KARACHI: Former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, chief suspect in the Naqeebullah Mehsud ‘encounter’ case, has reportedly been offered a ‘deal’ if he becomes a prosecution witness.
According to sources, the investigation team believes guaranteeing the former Malir SSP lenient treatment will expedite the inquiry process and help nab those absconding. Speaking to Express News on condition of anonymity, a JIT official said the investigation was nearing conclusion.
“Statements of Anwar’s accomplices’ will be recorded as soon as they are arrested,” the source added. He confirmed that Anwar had been promised lenient treatment if he facilitated the JIT in nabbing five absconding members of his team. The individuals include former Shah Latif SHO Amanullah Marwat, former Sohrab Goth SHO Shoaib Shooter, Abbas Town police post in-charge Akbar Mallah and former HC Faisal Mehmood. The source told Express Anwar had sought time to think over the deal.
JIT probing Naqeebullah murder case
A top court constituted five-member joint interrogation team headed by Sindh AIG Aftab Pathan is investigating the extrajudicial killing while SSP Anwar has been in JIT custody since he surrendered at the Supreme Court (SC). Members of Anwar’s police team, at least 13 now-dismissed policemen, are absconding.
During investigations, the former Malir SSP claimed he had no role in the ‘encounter’. He told the JIT that he visited the site after the incident. “I did not order them [police team] to stage an encounter. My mobile phone’s location can be checked to verify my statement. I cannot say exactly whether they killed them [Naqeebullah and others] intentionally or unintentionally because I could not investigate the case. They should be arrested and asked why and how they killed them, instead of questioning me,” a source privy to the matter quoted Anwar telling the JIT.
The former Malir SSP and his team went into hiding after being blamed for the killing of Naqeebullah and three others in an ‘encounter’ in Shah Latif Town area on January 13. Initially, he claimed the four men were affiliated with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State (IS).
An FIR was registered against Anwar and his team at Sacchal police station after a three-member inquiry committee headed by the Counter-Terrorism Department AIG established their involvement in the crime. The document includes clauses of the Anti-Terrorism Act.