Rao Anwar claims ‘encounters’ were IG’s policy, demands JIT probe


–Former Malir SSP claims he was only following orders to show no leniency to terrorists

–Says doesn’t trust members of inquiry committee, demands JIT comprising intelligence agencies to probe Naqeebullah’s case

IGP Khowaja says never gave orders for extrajudicial killings


KARACHI: Beleaguered police official Rao Anwar, who was recently removed from his post as the senior superintendent of police (SSP) Malir district, over his alleged involvement in the extrajudicial killing of aspiring model Naqeebullah Mehsud, demanded on Thursday that a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising members of intelligence agencies be formed to investigate the charges against him.

In a statement to the media from his hiding place, Anwar also said that the decision to eliminate terrorists extra-judicially had been taken in an official meeting. The police officer has gone into hiding and is refusing to answer to any authority investigating him for extrajudicial killings of terrorist suspects.

In his statement, Anwar insisted that he was innocent and that the officers who had filed a case against him had done so because of personal animosity.

“I was only following orders of Sindh IG AD Khowaja to show no leniency to terrorists,” he said.

“The impression that I led an encounter in a personal capacity is wrong,” he said. “I am a professional officer who follows principles.”

Anwar also raised questions over the credibility of the officers investigating the case against him and alleged that their “hands are not clean either” and warned that he has “solid evidence”.

“How many successful operations have been carried out by [Additional Inspector General of the Counter-Terrorism Department] Sanaullah Abbasi?” he asked.

The former SSP said he was demanding a JIT because the investigation against him was “one-sided”.

He further complained that officers “who had nothing to do” with the Naqeebullah operation were being included in the investigation.

“Police are carrying out raids at our houses and misbehaving with our families,” he claimed, accusing the police department of “undermining” the Karachi operation as well as disregarding the law.

“Police officials are addressing jirgas even though the Supreme Court and the Sindh High Court have imposed a ban on them,” he complained.


Strongly rejecting Rao Anwar’s allegations, Sindh Police Chief AD Khowaja asked the former SSP Malir to surrender and appear before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), tasked to investigate killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud.

“Neither I had ever given orders of extrajudicial killings, nor was it policy of Sindh police,” Khowaja told a private news channel.

Rao Anwar was hurling baseless allegations in order to protect himself from the rule of law, added the IG.

Khowaja asked Rao to stop lying and surrender himself before the law.

He further said Rao Anwar should appear before the JIT as it would clear the entire matter.


A delegation, led by former additional inspector general of police Rehmat Khan Mehsood, of representatives of the Pashtun community, called on Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair at the Governor House, Karachi, and discussed the progress of the case.

Governor Zubair assured that no one was above the law and the inquiry was being held in a transparent manner, saying that the family of Naqeeb would get justice.

The delegation also met Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khowaja and discussed the issue of Naqeeb’s killing. It expressed confidence over the investigation committee members, saying that their morale had risen after seeing that the investigation was going on impartially.

IGP Khowaja assured the delegation that the investigation was being carried out impartially, taking into account different angles of the incident.

The IGP said that the police were making their best efforts to make the life and property of the citizens safe, adding that respect for the law of land was not only obligatory for the public but for the police as well. “Anyone found breaking the law or taking it into one’s hands would be dealt strictly,” he added.


Meanwhile, various leaders from different political parties gathered at Sohrab Goth to join protesters, mainly from the Pakhtun community, who are demanding the arrest of Rao Anwar and a judicial probe into the extrajudicial killings carried out in Karachi and other parts of Sindh.

In a related development, the inquiry committee investigating the Naqeebullah killing case submitted its report to IG Khowaja on Thursday to be presented to the Supreme Court on Saturday.

A special team will depart for Islamabad on the basis of technical support in order to detain Rao Anwar. Police have reportedly taken care of all the legal requirements for Anwar’s arrest.

Earlier, the ‘encounter specialist’s’ location was traced at two different localities.

Out of the two numbers kept by Anwar, one was traced at Jamshoro Kotri whereas the other was showing his location in Rawalpindi. However, after a number of efforts, police did manage to trace his probable location in Islamabad.

Police have also arrested at least six scrap dealers from Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area, in order to widen the scope of the investigation.


Anwar has been under scrutiny over his involvement in a police “encounter” that led to the extrajudicial killing of aspiring model Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others last week.

Though the former SSP at the time had insisted that the 27-year-old, who hailed from South Waziristan, was a militant with ties with terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the militant Islamic State, Naqeebullah’s family claimed that the deceased was, in fact, a shop owner fond of modelling.

A statement reportedly issued by a spokesperson of TTP’s South Waziristan chapter had termed Anwar’s claim as “baseless”, clarifying that the deceased had no links with the banned militant outfit.

Following protests from the deceased’s family and friends, the Sindh police chief had ordered an inquiry into the matter and asked a committee to submit a report.

Anwar was removed from his post after the committee concluded that in order to ensure a fair and transparent inquiry into the incident, the former SSP and SP Investigation-II East Altaf Sarwar Malik should be suspended.

On Tuesday, the inquiry team had concluded that the death of Naqeebullah was an extrajudicial killing. Sanaullah Abbasi had subsequently met the victim’s grieving friends, family and tribesmen gathered on the outskirts of Karachi.

Abbasi had assured Naqeebullah’s kin that he had never been involved in terrorism-related activities as alleged earlier, but had been innocent and was in fact killed in a ‘fake encounter’.

“This was a fake encounter in which an innocent man was killed,” Abbasi had said. “Whoever was involved will be brought to justice.”

The same day, a first information report (FIR) was also registered against the former SSP Malir and other police personnel accused of involvement in the ‘encounter’. The murder case was registered at Sachal police station after the victim’s father nominated Anwar and his team in the FIR.




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