Pakistan, on the state of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, who currently face genocide and exodus is "disturbing".

One of the most persecuted minorities in the World, Myanmar’s Rohingya have been taking desperate measures to migrate to other countries to evade daily discrimination and a raft of restrictions.

Even though many Rohingya have generations-long ancestry in Myanmar, they are stateless and have long been viewed as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

In recent years, sectarian violence and a thicket of discriminatory laws against the Rohingya in the Buddhist-majority country have sparked the region’s largest exodus of boat-people since the Vietnam War.