Pakistan Police And Previous Governments Accused Of Killing Hundreds In Fake Encounters

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, more than 3,300 people have been killed in police 'encounters' between 2014 and 2018.

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police encounters
The police force of Pakistan has been fiercely criticized by senior lawyers and human rights activists for what they believe to be a deliberate policy of extra-judicial killings.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, more than 3,300 people have been killed in police ‘encounters’ between 2014 and 2018.

Punjab and Sindh have been on top of the list in killing people in fake police encounters.

At least 1,325 suspected criminals were shot and killed by police across the Punjab province from 2014 to 2017. The shootings were staged, and most of those killed in so-called ‘armed encounters’ were wanted to the police in different criminal cases. Defendants were shot and killed by police after weeks-long investigations.

Police encounters across Punjab

Year Police Encounters Total Number of Criminal Killed
2017 239 269
2016 291 340
2015 359 450
2014 267 259
2012 397 360
2011 127
2010 252 186
2009 285 236
2008 299 259
2007 209 247

 

In 2018, Former police inspector Abid Hussain Qureshi alias Boxer, who was on the run for ten years, appeared before a local court in Lahore.

Qureshi was wanted by the Punjab Police in murder, attempted murder, land grab, and fraud.

Involvement of previous governments

police encounters

During his trial, Boxer admitted that he had carried out several extrajudicial killings on the orders of the former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in the late 90s.

Shockingly, more than 890 alleged gangsters were killed in at least 1,100 police encounters in the province during the second tenure of the former Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif beginning in 2008.

Under the PML-N rule, the provincial police adopted an “aggressive” strategy to kill  criminals in staged encounters despite stern warnings and notices by the human rights activists.

In fact, fake police encounters or extrajudicial killings are quite common in the province. Police routinely kill people. However, extrajudicial killings continue under all governments. The same Punjab Police had killed hundreds of criminals under the rule of former CM Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi from 2002 to 2007.

Insiders say the Punjab Police have set a rule to eliminate offenders. However, the scope of police shootings has been amended from time to time. According to the policy, gangsters involved in robbery-cum-rape incidents and those who kill the victim even after accepting ransom are killed in police action.

Similarly, a gangster who shoots a police officer or the criminal who kills the victim during a house robbery attempt also falls in the same category. The police are also ‘authorized’ to decide the fate of the extortionists on their own.

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