— President Alvi expresses sorrow
— Hamza Shehbaz demands new legislation
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday vowed to take “swift action” against the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials after the joint investigation team (JIT) findings into Sahiwal incident while the opposition lambasted the federal government for turning Punjab into a “police state”.
On Saturday, Punjab CTD officials killed four people, including a couple and their teenage daughter, and injured a teenage boy in a suspicious “encounter”, triggering a national outcry that prompted the government to take the security officials into custody and order an investigation into the incident.
The counter-terrorism officials claimed that the operation was conducted to capture an “Islamic State (IS) commander” on a tip-off by an intelligence agency.
‘SWIFT ACTION WILL BE TAKEN AFTER JIT REPORT’:
Earlier in the day, the premier tweeted that “swift action” will be taken after the JIT report is released.
PM Imran also expressed “shock” at the incident, adding that the children who lost their parents will be “fully looked after by the state”.
“Still shocked at seeing the traumatised children who saw their parents shot before their eyes. Any parent would be shocked as they would think of their own children in such a traumatic situation. These children will now be fully looked after by the state as its responsibility,” PM Imran tweeted on Sunday morning.
Still shocked at seeing the traumatized children who saw their parents shot before their eyes. Any parent would be shocked as they would think of their own children in such a traumatic situation. These children will now be fully looked after by the state as its responsibility.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 20, 2019
The premier expressed admiration for the work the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has done against terrorism, but he emphasised that “everyone must be accountable before the law”.
“While the CTD has done a great job in the fight against terrorism, everyone must be accountable before the law. As soon as the JIT report comes, swift action will be taken. The govt’s priority is the protection of all its citizens.”
While the CTD has done a great job in fight against terrorism, everyone must be accountable before the law. As soon as JIT report comes, swift action will be taken. The govt’s priority is protection of all its citizens. https://t.co/Vek2YHLmKQ
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 20, 2019
PRESIDENT ALVI EXPRESSES SORROW:
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi also lamented the tragic incident and termed it “very painful.”
Taking to Twitter, Dr Alvi said: “I can not even imagine the negative effects that have been inflicted on the minds of those children whose parents were martyred in front of their eyes”.
He added that the government would definitely take care of these children, “however, there is no replacement of parents.”
“The cruel murderers behind this tragedy will get the punishment,” the president assured.
PML-N SUBMITS ADJOURNMENT MOTION IN NA:
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Sunday submitted an adjournment motion in the national assembly secretariat on the alleged extrajudicial killing in Sahiwal.
The adjournment motion signed by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif, Rana Sanaullah, Maryam Aurangzeb and Ayaz Sadiq, said that the killing of citizens by police in front of their children is the most important issue for the country today, hence there should be a debate on it in the assembly.
“The government should give its response in the house,” the motion said. “The government should tell why it failed in protecting the lives of the people.”
CM BUZDAR ANNOUNCES RS20M COMPENSATION
Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat on Sunday, while addressing a press briefing on the Sahiwal ‘encounter’ alongside members of the cabinet, said that Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Usman Buzdar had announced Rs 20 million compensation for the aggrieved family.
“The team that took part in this operation has been taken into custody while CTD officials’ supervisor has also been suspended,” he told while adding that the JIT would be presenting its findings of the incident to the Punjab government within three days.
HAMZA SHEHBAZ URGES NEW LEGISLATION:
However, the opposition criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government with the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz urging the federal government to devise and enact the required legislation to prevent such incidents.
“If protectors become killers, then states do not survive,” he said, adding that the prime minister should consider this incident as an example.
“The deceased family members were being called abductors and terrorists,” he said while demanding severe punishment for the accused officers.
On Saturday, after the uproar on mainstream and social media, the PM took notice of the incident and ordered Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to probe the matter and submit a report in this regard.
An injured child Umair Khalil, who was present in the vehicle at the time of the incident, told reporters that he was travelling to Burewala for his uncle’s wedding with his father (Khaleel), mother (Nabeela), elder sister (Areeba), father’s friend (Zeeshan) and two younger sisters when their vehicle was stopped by police officials.
“My father begged the policemen to take the money and let us leave but they opened fire without any reason,” the boy claimed, adding that his father, mother, elder sister and father’s friend were killed in the firing and kept back in the vehicle. “The police left us [Umair, younger sisters] at a petrol pump and we were later taken to a hospital,” he added.
The encounter sparked protests on the outskirts of Lahore, leading to traffic jams on Ferozpur Road. Consequently, Chief Minister Buzdar ordered the formation of a JIT headed by a senior police official and comprising representatives of intelligence agencies to probe the matter and submit its report within three days.