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Tahir-ul-Qadri returned to Pakistan after eight months

15 June, 2016

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LAHORE: After eight months Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has returned to Pakistan on Wednesday and has announced that he will gather his supporters to stage a sit-in on June 17.

Qadri addressed his party supporters and media personnel outside the airport and thanked them for showing up to welcome him. He said, "I want to thank all those who came despite fasting in this sweltering heat". Even though he announced his plan for the sit-in, he did not give any further details."The details of our sit-in protests will be given on June 17 at Mall road," he added.

He once again slammed the government for openly killing innocent women and children on June 17, 2014 in Model Town, Lahore."The murders were committed on the behest of the government. Where will we get justice from?"He said that two years had passed since the worst example of state terrorism. Qadri also said that this was not a police encounter, but an outright mass murder. "The murders were committed by police officers wearing uniforms," he added.

He also said that the whole world bore witness to the killings on June 17 but a First Information Report (FIR) could still not be registered for those who had died in the Model Town massacre. Qadri also stated that he had rejected the findings of the government's Joint Investigation team (JIT)."Bullets were fired at us but not one of our guards retaliated by firing even a single shot," the PAT chief claimed. He said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had stated that if the commission came forth with any evidence that pointed towards his compliance in the incident, he would resign.

Speaking on the Panama Papers scandal and said that he knew nothing could be achieved from it. "I have already stated that nothing substantial can be derived from the Panama Papers. I am not a cricketer hence I do not talk about the umpire's finger," he said. Qadri spoke about his sit-in protest and said that he could not say for the time being whether it was for a long or short duration. He also called upon the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif to ensure justice was delivered. "The FIR regarding the Model Town massacre was registered at the guarantee of the army chief," he said. "After having the FIR registered, army chief should also ensure justice is served," he added.

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