What Legal Options Does The State Have Post The Sahiwal verdict
Nine months after the counter-terrorism authorities killed a family of three children near the Sahiwal town in Punjab, a special anti-terrorism court acquitted all the suspects.
The decision sparked public outrage, especially after the two-day assassination, with Prime Minister Imran Khan promising "complete punishment" on Twitter.
Now that the people who freeze the family are free, what opportunities does the state have to ensure justice?
"Legal examination with legal experts"
In a verdict that shocked many, a special anti-terrorism court in Lahore, where the Sahiwal interview case was transferred from Sahiwal, acquitted all the suspects on the basis of "the benefit of doubt".
The "advantage of doubt" is justified if the prosecutor's office is unable to clarify the suspicion of the case. The burden of proving the case lies with the prosecution.
A total of 49 witnesses recorded their statements and appeared in court. Neither the children of the deceased nor the imaging were identified during the imaging test.
Following the assassinations, the Punjab government decided to set up a committee of inquiry to review live news the case following an order by the prime minister to investigate the "illegal" harassment.
However, the proceedings must be reviewed by a legal person and not by an illegal group of people. The committee may have experts in their fields, but legal expertise requires legal experts.
Jasmin Ali, Lahore Attorney
"Unwanted Judicial Committee"
The state can appeal the decision of the Anti-Terrorism Court and appeal to the Supreme Court of Lahore.
As the ATC has already handed down the judgment after all the evidence has been presented and the witnesses have been questioned, it is unlikely that a judicial committee will be set up.
The state will appeal the decision and consider revoking or notifying it.
The Punjab government on Monday filed a petition challenging the acquittal of Sahiwal in an incident in which law enforcement officers killed several people earlier this year.
The appeal was lodged with the Lahore High Court (LHC) by Additional Prosecutor Abdul Samad Khan.
The petition states that either the investigation into the incident was incomplete or the witnesses changed their statements.
The Punjab government approached the LHC a few days after Prime Minister Imrans Khan ordered to appeal the ATC's decision.
On 19 January, four people, including three family members, were killed in a possible clash in Sahiwal, with CTS members claiming to have killed a local leader of the terrorist group ISIS and three others during the operation.