LAHORE  -   The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Model Town case yesterday recorded statement of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at the Kot Lakhpat Jail.

Five-member team, headed by Inspector General of National Highways and Motorways Police Allah Dino Khawaja, remained at the prison for two hours. The other members include Lt Colonel Mohammad Attiquz Zaman from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Colonel Irfan Mirza from Military Intelligence (MI), Mohammad Ahmed Kamal, deputy director general of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Qamar Raza, deputy inspector general (DIG) Police Headquarters Gilgit-Baltistan.

During two hours questioning, as per the insiders, Nawaz Sharif remained calm and composed. The team also asked questions about measures taken after the tragic incident.

JIT has so far recorded statements of six former ministers, 90 policemen and 85 eyewitnesses. More recently, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif recorded statement in the Model Town incident. The former chief minister denied giving any instructions for launching anti-encroachment operation outside Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town in 2014.

The PML-N president said that instead he asked police to disengage. As per sources, the JIT had almost completed the task and it would soon submit the report.

The JIT was constituted in December 2018 on the orders of the Apex Court for probing the incident in which 14 workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek including women were killed and scores of others injured during hours-long clashes with police.

It is the third JIT constituted since 2014 to investigate the tragic incident.  The first JIT was headed by the then IGP Punjab Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera though it did not complete the assigned task. The second JIT formed on November 17, 2014 had conducted and finalised the investigation in May 2015. That JIT exonerated then Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former law minister Rana Sanaullah from charges of ordering or abetting the police action.

PM must sweep before his own door: Marriyum

PML-N central Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that lecture on acceptable political activism is coming from Imran Khan and his men, who cursed the parliament, besieged the august house and spearhead an assault on the parliament while bringing down its gates and wall.

Reacting to the information minister’s remarks, Marriyum said that before delivering sermons on political values and moral code of conduct, the selected prime minister should sweep before his own door and remember the not so distant past.

The former information minister condemned violence on political workers by the ‘PTI-motivated’ police. She said enthusiastic political workers who claimed a stake in the country were an asset to the country. However, a selected government could never understand the basics of democracy nor could they be taught any, she added.

Marriyum said that Imran Khan needed to come out of his selective amnesia and needed to be reminded about the calls for civil disobedience against county’s elected government; his vile and violence inciting call to mobs to break into the house and drag an elected prime minister out of his house; the encouragement and appreciation of assault on PTV; the violent attacks on police that injured and crippled certain policemen for ever at D-Chowk.

“PTI has proven that it is the only and the biggest terrorist political party of the country. When will the Prime Minister apologise to the nation for all these acts”, she questioned.

Addressing Fawad Chaudhry’s comments, Marriyum said that the information minister was not used to seeing large, high-spirited political workers. Therefore, whenever he saw such a gathering, the empty chairs at his campaign events started haunting him.