ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan assured on Monday exemplary punishment for the police officers, who were accused of killing four people in an encounter over the weekend.
There has been an outcry in the country after officers of the counter terrorism department had opened fire at a vehicle and killed a man, his wife and their daughter, along with a family friend, on Saturday in the Sahiwal region.
Khan had tweeted on Monday that the guilty will “be given exemplary punishment” and that the government will also review the reform process of the Punjab Police.
Two minors, who were also in the vehicle, were wounded in the incident.
In the Punjab province, lawyers on Monday called for a shutdown protesting the alleged extrajudicial killings by the security forces.
“The proceedings of the courts across Punjab are suspended,” Punjab Bar Council Secretary Jibran Khalil told EFE.
In some small cities, too, shops remained closed in protest, according to local television channel Geo.
Nabeela Ghazanfar, Punjab police spokesperson, denied the reports of protests or strike to EFE.
After the killing of the four people the Counter Terrorism Department had said the four were terrorists and were killed in a shootout among themselves.
However, eyewitnesses and survivors denied this and told Dawn television that the shootout was a cold blooded action by the police.
Ghazanfar confirmed to EFE that 16 CTD officials have been arrested and a complaint has been filed in court against them.
Human Rights groups have often accused the Pakistani police of killing terrorists or criminals in fake encounters.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimates that 1,226 people were killed in such operations in the last two years, alleging most of them to be extrajudicial killings.