LAHORE - A gloomy atmosphere continued to prevail on Thursday in the posh locality of the provincial metropolis on the third day of the Model Town tragedy in which around a dozen people were killed by the hands of police.

Debris of the ‘operation’ could still be seen all around the MIQ secretariat. Busted pieces of glass, concrete and sticks could be seen everywhere on the roads adjacent to the MIQ building. Though most shops of nearby markets were opened but there was no routine business.  The protest camp set up in front of the MIQ secretariat in the park continued where a good number of males and females are seen demanding justice for the killed workers.  During a visit of the area this scribe heard the residents saying that the barriers around the MQI building and all security measures were blessing for them as it was free security for the residents of the area.  They were saying that their homes and vehicles were safe because of the security measures of the Pakistani Awami Tehrik “We always felt a sense of security in presence of PAT security gauds and the security barriers,” they said.  When asked, a man said that the barriers were a help for them. He denied telling his name probably fearing police action.  An elderly man looking at the leftover derbies cursed the rulers for Tuesday police action on the PAT workers and MQI students.

Delegations of various political parties visited the MQI and met with Pakistan Awami Tehrik leaders to express condolence and solidarity. The visits of a large number of PAT workers including women from various cities also continued.

On Thursday, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) delegation led by Liaqat Baloch and Farid Piracha visited the MQI headquarters and met with the party leaders. Majlis-e-Wahdul Muslimeen, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leaders and Sunni Ittehad Council delegation led by its chief Sahibzada Hamid Raza also visited the PAT head office. Sahibzada Hamid Raza met sons of Dr Tahirul Qadri and express solidarity. He said that the incident reminded of Jalliawala Bagh massacre. He said his party was with PAT at this difficult time. He said the sacrifices of the martyred would not go waste.

MQM delegation led by Coordination Committee deputy convenor Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddique visited the PAT secretariat and met with party leaders. The delegation expressed condemnation of the incident. Talking to the media on the occasion, Dr Khalid Maqbool said the incident was the blackest of the history of Punjab.  He said the police had attacked the innocent people while the terrorists were free. He demanded serious notice of the sad incident wherein 11 people including women were killed while about 100 were seriously injured. To a question, he said MQM delegation would join PAT on arrival of Dr Tahirul Qadri in Islamabad on June 23.