JIT holds CTD responsible for Khalil family killing in Sahiwal ‘encounter’: Punjab law minister

LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja said that the initial Joint Investigation Agency (JIT) report found no terror links of the late Khalil family, and held the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials responsible for their killing in the Sahiwal ‘encounter’.

The Khalil family (father, mother, teenage daughter) along with Zeeshan who was driving the car were killed on January 19 when CTD officials stopped their vehicle and opened fire in Sahiwal. 

CTD personnel said they had killed a local commander of militant organisation Daesh and three others in the operation. Eyewitnesses, however, disputed the claim and said the people in the car did not fire at officials, nor were any explosives recovered from the vehicle.

Speaking to journalists after a high-level meeting on the Sahiwal incident, the minister said that the provincial government has relinquished Additional Inspector General CTD operations (Punjab) and DIG CTD from their post, and told them to report to the federal government.

“SSP CTD and DSP CTD of Lahore region are suspended,” the law minister added.

The law minister said that challan of five CTD officials will be presented before the anti-terrorism court Wednesday (today).

The minister further said that the government will hold an in camera briefing today on the incident.

“The government as per its promise has completed its promise of a quick and transparent investigation. It’s a test case. No person is above law,” he said. 

JIT head requested time to investigate Zeeshan’s past

Raja said that JIT chief Ejaz Shah had asked further time from the government to investigate the background of Zeeshan, who was also killed with the members of the Khalil family. 

The law minister when asked if the operation was correct or not by a reporter responded: “The operation was 100 per cent correct.” 

He added that facts about the case would be revealed to the media during Wednesday’s (today) in camera briefing.