Murder case registered against Nawaz Sharif, ministers

ISLAMABAD (TIP): A murder case has been registered against Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother and Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, three federal ministers and top police officials over the alleged killing of two persons during last month’s clashes between the police and anti-government protesters, police officials said on Sep 17.

The case was registered at Islamabad’s Secretariat police station under Anti-Terrorism Act and Pakistan Penal Code sections dealing with murder, attempted murder, attack and abetment of attack. On Monday, a court had ordered the Secretariat police to register the case after hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) over the alleged killing of its workers. The deaths took place on night of August 30 when the police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets on followers of cleric Tahirul Qadri-led PAT and Imran Khanled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to stop them from marching on the PM’s house in Islamabad’s heavily fortified red-zone.

Apart from the two victims, who died from rubber bullet injuries, another PAT worker died that night due to cardiac arrest. Over 500 people were injured. According to the FIR, the crackdown orders were given by Nawaz Sharif and interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The other to be booked include defence minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif, railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafique, former IG Islamabad Khalid Khattak, IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera, the IG Railways and other top officials of the Islamabad police and administration.

Addressing his supporters on Wednesday, Qadri said Nawaz Sharif had no right to stay in power after the registration of the FIR. “How can Sharif remain in power when two cases have been registered against him?” he said. He demanded the PM and all the others who had been booked should be immediately arrested. He expressed reservations over the investigation of the case by the Islamabad and Punjab police, and asked for the constitution of a joint investigation team comprising members of intelligence agencies and police officials from regions other than Punjab and Islamabad to probe the matter.

Nawaz Sharif and other high-ranking figures have already been named in a murder case relating to the deaths of 14 supporters of Qadri when the police launched an operation against them in Lahore’s Model Town on June 17.

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