Murder will out! Rao Anwar put on ECL after inquiry finds Naqeebullah innocent

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  • SC summons former Malir SSP, Sindh IGP on Wednesday, as FIA prevents accused police officer from fleeing to Dubai
  • Sindh Home Minister Sohair Anwar Siyal says govt not trying to save anyone
  • Inquiry committee head Dr Sanaullah Abbasi says probe has revealed that Naqeebullah was killed in fake encounter

 

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday placed the name of former SSP Malir Rao Anwar on the Exit Control List (ECL), as the inquiry committee probing into the alleged police encounter of South Waziristan resident Naqeebullah found no evidence of the deceased’s involvement in terrorism.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court (SC) summoned Rao Anwar, Sindh IG AD Khowaja and the Sindh advocate general over the Naqeebullah extrajudicial murder case on Wednesday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said that this is a human rights issue and added that he will hear the case himself.

‘NAQEEBULLAH WAS INNOCENT’:

In a related development, Sindh Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional Inspector General Police (IGP) Dr Sanaullah Abbasi said that the death of Naqeebullah Mehsud was an extrajudicial killing.

Abbasi, the head of the three-member team investigating Naqeebullah’s killing in an ‘encounter’, was talking to protesters comprising members of the Mehsud tribe at Sohrab Goth. He said that Naqeebullah was innocent and was killed in a fake encounter.

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

“No one will be allowed to kill extrajudicially,” he added.

Members of jirga were also present in the meeting between the investigation team and the deceased’s family.

‘NOT SAVING ANYONE’:

Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal has said that the investigation committee probing the Naqeebullah killing case is going in the right direction.

Speaking to journalists after meeting police officials to ascertain the developments in the respective Naqeebullah, Intezar and Maqsood killing cases, he reiterated that the provincial government is not trying to save anyone and neither will it.

“Having a contact with someone doesn’t mean that we have given him a license to kill,” the home minister said, referring to reports of suspended SSP Anwar’s association with Pakistan People’s Party supremo Asif Ali Zardari.

Siyal said that the government has not given permission to anyone to kill innocent persons.

The provincial home minister said that a legal process in the Naqeebullah case will be started after the registration of an FIR [First Information Report] by the deceased’s family, which is expected today.

FIA THWARTS ANWAR’S ATTEMPT TO FLEE COUNTRY:

Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) thwarted former SSP Rao Anwar’s attempt to flee the country from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, suspended Malir SSP Rao Anwar had tried to flee the country from Benazir Bhutto International Airport at 1:35 pm allegedly with the help of some officials belonging to an intelligence agency, but was offloaded by FIA Islamabad, sources privy to the development revealed.

The official providing him protocol had been identified by FIA officials via CCTV footage; however, his identity had been kept a secret and FIA officials remained tight-lipped over the matter.

The sources further said that, “Anwar was accompanied by an official allegedly belonging to the Inter-Services Intelligence. With the official’s assistance, Anwar managed to successfully enter the Rawal Lounge of the airport (Executive Lounge for VIP’s or VVIP’s) after receiving clearance from the airport authorities. He had booked a business class seat in Emirates Airlines flight EK-653 and was stopped by FIA Sub-Inspector Shabana after she found Anwar’s travel documents suspicious. The NOC was reportedly issued to Anwar by the Sindh government on January 20, 2018. Later, the lady officer brought the matter to the knowledge of high-ups and told Anwar that he cannot be allowed to travel due to an ongoing investigation against him.”

Interestingly, Rao Anwar was first barred by FIA, then put on ECL and then an FIR no. 261 with sections 365, 302, 109, 344, 34, and terrorist section 7ATA, was registered against him in Sachal police station in Karachi, the sources further informed.

The suspended police official, however, denied the reports saying that the news about him trying to escape the country was baseless. The denial comes amidst reports that Anwar was kept from boarding a flight to Dubai under the Immigration Ordinance 506.

Anwar was stopped from boarding the flight due to his suspicious travel documents, which included a dubious NOC and a ticket under the name of “Anwar Khan”.

According to reports, Anwar—while he was trying to board an Emirates flight— was stopped from boarding the plane as there was an on-going investigation against him in Karachi.

An FIA official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the agency had also found an Iqama of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the possession of Rao Anwar. The Iqama was issued to the suspended SSP on October 9, 2017, and was valid until October 8, 2018.

A senior police official while requesting anonymity said that the suspended SSP could land into more trouble after he was caught possessing an Iqama. “No government employee, especially police officers, are allowed to have an iqama,” he said.

Anwar is currently under investigation for his alleged involvement in the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud.

On Monday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) sought comments from the suspended Malir senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rao Anwar, Sindh inspector general of police (IGP), home secretary and others on a petition seeking impartial inquiry into police encounters led by Anwar in which reportedly 250 people were shot dead.

A division bench was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Muzammil, praying to the court to constitute a high-profile committee to probe into the killings of 250 persons in ‘fake encounters’ led by Rao Anwar.

The petitioner submitted that Rao Anwar had been serving as SSP Malir for quite a long time and during his tenure, he led hundreds of ‘staged encounters’ but none of them was scrutinised impartially. The suspended police officer had misused his powers, he maintained.

Issuing notices to Rao Anwar, IGP, home secretary and the provincial law officer, the court directed all of them to submit their respective replies by February 20.

The suspended Malir SSP came in hot waters after the alleged extra-judicial killing of 27-year old Naqeebullah Mehsood, a young man found very active in sharing his pictures on social media.

It may be noted that it’s not the first time that Anwar’s name came into lights for extrajudicial murders as similar sort of cases surfaced in the past as well.

Besides that, he is also accused of possessing huge assets through illegal and corrupt practices.

Former SSP Niaz Khoso had petitioned the high court in April 2017 and submitted that Anwar was involved in money laundering of Rs85 billion from Pakistan to other countries after earning the same via land grabbing and illegal activities as SSP Malir over the past nine years.

The SHC was requested to task the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct an enquiry against Anwar.

 

 

 

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