Senate committee demands judicial commission on Sahiwal killings

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Tuesday demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe the alleged Sahiwal encounter that killed four people.

On January 19, four people — including three members of the Khalil family — were killed in an alleged encounter in Sahiwal. Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel said they had killed a local commander of militant organisation Daesh and three others in the operation.

The families of those killed in the alleged Sahiwal shootout appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Interior today. During the proceedings, the committee rejected the joint investigation team’s (JIT) findings and demanded a judicial commission be formed.

Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior Rehman Malik said the committee took notice of the killings six hours after the incident. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Javed Abbasi, who was also part of the panel, said the police were involved in the entire matter.

“No terrorist killed them. We do not accept any investigation from the police. How is it possible that the ones who committed the killings are the ones investigating the murder?”

The senator further urged that the investigation should be taken back from the police. “If the committee and Senate have rejected the JIT, then in what capacity is the JIT working?”

Moreover, during the hearing the PML-N senator criticised the provincial government and accused it of lying about the Sahiwal incident. To this, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Azam Swati replied that the government should not be blamed. Abbasi, however, stuck to his statements and said the government is involved in the Sahiwal killings.

Earlier today, before leaving for Islamabad, the mother of Zeeshan, the driver of the car who was killed, said she hoped for justice for her son’s death. Jalil, the brother of Khalil who was killed with his wife in the incident, rejected the JIT’s report and said the family has changed their lawyer after alleged threats against the family.

The lawyer representing family members of Khalil had alleged that CTD officers were trying to save their colleagues and that members of Khalil’s family including his brother were receiving death threats.

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