Lahore: Canada-based anti-government cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, his sons and two others of Pakistan Awami Tehrik party were today declared “proclaimed offenders” by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court for not appearing in a case of arson and vandalism here despite court summons against them. The anti-terrorism court of Lahore declared Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Qadri, his two sons and two members of his party, proclaimed offenders for not appearing in the Model Town Lahore case despite the court summons.
The court gave the verdict in a case against PAT chief on charges of arson and vandalism during their protests in Lahore last year. The court also issued non-bailable warrants for them in the case. The PAT leaders Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Raheeq Abbasi are also among those declared proclaimed offenders by the court. Reacting strongly, Raheeq Abbasi, a spokesman of Qadri, said: “Getting Qadri declared a proclaimed offender is the handy work of the Punjab government of Shahbaz Sharif”. “Police had killed innocent people in Model Town and instead of initiating action against those responsible for that our leader is being declared proclaimed offender,” he said.
About 14 people were killed and 100 wounded in clashes between Qadri’s supporters and police in Model Town in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s home city over the removal of barriers from Qadri’s residence and offices. Qadri had launched an anti-government movement along with Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan in last August to oust the Nawaz Sharif government. Both held marathon sit-ins in Islamabad. Qadri wanted action against those responsible for the killing of his supporters, while Khan sought for audit of May 2013 general elections won by Sharif.
Qadri had left for Canada after ending his Islamabad sit-in in last October while Taliban attack on Peshawar army public school in which 150 people mostly children were killed forced Khan to end his sit-in in last December.