KARACHI: The Sindh government is trying to get former Malir SSP Rao Anwar acquitted by turning witnesses against Anwar hostile in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case, says the victim’s brother.Alam Sher is the younger brother of slain Naqebullah. He was addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on the death anniversary of his brother. His attorney Jibran Nasir and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Saifur Rehman were with him.
Naqeebullah Mehsud, a 27-year-old native of Waziristan, was among three others who were accused of being terrorists and killed on January 13, 2018 on the orders of then Malir SSP Rao Anwar, in what was later termed a fake encounter.
The former Malir SSP and around 20 of his subordinates have been charged with killing Naqeebullah and three other persons, Sabir, Nazar Jan and Ishaq, in a fake encounter after dubbing them as ‘Taliban militants’.Naqeebullah’s brother says witnesses against Anwar are turning hostile because of the involvement of the Sindh government and the prosecution, who want the release of Anwar in the high-profile case.
“The case was registered on behalf of the state, not from the family and if the charges were not proved in the court, the state will lose,” said Sher’s attorney Nasir.
The lawyer criticised the National Accountability Bureau for not entertaining the family’s application to look into the assets of Anwar, saying that the United States and the United Kingdom had imposed travel restrictions on him for human rights abuses and also ordered the freezing of his assets.
Instead of being detained in a jail, he was confined for a short time in the comfort of his own home and given the protocol of a federal minister, Nasir said.“Maryam Nawaz, Syed Khurshid Shah, Shehbaz Sharif, etc. can go to jail but Anwar cannot,” he said and asked if the former Malir SSP was above the law.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and provincial ministers have not said a word against Anwar, who, according to police’s own record, had been involved in 444 extrajudicial killings, Nasir said.
“A police officer of the 17th grade [or above] can give permission to officers to open fire but it has been found in many cases that assistant sub-inspectors or personnel below them routinely open fire during encounters,” the lawyer said.
Naqeebullah’s brother demanded the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments complete the construction of colleges named after Naqeebullah in his hometown in South Waziristan.
“The government should honour its pledge and initiate practical work on the project which will help minimise the scale of grievances among the tribal people,” he said. In March 2019, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) had framed charges on Anwar and others for the alleged murder of Naqeebullah and implicating him in bogus cases.