Sindh govt directed to reform police laws in six weeks


KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed the Sindh government to reform police laws within three weeks as the court took up a contempt of court petition against the provincial chief secretary, police chief, and others.

These orders were issued during a heated debate on the murder of three members of a family by Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials during an ‘encounter’ in Sahiwal last week.

A bench headed by Justice Hassan Azhar Rizvi heard the petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against Inspector General of Police Sindh Dr Syed Kaleem Imam and others for their alleged failure in complying with the high court’s earlier orders seeking police reforms in the province.

The plaintiff argued that the provisional government should be dissolved as it had failed to introduce police reforms by not complying with court orders. He claimed that both the interim and incumbent governments had failed to make it a part of their agenda.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel, Faisal Siddiqui, told the court that no replies had yet been submitted by the respondents even after one and a half years. At that, Advocate General Salman Talibuddin interjected that new police laws were pending approval of the cabinet, and at least six weeks were needed to get approval.

The court then gave the provincial government six weeks to present the new laws. At this, the Sindh High Court gave the provincial government six weeks to present new laws for police reforms.

The case was then adjourned until February 27.

It merits a mention that three members of a family were killed during a shootout between the CTD and suspected terrorists near Sahiwal. Khalil, a grocer in Kot Lakhpat, Lahore, his wife Nabeela, their 13-year-old daughter, and their neighbour, 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”.