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Rao Anwar to face the judiciary for fake encounters but what about Police black hats in Punjab?

Rao Anwar
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The Sindh police have finally submitted a charge-sheet against Rao Anwar, former SSP for his involvement in the fake encounter that led to the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud.The charge-sheet has been formulated by the law enforcers after the top court devised a Joint Investigation team last month, and it endorses that the police officer was leading the team that gunned down Naqeebullah Mehsud.

The geo-fencing procedure also proves the presence of Rao Anwar at the crime scene and the criminal role of police constables, who changed the SIMs of mobile phones after the incident.

The dark history of police officer reveals that he was behind scores of extra-judicial killings in the era of 1990s and allegedly the murders were carried out on the behest of top civilian leaders, though Boxer was sacked for his murky career.

Naqeebullah Mehsud was killed in the suburbs of Karachi in January and his murder sparked outrage on social media. Soon the issue was picked up by the mainstream media and Rao Anwar was blamed for the fake encounter. Anwar kept hiding in secret before he dramatically appeared before the top court on March 21, when he was finally arrested.

Read more: Rao Anwar has the right to a transparent investigation: Bilawal

The charge-sheet in question might seal the police career of top cop for life, however, Anwar is not the sole policeman in the country who exercised extrajudicial killing rigorously, in an attempt to maintain law and order.

Before Rao Anwar, Chaudhry Aslam received the title of ‘encounter specialist’, however, his anger was directed towards the terrorists and known criminals, even then extrajudicial killings could not be justified under any circumstances.Besides Sindh, Punjab is also known notoriously for encounters, especially under the stints of the regime led by Shehbaz Sharif and his brother Nawaz Sharif.

The most famous encounter specialist in Punjab is known by the name Abid Boxer, who was arrested from Dubai in February and was believed to have been shifted to Karachi, however, the Federal Investigation Agency informed the Lahore High Court that he was still in Dubai.

The charge-sheet has been formulated by the law enforcers after the top court devised a Joint Investigation team last month, and it endorses that the police officer was leading the team that gunned down Naqeebullah Mehsud.

Abid Boxer, who joined police force on sports quota, remained on the run for 11 years before he was nabbed by the law enforcers.The dark history of police officer reveals that he was behind scores of extra-judicial killings in the era of 1990s and allegedly the murders were carried out on the behest of top civilian leaders, though Boxer was sacked for his murky career.The police force in Punjab is not only marred by allegations of encounters, but it is also alleged of corruption and most importantly, out of merit selection.

Read more: Rao Anwar suspended as public anger over Naqeeb’s death grows

A report quoted by Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman and under discussion in the power corridors, was submitted by Abbas Khan, former Inspector general Police, Punjab, in the Lahore High Court, wherein he reportedly stated that during the 1990s scores of known criminals and others were intentionally roped in by the Punjab police, at a time when the Sharifs were ruling Punjab.

The flagrant violation of merit in hiring the law enforcers is not a one-time offence because many of the policemen hired at that time must now be serving at key positions across the country.Although Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman, vowed to take the matter to court, even then he did not file a formal complaint in this regard.

The state of police affairs in Punjab also becomes visible after examining the Baqir Najafi report on the Model Town massacre, where the judge blamed the police officers for not assisting the investigators, in a bid to save the seniors.

The case of Muhammad Ali Nekokara serves another example of what upright police officers can face in Punjab as he had advised the authorities in Islamabad to exercise restraint in handling the 2014 sit-ins.

The Model Town carnage is a perfect example of how the police can exercise the ruthlessness it opts against the criminals, in front of the masses over a petty issue of removing barriers.On the other hand, a few police officers who showed spine in front of the civilian leaders were either dismissed or faced the ire of politicians.

Read more: Manzoor Pashteen spoke up in Lahore; what’s the solution to their…

Recent examples in this regard include of Shariq Kamal Siddiqui, who was serving as the Deputy Superintendent Police, however, was expelled from Punjab as Alam Dad Lalika, an MNA from Bahawalnagar ‘abused’ his authority after the police officer conducted a raid at MNA’s outhouse to arrest a suspect involved in torturing policemen.

The case of Muhammad Ali Nekokara serves another example of what upright police officers can face in Punjab as he had advised the authorities in Islamabad to exercise restraint in handling the 2014 sit-ins.

As Rao Anwar had the alleged support of senior stakeholders of Sindh, many claim that the bigwigs in Punjab police – who are actively involved in suppressing political rivals and staging encounters –  also operate after taking directions from higher-ups, who save them after they are caught red-handed.

It’s a high time that the top court orders examination of all the encounters conducted in four provinces – especially in Sindh and Punjab – to unearth the extent of extra-judicial killings, besides devising a swift mechanism of trial for the known or most wanted criminals.


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