Botched escape: Officials who facilitated Rao Anwar identified

SC conducts in-camera hearing as search for missing cop continues


Hasnaat Mailk March 19, 2018
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Two men who facilitated fugitive Karachi police officer Rao Anwar in his attempt to fly abroad from Islamabad airport have been identified, sources told The Express Tribune.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, on Monday conducted an in-camera hearing in the suo motu case regarding the “fake” police encounter which left Naqeebullah Mehsud dead.

The two men, who were on duty at Islamabad airport on the night of January 22, a number of suspects were also interrogated by the bench.

According to the sources, one of the facilitators was identified by name and the other by face through CCTV footage, but there is a need for further investigation. They said one of the officials is a protocol officer at Islamabad airport.

It was also learnt that the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Airport Security Force (ASF), and the National Database Registration Authority were also present during the hearing.

The representatives of the government departments will meet again today (Tuesday) to reach out to both facilitators.

Faisal Siddiqui, the counsel for Mehsud family, told The Express Tribune that it was a historic day as the bench sat till 8pm in order to ensure the fundamental right to life of citizens.

On Monday, the CJP had reiterated that those facilitating Anwar, the suspended SSP in Karachi’s Malir district, and others accused in the Naqeebullah case would not be spared.

During that hearing, Justice Nisar said if Anwar appeared before the court, he would be provided security and be kept safe. The CJP also wondered who had provided Anwar help at the airport and stated that those helping him would not be spared by the court.

Inspector General of Police in Sindh AD Khawaja told the court that Anwar was provided with a boarding pass for a private airline.

Will not spare those facilitating Rao Anwar: CJP

On January 13, 2018, Anwar killed Naseemullah Mehsud alias Naqeebullah along with three others in an alleged ‘staged encounter’. Since then, Anwar has been dismissed and is currently wanted by the police.

According to Anwar, Naqeebullah had links with the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and was living in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area using a fake name.

Mehsud’s family, however, claim that he was an aspiring model and was killed in a fake police encounter.

Earlier, Sindh police had written a letter to the FIA and ASF DGs that Anwar had tried to flee the country and the movement of the accused had been captured by cameras installed at Islamabad airport.

According to the letter, the footage was obtained on a USB in which unidentified persons were seen accompanying Anwar and trying to obtain a boarding pass for him. The officiators’ movement was seen on the night of January 22, 2018.

The letter requested that the names and particulars of the officials accompanying Anwar are identified through airport pass records, CCTV, or other available sources to assist in the investigation.

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