Buzdar claims ‘provided justice’ in Sahiwal ‘encounter’ within 72 hours


–Punjab CM says PTI set precedent in Punjab by ‘quick action’


LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar claimed on Wednesday that the Punjab government has “fulfilled its responsibility” of providing justice to the affectees of Sahiwal ‘encounter’ “within 72 hours”.

On Saturday, three members of a family were killed during a shootout between the Counter-Terrorism Department and suspected terrorists near Sahiwal. Khalil, a grocer in Kot Lakhpat, Lahore, his wife Nabeela, their 13-year-old daughter, and their neighbor, Zeeshan, were on their way to a wedding in Burewala when they were killed in firing on their car near the toll plaza on GT Road in the Qadirabad area.

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. The Punjab government insisted that CTD personnel had carried out the “Sahiwal operation on the basis of solid evidence and a Da’esh [Islamic State] terrorist Zeeshan was killed resultantly”.

Talking to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers at the Chief Minister House, Buzdar iterated that criminals and facilitators of crimes will not be tolerated in the so-called “Naya Pakistan”.

The provincial chief minister maintained that his government had dealt with the matter properly by taking action against the suspects and claimed that “such quick action” was never taken in the past.

Asserting that the PTI, during its first term in Punjab, had promised the rule of law, he said that the government still stands by its promises of dispensing justice in the province.

He concluded that suspects in the incident have been identified in light of a joint investigation team (JIT) report. It merits a mention that the Punjab government earlier sacked officials of the Punjab CTD, including additional inspector general (AIG), deputy inspector general (DIG), senior superintendent of police (SSP) and deputy superintendent of police (DSP), after the preliminary JIT report found them responsible for the Sahiwal ‘encounter’.

However, when a journalist asked him whether the country’s premier intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), will be held accountable for the incident, the provincial law minister said, “Do not involve state institutions in this. Punjab government cannot trespass its jurisdiction.”