Rao Anwar moves SC, seeking removal of name from ECL


ISLAMABAD: Former Malir senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rao Anwar, the prime accused in Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case, submitted a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, seeking to get his name removed from the Exit Control List (ECL).

Anwar, in his petition, contended that the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against an accused in a criminal case is not a sufficient reason to curtail a person’s fundamental right of freedom of movement. The petition questions whether it would not be appropriate to allow the accused some freedom of movement subject to regulations by the trial court.

According to the petition, Anwar performed his duties as the SSP selflessly, adding that he was a victim of professional rivalry and “a vilification campaign was launched against him for Naqeebullah Mehsud’s murder”. The petition further stated that Anwar wants to perform Umrah, for which he wants his name removed from the no-fly list, adding that he will regularly attend the trial proceedings. “His movement abroad will not cause any hindrance, delay, or impediment in the proceedings of the court,” the petition stated.

After the inquiry committee probing the killing of Naseebullah Mehsud in an alleged fake police encounter declared his death to be an extrajudicial killing, the victim’s family registered a case against former District Malir police chief SSP Rao Anwar and his entire police party.

SSP Anwar had claimed that on January 13, Naseebullah and three other suspected terrorists were killed during an alleged encounter in the Shah Latif Town of Karachi. Anwar had claimed that the terrorists were affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State (IS), but his claim failed to hold up after the family of the Naseebullah identified him and claimed that his death constituted an extrajudicial killing. The suspended police officer was granted bail in July by an anti-terrorism court in a case pertaining to the use of illegal arms and explosives in the fake encounter which killed Waziristan native Naqeebullah. The accused’s counsel submitted a surety bond of Rs1 million after the completion of formalities.

Anwar, whose name had been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) by the Ministry of Interior on the directives of the apex court, also holds an Iqama of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Reportedly, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had discovered ‘Iqama’ or ‘Residence’ of UAE from him which had been issued on the name of Anwar Ahmed Khan. His ‘Residence’ in UAE has the issuance date of October 9, 2017, which was valid till October 8, 2018.