PESHAWAR: The mysterious disappearance of a senior Peshawar-based police officer from the federal capital last week has caused unease amongst officers in the provincial capital.
SP Tahir Dawar was apparently on a break in the federal capital. He went out for a walk on the evening of October 26 but never returned. Attempts to contact him on his cellphone were also futile since his phone has been powered off.
His phone, though, showed his last known location as Sector F-10.
While his phone had been powered off after 7:15pm on that day, it was found to have been turned back on the following day and a text message was sent to his relatives from the device.
The incident was immediately reported to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police who dispatched a team to trace the North Waziristan native’s whereabouts. But the team has had little luck thus far.
“A jirga of North Waziristan elders met the K-P inspector general of police to discuss SP Dawar’s disappearance. The IGP assured us that all efforts were being made to locate the missing police officer,” said Ahmad, SP Dawar’s younger brother.
A police official told The Express Tribune that owing to threats to his life in Bannu, where SP Dawar had spent a majority of his police career and had survived at least one suicide bombing which targeted his house, he transferred to Peshawar while his family had moved to Islamabad.
“He was constantly receiving threats from militants. As a result, he was always on the alert and remained tense,” he said, adding that his dedication to the force and performance in the face of militancy made him a respected figure in the provincial police force.
“Initially we suspected that he had probably been kidnapped by militants from the federal capital,” the official said, adding that SP Daway used to feel at ease in the federal capital. So much so that he used to leave his official pistol at home and moved about without being escorted by armed guards.
However, investigators had dismissed this as rumours, the official said.
He added that SP Dawar’s brother and his wife had been killed by a neighbour last year but he had forgiven the accused so there was no personal enmity.
“Whatever the cause of his disappearance, it is really a blow for the morale of the police force that one of its best officers has gone missing in this fashion,” the police official said, adding that they want the government to ensure his timely recovery.
Born in 1968, SP Dawar had completed his masters in the Pashto language in 1997. By that time, he had already been inducted into the police service after joining as an ASI. In 2007, he was recommended for the Quaid-e-Azam Police Medal.
SP Dawar had also served with the United Nations (UN) in Morocco in 2003. He returned to the UN service in 2005, this time serving in Sudan.
While serving in Bannu, his house had been attacked by a suicide bomber in 2008. The attack left a policeman dead but he survived.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2018.