Islamabad: Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Rehman Malik on Saturday refuted the claims that the families of those killed in the alleged Sahiwal encounter were called to Islamabad by the committee.
In a press conference at his residence, Senator A. Rehman Malik said, “I would like to inform that the victim families were not issued any notice for the meeting held yesterday on Friday.
He said that no official notice by the Secretary Committee was issued to the family of Sahiwal Victims to attend the meeting of the Committee held on 25th January, 2019. He showed the media the copy of the NOTICE which was issued for the meeting held on Friday and the notice was issued to the Secretary Ministry of Interior, Home Secretary Punjab, I.G.P Punjab and to the DIGs and DPOs of Sahiwal and Lahore only.
Senator A. Rehman Malik clarified that according to the Senate Rules of Procedure, a proper official notice is issued by the Secretary Committee at the addresses of the invitees with the mention of Date, Time and Place/ Venue of the meeting. He said that a comprehensive letter was sent to the Secretary Ministry of Interior on January 22, 2019 with 42 questionnaires including seeking the details of the family members of Sahiwal victims for issuing proper notices to them for their point of view and written statements in next meeting of the committee.
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that it is important to know the point of view of the bereaved families of Sahiwal incident therefore they will be certainly invited to appear before the committee to record their statements and in this regards a proper official notice shall be issued to the families to attend the meeting to record their point of view and statements in written. He said that the victim families and local councillors will be issued notices to attend the meeting of the committee next week. Local MNAs and MPAS will attend the meeting as special invitees for their input on the incident,” he added.
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the Senate Secretariat will manage transportation and other necessary arrangements for the Victim family to attend the meeting of the Committee.
Senator A. Rehman Malik categorically said that the Ministry of Interior and Punjab Police did not inform him or any official of the Committee about the presence of victim families in Islamabad otherwise they would have been brought in the meeting by him himself adding he wishes someone has informed him about their presence.
Senator Malik clearly explained all the legal aspects, process, procedures and rules of senate to call any individual or organization into a Senate meeting. He said that the victim families will have the opportunity to express their views before the committee; Committee would definitely invite them as it is the responsibility of the parliament to ensure justice in the matters. He requested the media to play its due role on the matter and avoid creating chaos.
The chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior continued and said that early in the morning he tweeted as “I hope and request to avoid spreading disinformation about Sahiwal incident as it is on the agenda of the committee to give hearing to the victim and the office is already processing the notices to be sent to them and the Senate is also arranging transport for the members of the family from Lahore to Islamabad.”
He said “Nobody dare hinder their presence in the SSC meeting once legal formalities are done and notices are issued. The families will have the opportunity to express their views before the committee very soon.”
Senator A. Rehman Malik categorically rejected the police’s viewpoint, saying victim families were not issued notice for the meeting held on Friday. He said that Punjab Police was not directed by the Senate Standing Committee on Interior to bring the victim families to Islamabad as it is mistakenly quoted that we called them.
Senator A. Rehman Malik asserted that conspiracy behind the Sahiwal tragedy cannot be ruled out as the committee is investigating all the aspects and also considering if personal animosity is involved. He said that Pakistan Army, Police and other LEAs are fighting war against terrorism and have rendered countless sacrifices adding that Sahiwal like acts can be aimed at weakening our institutions and creating wedge between those.
He asserted that our committee is monitoring the investigation process and waiting for the final report of the JIT as we think that an element of the conspiracy against the state institutions cannot be ignored. He stressed that committee is fully supporting and standing behind the armed forces, Police and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for their efforts against terrorism.