–Court orders Sindh IGP to submit report within seven days as SSP Rao Anwar reiterates that deceased youth was a TTP militant
KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday took suo motu notice of the alleged extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud in Karachi, and directed Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khowaja to submit a report within seven days.
The development comes as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rao Anwar appeared before an inquiry committee on Friday and submitted ‘evidence’ in support of his claim that Naqeebullah was a militant affiliated with the banned terror outfit, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Naqeebullah, a 27-year-old hailing from South Waziristan, was allegedly among four suspects killed in an ‘encounter’ with a police team headed by SSP Anwar in the Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of Karachi last week. So far, however, no evidence has emerged about any crime being committed — notwithstanding police allegations, specifically those made by SSP Anwar.
On Thursday, Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal had taken notice of Naqeebullah’s death and ordered the DIG police (South) to personally conduct an inquiry.
A committee comprising the Additional Inspector General Police (IGP) Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Sanaullah Abbasi and DIGs South and East was also formed on Thursday, on the directives of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, to investigate the alleged “staged encounter”.
‘NAQEEBULLAH WAS A TERRORIST’:
Talking to reporters after appearing before the inquiry committee, SSP Anwar said, “He [Naqeebullah] was 100 per cent a terrorist.”
He questioned why Naqeebullah’s family had not raised the issue when their son was allegedly picked up by unidentified men in civvies on Jan 3.
The police officer, who is known for carrying out ‘encounters’ of controversial nature against outlaws, alleged that revenge is being taken against him for taking action against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Haleem Adil Sheikh.
However, a statement reportedly issued by a spokesman of TTP’s South Waziristan chapter termed SSP Anwar’s claim as “baseless”, saying that Naqeebullah had no links with the banned militant outfit.
Naqeebullah — whose name is given as Naseemullah on his national identity card — was a shop owner fond of modelling, relatives of the deceased had said soon after reports of his death came to fore.
A relative, who did not wish to be named, said that Naqeebullah was allegedly taken away by men in plainclothes from his clothing shop in Sohrab Goth earlier this month. He said the deceased had previously worked at a petrol pump at Hub Chowki in Balochistan and “had no association with any militant outfit”.
SSP Anwar has maintained that Naqeebullah was involved in major acts of terrorism and was residing in an apartment on Abul Hassan Ispahani Road. The SSP has also issued a document detailing Naqeebullah’s path to militancy.
According to the police officer, Naqeebulah was born on January 1, 1991, in a village of South Waziristan’s Makeen tehsil. He allegedly received religious education from a madrassa.
He was reported to be a brother-in-law of Sher Dawood, a commander of the TTP, who motivated him to join the banned outfit. He allegedly received physical and weapons training in 2007/2008 at a TTP camp in Miranshah. Naqeebulah was also allegedly associated with TTP commander Sanaullah Mehsud, SSP Anwar had claimed, adding that he was a close aide of a TTP commander, Wahab, who was involved in the bombing at Karsaz during slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto’s rally on October 18, 2007.
However, Naqeebullah’s cousin Noor Khan has said that it is beyond him how the deceased, who was fond of styling and grooming, could choose to become a terrorist as claimed by the police.
“Naqeebullah had an interest in modelling. How could a person who was known and seen to be fond of styling and grooming become a terrorist. All allegations leveled by Rao Anwar are baseless,” he said.
Naqeeb’s friend Irfan Khan echoed Noor Khan’s view that the deceased wanted to be a ‘social media king’.
“He desired to be a Facebook king. He was living in Karachi for the last nine years. Why didn’t Rao Anwar target him the past? Why was he suddenly targeted out of the blues?” he questioned.