Sahiwal incident: Senate body chairman refutes police claims of summoning families

Sahiwal incident: Senate body chairman refutes police claims of summoning families

Islamabad (Staff Report): Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Rehman Malik on Saturday refuted claims of police officials that the families of the victims of Sahiwal incident were summoned by the committee and not President Arif Alvi or Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

Rehman Malik, in a series of tweets said, "I would like to inform that the victim families were not issued notice for the meeting held yesterday. The victim family / local councillors will be issued notices for meeting next week."

He added, "Local MNAs and MPAS will attend the meeting as special invitees to give their input".

In another tweet, Rehman Malik continued, "Nobody dare hinder their presence in the SSC meeting once legal formalities are done and notices are issued. The families will have the opportunity to express their views before the committee very soon".

"I hope and request to avoid disinformation. It is on the agenda of the committee to give hearing to the victim and the office is already processing the notices to be sent to them and the Senate is also arranging transport for the members of the family from Lahore to Islamabad," the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior said.

Earlier on Saturday, confusion surrounded the reported meeting between families of the deceased Khalil and Zeeshan with President Alvi and Senate Chairman Sanjrani.

The police officials had claimed that the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and not President Arif Alvi or Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani had summoned the families of the victims of Sahiwal incident to Islamabad.

The officials said that the families of Zeshan and Khalil were present inside the Senate building, however, the members of the committee did not meet them. They added that the police never bring anyone on the directives of the president or Chairman Senate.

On Friday, the family members of the victims lamented that they were called to meet President Arif Alvi in Islamabad, however, after hours of waiting they were told the president is out of town.

According to deceased Khalil’s brother Jalil, police took him along with his family to Islamabad for a meeting with President Arif Alvi and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani but after hours of waiting they were told that the president and Senate chairman were not present in the federal capital.

Talking to newsmen in Lahore, Jalil raised the question why did the president ask them to come if he did not want to meet the victims’ families.

He said that the police recorded their statements all night long and then they went around the city all day, however, later they came to know that the president was in Karachi while the Senate chairman had gone to Balochistan. Jalil further said a mockery was being made of them.

On the other hand, the spokespersons for the President House and Senate on Saturday rejected reports of calling and scheduling a meeting between President Alvi and Senate chairman with the families of Khalil and Zeeshan.

The spokesperson of the President House stated that no meeting was set up with the family of the deceased. "The Punjab government has been tasked with investigating who brought the family to Islamabad," he added.

Rejecting the family's claims of a scheduled meeting with Sadiq Sanjrani, the Senate spokesperson also stated that the chairman did not call the family nor did we receive any request from them to meet him.

On January 19, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) killed three members of a family; Khalil, his wife Nabeela, their 13-year-old daughter, and their neighbour, Zeeshan, in an alleged encounter near the toll plaza on GT Road in the Qadirabad area.

The CTD officials claimed that the operation was carried out on a tip-off by an intelligence agency to capture an “Islamic State (IS) commander”. The Punjab government also insisted that the CTD personnel had conducted the operation on the basis of solid evidence, killing (Daesh) terrorist Zeeshan resultantly, adding that the police also recovered firearm and explosives.

On the other hand, a joint investigation team (JIT) — pertaining to the case and led by Syed Ijaz Hussain Shah, additional inspector-general (AIG) of the Punjab Police — is probing it from various angles and has managed to obtain from the Excise & Taxation Punjab the record of the car used in the Sahiwal encounter.

According to the records obtained by the JIT, the car — with a registration number plate LEA-6683 — was first registered to Samina Muqaddar, a resident of Lahore, in March 2012 and transferred to Shaukat Ali Sajid of Okara in July 2012 and, in July 2017, to Lahore's Azeem Liaquat.

After that, the ownership of the vehicle was not transferred to any other identity. However, intelligence sources claim that terrorist Adeel Hafeez bought the car from a person named Saqib Majeed and that there was a deal between Hafeez and Majeed in May 2018.