LAHORE – Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Habibur Rehman has said fake encounters are “haram (forbidden or unlawful according to Islam) and his department does not believe in staged shootouts”.

“Twenty-five policemen embraced martyrdom in 350 shootouts with hardcore criminals across the province this year,” he said while addressing a ceremony held at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday.

CCPO Aslam Tareen, DIG (Operations) Muhammad Tahir Rai, SSP Shariq Kamal, PSO to IGP Muhammad Ali Nakokar, FPCCI Law and Order and Peace Committee Chairman Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Regional Chairman Sheikh Abdul Waheed Sandal, and Azhar Majeed Sheikh were also present on this occasion.

The provincial police chief said since economic development depends upon better security, the businesspeople would be provided protection and the province will be made crime-free zone.

He claimed that crime rate deceased owing to aggressive policing and the criminals could be eliminated only by implementing an effective strategy.

Talking about terrorism, the IGP said that all the terror incidents have been traced with the special assistance of intelligence agencies, which played a key role in smashing the terrorists’ network.

Later, the IGP told reporters that policemen were awarded strict punishment after they were found guilty of wrongdoing by a judicial panel on six police encounters. According to statistics, no less than 315 alleged criminals have been killed in police ‘shootout’ across Punjab from January to October this year. Last year, the police had killed 115 alleged criminals during the same period, suggesting sizeable surge in reported shootouts.