News Analysis |
A fugitive from justice, former SSP Malir Rao Anwar has requested the Supreme Court (SC) to unfreeze his assets which were frozen on 3rd March by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for his repeated failure to appear before the court. The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar revealed on Wednesday that he received another letter from the defected former SSP regarding the request but the authenticity of the letter could not be verified.
The SC was hearing the case regarding the suo moto case of extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud allegedly staged by the Former SSP Malir Rao Anwar. Naqeebullah, whose real name was Naseemullah, was a 27 year old from South Waziristan. Anwar who claimed that the suspect was a militant of TTP, but family members of Naqeebullah rejected the claim and demanded an investigation against the police.
Media analysts have declared Anwar’s case to be a big challenge for the police and intelligence officials, one that challenges their mantle. To win back the people’s trust and support, they need to act on time and clear the stains from their departments.
This is not the first letter received by the CJP from Anwar. He had received another letter from Anwar on 13th February, in which he claimed that he was innocent since he was not present at the site of the encounter. Anwar had also alleged that he was being framed by some senior police officers. After this letter, the SC had granted him a protective bail to appear before the court in 3 days but despite assurances, he failed to show up.
Read more: Supreme Court fails to lure Rao Anwar
The apex court later issued a contempt of court notice to Rao Anwar for his failure to comply with the court’s orders. The CJP showed severe vexation over police official’s failure to capture Anwar even after almost 3 months. He reprimanded the Inspector General (IG) Sindh A.D. Khawaja for his failure to trace the suspect. When asked about whether he was seeking assistance from intelligence agencies, Khawaja replied in affirmative.
Outrage over Naqeebullah’s Murder
The extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah by police officials sparked a huge outcry on social and electronic media. He was a model on the social media website facebook with a significant following. Anwar has allegedly committed around 444 encounters; this one came to light because the victim was relatively well known.
The expertise of the intelligence agencies is being questioned by the media and the SC. They are believed to be equipped with modern tools and techniques capable of tracing suspects with precision.
The murder also sparked a number of protests throughout the country against police atrocities. It has already been established by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that Naqeebullah was not part of any terrorist or militant organization. Civil society activists severely protested against his killings and demanded that the murderers of Naqeebullah and all other victims of extrajudicial killings should be brought to justice.
Read more: SC grants protective bail to Rao Anwar under conditions
Where is Rao Anwar?
Despite vigilant efforts from the police force and intelligence agencies, they have failed to capture or even to find a trace of Rao Anwar. One of the reasons stated by the IG Sindh is that Anwar being a former police officer knows all the techniques of the police and intelligence agencies to locate suspects. It has also been confirmed that Anwar didn’t leave Pakistan on any official flight or ship. Confirmations were also received from private airline companies that Anwar didn’t fly with them.
Intelligence agencies and police officials believe that Anwar is still hiding within the country. On the other hand, some media experts suspect that Anwar is being supported by political high-ups because he has worked under a number of political parties in Sindh and if he is actually involved in Naqeebullah’s killing then he must have committed other extrajudicial killings also. Most of these killings have a political motive and a political party behind so such a party must have been providing him haven.
Read more: Supreme Court sets ten-day deadline to capture SSP Rao Anwar
The expertise of the intelligence agencies is being questioned by the media and the SC. They are believed to be equipped with modern tools and techniques capable of tracing suspects with precision. Their failure to capture Anwar puts a big question mark on their abilities. Media analysts have declared Anwar’s case to be a big challenge for the police and intelligence officials, one that challenges their mantle. To win back the people’s trust and support, they need to act on time and clear the stains from their departments.