KARACHI: Malir Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rao Anwar retired on the first day of 2019 after serving for 37 years in the Sindh Police Department.
Rao Anwar was enlisted as a clerk initially back in 1981 and joined the Sindh Police Department as an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) in 1982. He was serving as the Malir SSP until he was suspended for the alleged extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsood, a native of South Waziristan, in Karachi which had triggered countrywide protests. The officer had denied his involvement in the killing, stating that he was not present at the site of the murder.
Anwar was known as the “encounter specialist” of the Sindh Police. From 1992 to 1999, he played a key role in the operations against the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in Karachi. When the Pakistan People’s Party came into power in 2008, Anwar returned to Karachi. He was promoted from inspector to deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and then to superintendent of police (SP) in 2008. He is considered close to the former president Asif Ali Zardari. Anwar became the Malir SSP in 2011. In 2012, he was demoted to the sub-inspector rank by a Supreme Court (SC) order, but the then president Zardari reinstated Anwar as Malir SSP using his executive powers.
Recently, Anwar submitted a petition in SC, 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 questioned 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.