ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI: Former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, earlier absconding in the Naqeebullah Mehsud 'encounter' case, is likely to be produced before a court on Thursday.
The accused was arrested on Wednesday following his appearance before the top court.
“Rao Anwar will be produced before a court today in order to get his physical remand,” said a senior Sindh police official privy to the matter.
Police investigators said that the former SSP will be quizzed keeping the FIR against him in view. “Rao Anwar will have to prove his innocence," one official added.
Rejecting his protective bail, a three-judge bench headed by CJP Saqib Nisar ordered the constitution of a five-member JIT team to probe the case. Sindh AIG Aftab Pathan will preside over the team. Other members include Zulfiqar Larak, Dr Rizwan, Azad Ahmed Khan and Waliullah.
Rao’s counsel requested the bench to include agency officials in the JIT. The court declined his plea saying, “We are constituting our own JIT." The bench directed the team to work independently.
Will not spare those facilitating Rao Anwar: CJP
The court also ordered IG Allah Dino Khawaja to ensure Anwar's safety during police custody, "it is your duty to protect him," the court told Khawaja.
The bench also asked Naqeebullah's relatives to not harm Anwar. The SC also directed his name remain on the Exit Control List (ECL).
The bench also directed Sindh Police to escort Anwar to Karachi. The court also ordered police to ensure the safety of the former SSP and all JIT members. The court further stated that Sindh police needed no further clearance to escort Anwar to Karachi.
Anwar, seen wearing a surgical mask, reached court earlier today in a white car. Security was beefed up at court premises and police cordoned off the entrance. The bench resumed the suo motu hearing of the case and disposed off the contempt notice against him.
“You used to act brave. Where had you been all this time,” the CJP remarked. “You went into hiding. Do you not trust the courts?” Justice Nisar added.
"I am innocent," the former Malir SSP told the bench. The court then ordered the constitution of a new JIT.
“You aren’t doing anybody a favour by appearing before court,” the CJP remarked. “Your letter to the Supreme Court was not befitting,” he said. The court then ordered Anwar's bank accounts, passport and CNIC to be unblocked.
"The people of Pakistan and the legal fraternity are my strength," the CJP further added. When the bench went for recess, the CJP stressed this was not being done to obtain instructions as the courts functioned autonomously.
Naqeebullah's father thanked the people for standing by the family while talking to reporters outside the court. He also expressed his gratitude to the judiciary. "Naqeebullah was Pakistan's son," he said.
Rights activist Jibran Nasir said justice had prevailed. "The only heat Anwar faces is from the courts. We want to strike fear of law, Constitution and judiciary in every law enforcement officer involved in extra-judicial killings," he told The Express Tribune.
Botched escape: Officials who facilitated Rao Anwar identified
The Mehsuds told reporters Anwar should fear no harm. "We are peace-loving people. We only want justice. Anwar killed over 450 innocent people across Karachi. We will not take recourse to violence. We believe in the courts," they said.
On Monday, the CJP had reiterated that those facilitating Anwar 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. AD Khawaja told the court that Anwar had been presented a private airline boarding pass.
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