Shafaqna Pakistan:Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday directed the Punjab government to file an appeal against an anti-terrorism court’s decision to exonerate all accused in the Sahiwal killings case.
He has also ordered the provincial government to conduct a probe to ascertain reasons for the weak case put up by the prosecution.
The premier’s directives come following widespread condemnation of the ATC decision to give “the benefit of doubt” to all six officials of the Punjab Police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).
The development was announced on Twitter by the PM’s special assistant Firdous Ashiq Awan, who said the government remains determined to provide justice to the affected families.
“The state will take up the case if the victims’ family does not pursue the matter,” she wrote, adding that the whole nation had seen the footage of parents being murdered in front of their children.
Macabre encounter: ATC acquits all accused in Sahiwal killings case
The tragedy occurred on January 19 this year. Khalil, his wife Nabeela, their four children, and a neighbour, Zeeshan, were near the Sahiwal Toll Plaze on GT Road when CTD personnel stopped their car and opened fire.
Khalil, Nabeela, their daughter Areeba, and Zeeshan died on the spot, while Khalil and Nabeela’s other three children survived.
The cops later claimed that they were targeting suspected terrorists.
“My papa pleaded before the police that there was no weapon in the car and that the police could search the vehicle,” one of the surviving children, Muhammad Umar Khalil, said.
“They didn’t listen to my papa and opened fire.”
TV channels reported Umar as saying: “My papa told the police officials to take their money and let them go, but they [police officials] did not listen and opened fire.”
Eyewitnesses endorsed the children’s version, saying that the CTD officials opened fire on the car without giving any kind of warning.
They also said that no weapons or explosives were recovered from the victims’ car.