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PM directs Punjab government to file appeal against Sahiwal tragedy verdict

PM directs Punjab government to file appeal against Sahiwal tragedy verdict
October 25, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has directed the Punjab government to file an appeal against Anti-Terrorism Court’s (ATC) verdict over the Sahiwal tragedy case. This was stated by Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Information in his tweet. “Prime Minister directed the Punjab government to file an appeal on the decision of the special court in connection with the tragedy of Sahiwal,” she tweeted. The special assistant also said that the prime minister has also ordered to investigate the prosecution’s weaknesses and shortcomings in pursuing the case. Firdous Ashiq Awan further said that the whole nation watched the video of the children firing on their parents. “The government is committed to providing justice to innocent children,” she added. “Entire nation had watched the video of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officers opening fire at the passengers. The government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is committed to ensure justice to the children, who lost their parents in this shooting mishap,” the special assistant tweeted.
All suspects in Sahiwal tragedy acquitted
On Thursday, ATC acquitted all the suspects in Sahiwal tragedy case due to lack of evidence. According to details, the suspects include Safdar Hussain, Ahsan Khan, Ramzan, Saifullah, Husnain and Nasir. ATC Judge Arshad Hussain recorded the statement of 49 witnesses including Ehtisham, the brother of deceased Zeeshan, in the Sahiwal tragedy case. The victim Khalil’s children Umair and Muneeba and brother Jalil had recorded their statements and refused to recognize the accused. Jalil told court that he was not present at the site and could not recognize the court. The court acquitted all the suspects due to lack of evidence and gave benefit of doubt to the suspects. Earlier, the police produced the accused including Safdar Hussain, Ahsan Khan, Ramazan, Saifullah, Hasnain and Nasir Nawaz, in court amid tight security.
Case background
Khalil, a resident of 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. Three children in the car survived. Khalil and Nabeela’s minor son sustained a bullet injury while their two other daughters remained unhurt. CTD officials initially said those killed in the shooting were terrorists belonging to the proscribed Daesh (ISIS) militant organisation. The CTD spokesperson identified one of them, Zeeshan, as an active member of the banned outfit, explaining that the terrorists used to travel with families to avoid police checking. The CTD Sahiwal team was conducting a joint Intelligence-Based Operation on the basis of information from the CTD and a sensitive agency, the spokesperson said, adding that they had to retaliate when they came under fire from those in the car. As the news flashed on TV screens, scores of relatives of the deceased family took to the streets, blocking traffic on the Lahore-Kasur road to protest the murder. To ascertain facts, the prime minister had ordered an immediate inquiry into the matter. Later that evening, Chief Minister Buzdar directed IG Police Amjad Javed Saleemi to ensure the arrest of all the personnel involved in the killing of the four persons. Amid countrywide outrage, the CTD changed its stance and said it was actually following Zeeshan — the man behind the wheel of the car that was showered with bullets — because he was a facilitator of terrorists, and regretted the killing of Khalil and his wife and daughter.