The Veterans of Pakistan (formerly PESA) on Friday expressed deep anguish and sorrow at the brutal killing of Zeeshan and members of his family by CTD in Sahiwal which was being justified by alleging that he was a terrorist and other deaths were being claimed as collateral damage because the basic duty of the police is to protect the innocents.
Under both counts, the claim was considered absolutely wrong. Even if Zeeshan was a terrorist in police records, his killing cannot be justified. Effort should have been made to nab him alive for carrying out a deeper investigation, it said.
This was observed in a meeting of Executive Council of Veterans of Pakistan with its president, Lt Gen Ali Kuli Khan (Retd) in the chair. Others who attended, included Vice Admiral Ahmad Tasnim (Retd), Brig Mian Mahmud (Retd), Dr Babur Zaheeruddin, Major Farouk Hamid Khan (Retd), Brig Arbi Khan (Retd), Col Dalel Khan (Retd) and Brig Masud ul Hassan (Retd).
They noted that it also seems incorrect that collateral damage occurred due to dark glasses because all deaths are by direct point blank hits and not through stray bullets.
This is not the first incident where police has resorted to firing to kill as its first option rather than arrest a person under chase which points toward the need to review training of anti-terrorist forces and police about chasing of suspects, they said.
They expressed deep concern at the ease and freedom with which a so-called Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) is trying to spread its wings into settled areas of Pakistan.
PTM’s coming in the wake of TTP, Free Balochistan and Kalbhushan’s episode leaves no doubt about who are behind this movement.
Its main target is the Army which is not only engaged in fighting against anti-Pakistan insurgents but has undertaken various development projects like rebuilding education and health facilities, road and markets etc. in tribal areas.
PTM is alleging provincialism in the Army by pushing Pakhtoon soldiers into fighting ahead of soldiers from Punjab which is totally wrong as Army is not composed on ethnic lines. Such propaganda is not only against Army but is targeting the integrity of Pakistan also.
VOP called on all political parties and media to show unity for defence and integrity of Pakistan and join hands to eliminate such anti-Pakistan groups.
At the same time, the well-known trial of the former police officer, Rao Anwar be taken to its logical end without further delay as it is becoming a rallying point for anti-state elements like PTM.
Necessity of military courts was also stressed because terrorist activities have not been completely wiped out as yet. Presence of military courts will help quick trial when needed instead of staring parliamentary procedure all over again.