Lahore: Three Pakistani federal ministers on Friday challenged a sessions court`s decision to register a murder case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz and 19 others for their alleged role in the killing of 14 supporters of Canada-based cleric Tahirul Qadri.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and Water and Power State Minister Abid Sher Ali, who are also nominated in the murder case application of Qadri`s Pakistan Awami Tahreek (PAT), filed the petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The sessions court on August 18 ordered registration of a murder case against Prime Minister Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Shahbaz`s son Hamza Shahbaz, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Pervaiz Rashid, Punjab`s former law minister Rana Sanaullah and top police officers who took part in the raid at the cleric`s residence in Model Town on June 17.
The three ministers pleaded before Justice Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa of LHC that the sessions court had ordered registration of FIR against those who had nothing to do with the June 17 incident.
"The prime minister and the federal ministers had nothing to do with the police operation carried out in Model Town to remove barricades outside the residence of Tahirul Qadri," the petitioners said.
They said the court should have taken into account the judicial commission report`s finding before ordering registration of the FIR against the 21 people on the complaint of PAT/Tahreek-i-Minhajul Quran International.
Justice Bajwa adjourned the hearing till August 25. Earlier, the police had refused to register the FIR as they could not do so without the approval of the Shahbaz-government.