Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) founder Tahirul Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in a joint press conference on Tuesday declared that they will mutually devise a strategy to tackle the Model Town issue during an 'All Parties Conference' (APC) scheduled for December 30.
"I have been assured that the PTI is with us to help the innocent get justice," Qadri told media personnel in Lahore. "We have decided that we will devise our post-December 31 strategy mutually in the APC on December 30."
Reiterating that the PAT will not back down from its demands, Qadri said: "In these three and a half years, not for a moment have I had any doubts over Shahbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah and even Nawaz Sharif's direct involvement in the Model Town massacre. Shahbaz Sharif in particular gave the orders and Rana Sanaullah implemented the orders; hence, they need to step down and surrender to the law because it's impossible for us to get justice in their presence."
Qadri also mentioned Justice Baqar Najfi's report on the Model Town incident, saying: "The Justice Baqar Najfi report has made it clear that Shahbaz Sharif never told the police to disengage. That much is not for debate anymore. Has it ever happened in the history of mankind that a police force of thousands is killing people and not even one person is behind bars?"
"One brother went out over Panama and the other one will go over the Model Town massacre," he declared.
Imran offers Qadri his full support
Lambasting the federal or provincial incumbents, Imran agreed with Qadri's stance that Model Town victims can never get the justice they seek "until CM Punjab and his provincial law minister relinquish their positions."
"This is a mafia, and their history is of a mafia," declared the PTI supremo. "They know that all the departments are under their control. Even the Supreme Court has said all departments are paralysed. They control everyone: SECP, FBR are forging documents for them; NAB is protecting them in the Hudaibya case; FIA is in their control — so who will give justice?"
Like Qadri, Imran too demanded Shahbaz and Sanaullah's resignations, saying: "When such cases [Model Town] happen in a democracy, there is no other way except for the CM and his law minister to resign. They are an obstruction to justice. This is why I came to tell Dr Qadri that whatever your decision will be, PTI will stand with you. Even though they were his workers who died but before that they were Pakistanis. We want to do this so in the future authorities will think twice before firing at the people."
Another reason Imran gave for standing with Qadri over the Model Town incident is the federal government's use of strong-arming tactics and general high-handedness in dealing with other such issues.
"I am also with Qadri Sb because of what they did to the both of us on August 30," he said. "He was asking justice for the Model Town incident and I was asking for an investigation over poll rigging so future elections could be better — that was all we were asking."
Imran also defended his politics of dharnas (political sit-ins), reminding that not so long ago that very strategy was the go-to move of the ruling party, the PML-N.
"Their lying Aristotle, who puts on his spectacles and lies the most, says that 'Imran Sb your sit-ins have stopped Pakistan's development'," he said. "So when you were protesting for the judiciary or when your people were scaling the President House's walls, what was that for? Democracy?"
But despite seeking resignations, Imran no longer seems keen to topple the government.
"The Constitution says that whenever this government goes, a caretaker setup will take over. Elections will then take place within 60 days," he replied when asked what his future line of action could be.
"There is no room for anything else in the Constitution, and we will respect that."