The Lahore High Court on Thursday ordered a judicial inquiry into the deaths of four people – including three members of a family – in an alleged encounter in Sahiwal last month.

Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Sardar Shamim ordered the formation of a judicial commission to probe the Sahiwal killings, as the court heard a petition filed by Jalil, the brother of Khalil who was among those killed in the alleged encounter.

During the proceedings, Chief Justice LHC Justice Shamim directed the sessions judge in Sahiwal to appoint a magistrate for the inquiry.

“The LHC chief justice has ordered a judicial inquiry through a magistrate at a local level,” lawyer Ehtisham Ameer-ud-din, who is representing the victims’ families, told media.

"But we want a judicial commission. Once we get the written order today and if we are not satisfied, we might challenge the order in the Supreme Court,” the lawyer added.

Khalil's brother Jalil told media that the inquiry will be held by the sessions judge in Sahiwal to record the statements of the eyewitnesses, which was not done by a joint investigation team (JIT) formed earlier to probe the incident.  

On January 19, four people were killed in an alleged shootout in Sahiwal, with the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel claiming they had killed a local commander of militant organisation Daesh and three others in the operation. Eyewitnesses, however, disputed the claim and said the people in the car did not fire at officials, nor were any explosives recovered from the vehicle.