LAHORE – Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar granted 96 hours to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab to arrest the killers of journalist Zeeshan Butt, who breathed his last, last month.
During the hearing of the suo-moto notice on Saturday, IGP Punjab Captain (r)Arif Nawaz requested the court to allow them a week to arrest the murderer(s), however, the chief justice turned down the request and ordered the police officer to arrest the accused at the earliest.
The police chief confirmed that the accused belonged to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.
The top judge, who visibly seemed perturbed during the hearing over the ‘Crime of Passion’ also directed the police chief to launch an enquiry against the killers under the anti-terrorism act.
Butt, a print journalist associated with Nawa-i-Waqt-group was murdered on March 27 in the Union Council office of Samaryal tehsil of Sialkot. His family had accused UC Chairperson Imran Cheema, a member of ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, of orchestrating the murder.
According to the details, the journalist had visited Cheema’s office in Sambrial tehsil to inquire about taxes levied on shop owners in Begowala union council – an audiotape substantiates the visit as well.
During the argument, both exchanged harsh comments and the journalist was issued death threats from Cheema. The events are verified by the audiotape of the journalist’s telephonic conversation with District Council chairperson Hina Arshad Waraich.
The journalist, who had made a telephone call to Waraich to complain against death threats, did not get a chance to complete his conversation and sound of three shots, allegedly fired at Butt,could be heard in the recording.
“Madam, I am Zeeshan Ashraf Butt, correspondent of Daily Nawa-i-Waqt at Sambrial. I had come to the Begowala union council to investigate details of newly imposed taxes on shopkeepers but UC chairman Imran Aslam Cheema wants to kill me.” Butt had said before he was targeted .
Tragically, Zeeshan Butt succumbed to wounds received from firing within the premises of Begowala UC office, stirring outrage among the journalists across the country.
Press Association of Supreme Court (PAS) President Tayyab Baloch drew the chief justice’s attention towards the murder of Zeeshan Butt on Wednesday following which he sought a report from Punjab IG Arif Nawaz and constituted a special bench for hearing of the case.