Lahore, Oct 22: In a relief to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab police have "closed" a murder case against him, his brother Shahbaz and some members of his cabinet for their alleged involvement in the killing of 14 supporters of a Canada-based cleric last year.
The case was registered on the complaint of Tahir-ul Qadri's supporters who claimed that the police pounced on the cleric's residence in Model Town here on June 17, 2014 at the behest of Sharif, Punjab chief minister Shahbaz and others.
"We have closed the FIR against the prime minister and 20 others for their alleged involvement in the killing of 14 supporters of Qadri," a senior Lahore police official said.
He said since the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has not found the involvement of any of those nominated in the FIR "closed". "Those responsible for the incident are those booked in another FIR and the case is being heard in the anti-terrorism court," he said.
In August, 2014, the Lahore police registered the FIR against Sharif, his brother, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nawaz, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid and senior police officers for their alleged involvement in the killing under charges pertaining to murder, attempt to murder and terrorism.
On the other hand, the ATC Lahore this week indicted 46 accused in a separate FIR registered against Qadri, his sons and some police officials of junior rank in the Model town incident. The court framed charges against 41 supporters of Qadri and five police officials.
The court has already declared Qadri - chairman of Pakistan Awami Tahreek (PAT), and his sons Hasan Mohiyuddin and Husain Mohiyuddin as proclaimed offenders.
Reacting sharply to the indictment of his party workers in what he called a "fake case", Qadri said: "The indictment of PAT workers in the murder cases of their fellows in the Model Town tragedy is itself a state terrorism against innocent citizens of the country and the real culprits including Sharif, Shahbaz and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah are roaming scot-free."