SHC gives provincial government six weeks to draft new police laws

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday ordered the provincial government to draw up new police laws within six weeks, amid heated debate around extrajudicial killings following last week’s alleged encounter in Sahiwal that left four people dead. The court was hearing a contempt of court petition against Sindh chief secretary, inspector-general of Sindh police and others. As the hearing went under way, the petitioner’s lawyer argued that no replies had been submitted by the officials to the plea even after a passage of one and a half years. Advocate General Salman Talibuddin informed the court that new laws pertaining to the police force had been drafted and sent to the cabinet for approval. He said that a further six weeks were required to get the draft approved. At this, the Sindh High Court gave the provincial government six weeks to present new laws for police reforms. The direction comes less than a week after four people, including three members of a family, were killed in an alleged encounter by the Counter-Terrorism Department officials 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. A joint investigation team formed to probe the killings, in its initial report submitted to the Punjab chief minister on Tuesday, mentioned negligence on part of the CTD officials. The report added that there was no link between the family killed in the incident and terrorism.

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