Sahiwal killings: Senate panel wants judicial panel


by Asim Yasin
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Interior has rejected the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Sahiwal killing and demanded the constitution of a judicial commission with specific TORs to go into the depth of the matter.
The committee met here on Tuesday with Senator A. Rehman Malik in the chair. The hearing of the families of victims who were killed by the CTD officials near Sahiwal on January 19 was on the agenda.

Senator KulsoomParveen, Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Senator Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Senator Haji Momin Khan Afridi, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Dr. Shahzad Waseem, Senator Babar and senior officers from the Ministry of Interior and Home Department Punjab along with all concerned attended the meeting.

The family members of the victims were especially invited to the meeting to express their views and to record their statements. Malik assured the family that the committee would leave no stone unturned to bring the killers to justice.

Malik directed that a letter be written to Prime Minister Imran Khan. The committee heard the families of the victims and unanimously demanded that a judicial commission be constituted immediately with specific TORs to go into the depth of the matter.

After the hearing, Senator Malik demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan form a judicial commission to probe the Sahiwal incident as the committee and the victim families had expressed distrust in the already announced JIT of the Punjab government.

On behalf of the committee, he expressed heartfelt condolences with the victim families and fateha was offered for the departed souls. Senator Malik asserted that there was no political agenda behind this and that the whole nation stood behind them.

“The purpose of this meeting was to bring the perpetrators to task so that no such atrocity is committed again,” he said. He said special transport was arranged from the Senate Secretariat to bring the families from Lahore with security.

He directed the Ministry of Interior to provide full security to the victim families. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that Chairman Senate of Pakistan Senator Sadiq Sanjrani was fully supporting the victim families and he had given the ruling that the Senate Standing Committee investigate the matter.

He said the incident had shocked the whole nation and was demanding justice. He said, “I give personal commitment to the victim families that this committee would make sure that investigations reach their logical end.”

Malik gave special permission to the media to cover the meetings and record the statements of victims. The families of Khalil and Zeeshan recorded their statements and also gave the committee statements in written.

Senator Malik communicated with the mother of Zeeshan in Punjabi for her understanding. Senator Javed Abbasi was of the view that there could be no doubt about the involvement of the Punjab police in the incident.

Rejecting the JIT, he stressed the need for formation of a judicial commission to probe the matter independently. Malik’s remarks drew a sharp reaction from the PTI’s Azam Swati, who said it had been agreed that the incident would not be politicised.

Senator Javed Abbasi, however, stuck to his statement and rejected the JIT saying that since the police were involved in the killings, they will not do justice. Senator Azam Khan Swati and Senator Dr. Shahzad Waseem assured the committee that Prime Minister Imran Khan had categorically stated that this matter may be investigated independently on any forum.

“It is the government’s responsibility to ensure justice. No cover will be given anyone involved in this crime,” the PTI senators said. Senator Azam Khan Swati said it was a human tragedy. “However, if a crime is committed by a few individuals, the institution cannot be blamed,” he said.

Victim Khalil’s brother Jaleel said that the FIR launched by the CTD must be reverted. He said that they reject the JIT and demand that the investigation of the case was transferred to Lahore. “The case must be decided as soon as possible. We must know who is behind their killing,” he added.

Zeeshan’s mother, implored the committee for justice and said that if RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav could be arrested alive, why her son was killed. She told the committee that she had no confidence in the JIT’s investigation. “The police that are investigating are the ones who committed the killings,” she said, adding, “We want justice.”courtesy