The Police 'Encounters'

Yesterday, the Counter Terrorism Department in Punjab claimed that in a terrorist encounter at 1:15, they killed 10-suspected Jamaatul Ahrar terrorists, including the handler of the bomber who carried out the suicide attack at Lahore’s Mall Road.

A firefight followed, in the dark? I’m sure our Counter Terrorism Department must have ‘night-vision goggles,’ or perhaps they are simply superb marksmen — especially in the dark.

At the end of the exchange, there were 10 dead and surprisingly no survivors, injured or uninjured, from the group that attacked the police.

The most unsettling fact about this ‘encounter’ is that there hasn’t been public presentation of evidence against any of the dead as yet. These unusually common incidents of police ‘encounters’, not only in Punjab, has resulted in multiple deaths of men ‘alleged’ to be terrorists.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) report 2016, Police in Pakistan may be illegally executing hundreds of people each year in fake ‘encounter killings’. It said it was concerned that many, ‘if not most’, of the 2,108 people reported by the media to have been killed in encounters in 2015 died in circumstances that were ‘faked and did not occur in situations in which lives were at risk.’

The technique has been widely used in recent years by police and paramilitary forces battling to bring order to Karachi.  It’s shameful how some in Pakistan, often support these killings, which they say are responsible for a dramatic improvement in Karachi’s law and order situation.

This ‘extrajudicial killing’ right after a terror incidents may be an attempt by Punjab authorities to neutralise the public criticism they are facing for their failure to counter terrorists attacks: they surely are not a solution to the real problem.

The real solutions involves the authorities to take effective measures before occurance of an incident - operations against terrorists and effective surveillance. With this mockery of rule of law we are getting nowhere as a society to combat terrorists elements, in the long run. We will miserably fail.

01:30 hours
Sunday 9 April 2017

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