May Allah Ta'ala grant them all Jannatul-Firdaus (Ameen).
Officials of the Punjab Police's Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Saturday sprayed a car with bullets near Sahiwal, killing four people including a couple their teenage daughter and their driver .
The police called it an intelligence based operation against suspected terrorists but three children travelling in the car said the family was travelling to Burewala from Lahore to attend a wedding ceremony.
According to reports, The couple identified as Khalil and his wife Nabeela along with their children Areeba, Umair Khalil, Muniba, Hadia and their drive Zeeshan were on board the vehicle when the incident took place near Sahiwal Toll Plaza.
The deceased were identified as Khalil, Nabeela their teenage daughter Areeba and driver Zeeshan. Umair Khalil, the couple' son', sustained bullet wounds while his sister Muniba's hand was injured with the broken glass of the vehicle. The only person who remained unhurt was identified as Hadia.
Counter-Terrorism Department statements
CTD officials kept changing their statements after the killings; first declaring them child kidnappers, and then dubbing them as terrorists.
The CTD claimed that the car riders had opened fire on the raiding party, which had tried to intercept the vehicle as well as a motorcycle on the main road.
CTD spokesman said the operation was conducted as follow-up of an action carried out in Faisalabad on Jan 16.
"The car was coming from Lahore and the women killed were 40 and 13 years old, respectively.”
The CTD also claimed that there were three other suspected terrorists on-the-spot, who managed to escape. “They were identified as Shahid Jabbar, Abdul Rehman and their accomplice," the CTD spokesperson added.
Earlier, the CTD officials claimed that the four people were kidnappers, but later on dubbed them as terrorists.
The CTD identified one of the deceased as Zeeshan. The department said that he was wanted for several crimes, including the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani, son of former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani, and several American nationals. The CTD also claimed that he was the deputy chief of a banned outfit.
According to the postmortem report, driver Zeeshan received 10 bullets; father Khalil 13; mother Nabeela Bibi 4 and 13-year-old Areeba was shot four times.
As per the details, Umair Khalil was hit six times in his legs, while his younger sister Muniba was injured after being hit with car mirror when it hit road fence.
The youngest one, 4-year-old-Hadia is released from the hospital.
Umair Khalil recounts the incident
Umair Khalil, son of Khalil, told media that his father had begged CTD personnel to take money and spare their lives, but they refused and opened fire on the car.
“My papa, mummy, sister and a friend of my father were killed. We survived the firing,” he said. “We were taken to a petrol station and left there,” he said.
The boy said that they were going to a wedding in Burewala from Lahore when they were intercepted by the CTD personnel.
Jalil, brother of suspect, also rejected the police claim that his brother was a terrorist.
“We all were going to Burewala to attend a marriage. We were in three cars,” Jalil said.
Prime Minister takes notice
Following the incident Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar and asked him to immediately reach Sahiwal and called for bringing facts to the fore.
On Sunday morning the prime minister took to Twitter and wrote :"Still shocked at seeing the traumatized children who saw their parents shot before their eyes. Any parent would be shocked as they would think of their own children in such a traumatic situation. These children will now be fully looked after by the state as its responsibility".
Inspector General of Police Punjab Amjad Javed Salimi has formed a four-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the incident. Additional IG Establishment Punjab will be the head of the team, and one each representative from the ISI and the IB would be part of the JIT. The team will submit its report within three days.
Social media reaction
The incident became top trend on Twitter with people expressing outrage over the gory killings.
The users demanded government give exemplary punishment to those involved .
A case has been registered against the CTD officials involved in the incident on behalf of Jalil Ahmed, a brother of Khalil Ahmed.
According to Geo News, the FIR was registered at Yousufwala Police Station against 16 members of the CTD.
The relatives of the deceased family announced to end the sit-in on G.T Road after the case was filed against the CTD personnel involved in the cold-blooded murder of the family.