Senior civil judge to conduct inquiry into Sahiwal killings


LAHORE: Senior Civil Judge Shakeel Goraya will conduct the judicial inquiry into the controversial Sahiwal encounter that had claimed the lives of four people, including a three-member family.

A two-member bench headed by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim directed for a judicial inquiry into the incident after the victim families approached the court with a request for a judicial probe into the case.

The judge has summoned both parties, the victims and the Counter-Terrorism Department, on February 18. Shakeel Goraya will submit the inquiry report to the high court in one month.

Four people, including three members of a family, were killed in an alleged encounter in Sahiwal on January 19. The deceased were identified as Zeeshan, Khalil and his wife and their teenage daughter Areeba.

CTD personnel had said they had killed a local commander of Islamic State or Daesh and three others in the operation. However, eyewitnesses and three children, whose parents were killed, disputed the claim.

The incident sparked a national outcry and prompted the PM to order an investigation into the killings. Soon after the incident, the Punjab Police had formed a joint investigation team (JIT)—led by a senior police officer—to investigate the incident. However, Khalil and Zeeshan’s relatives approached the court, seeking a judicial commission to probe the incident, saying they couldn’t trust the “people who killed their siblings”.

“We are not satisfied with the JIT’s investigation,” the mother of Zeeshan, one of the victims, told Senate committee on Jan 29.

“The police that are investigating [the incident] are the ones who committed the killings,” she added, while requesting the prime minister to provide justice.

“All we want is justice. They killed my son and then they labelled him as a terrorist,” she said while critcising provincial ministers for labelling Zeeshan a terrorist on television.