ISLAMABAD: Suspended SSP Malir Rao Anwar denied reports of fleeing Pakistan but still remains at large after his arrest orders over the ‘fake encounter’ of a 27-year-old man in Karachi.
The absconding police official is wanted by authorities in connection to the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud — who along with four alleged terrorists — was killed in an ‘exchange of fire’ with a police team led by Anwar on January 13 in Shah Latif Town, Karachi.
“I have not fled the country, I am in Pakistan,” Anwar said in a conversation withGeo News from an undisclosed location. “I am sending an appeal for justice to the Chief Justice of Pakistan.”
He alleged that the police had noted the incorrect time of his arrival at the police encounter.
“I have not even seen Malik Riaz’s plane [let alone use it], these are all baseless allegations,” the suspended SPP Malir said, adding that he was not hiding in Bilawal House either.
“I have no such terms with Asif Ali Zardari to take asylum at Bilawal House,” Anwar said, adding that the Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] Co-Chairman had never asked him to carry out any unlawful tasks.
Anwar denies owning property raided in Islamabad
Adding to an earlier denial of owning a house raided today in the federal capital’s F-10 vicinity, the suspended officer claimed to have sold off the property.
“I bought the house mentioned on my CNIC in 1993, from the prize money received for killing Farooq Dada, after Bahadur Ali’s murder,” he said. “I sold it off later but did not change my address on my CNIC due to security reasons.”
“The raid conducted [today] was on House-133, Street-43, Sector F-10, which is owned by Waqas Riffat son of Malik Riffat Hussain,” he said. “[They] have pasted posters on someone else’s house. My residence was F-2, Jackson Police Line.”
Investigation officials had claimed that the house raided on Tuesday, as per the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) record, is owned by the suspended Malir SSP.
‘Don’t even own a bicycle, have only one bank account’
Anwar claimed that he ‘does not even own a cycle’ and stated that he only has one bank account in the National Bank of Pakistan.
“Why would I pay income tax when I only earn Rs100,000 [per month],” he told Geo News. “I don’t even own a bicycle.”
“I have just one account in the National Bank of Pakistan where my salary is deposited,” he said. “I have already withdrawn approximately Rs1.1million from my General Provident Fund.”
SC deadline expires, Anwar remains at large
The capital city’s police have remained unsuccessful in producing the suspended SSP Malir after a deadline given by the Supreme Court (SC) expired on Tuesday.
Islamabad police assisted Karachi police, including teams from the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and Crime Branch (CB) that continue to search for the suspended police official who, according to sources, was present in the federal capital.
Police had earlier claimed that the raided premises, House-133, Street-43, F-10/4, did not belong to Rao Anwar and no one was found at the house when the raid was conducted on January 30.
Malik Riaz denies lending any help to Anwar
In a video message released, the founder and chairman of Bahria Town Malik Riaz Hussain had denied rumours of his private aircraft being used by Anwar to flee the country.
“I want to say under oath that I own two aeroplanes for the past eight years and Rao Anwar has not even used them once,” the property magnate had said, adding that he neither ever does anything that is against the law, nor supports unlawful activities.
“I am as sorrowful about Naqeebullah’s [killing] as his parents, his brothers, his family, and every Pakistani. He is like my own son, and I have always loved God’s creation,” the real-estate tycoon had said.
Hussain, in the video message, had stated that he was presently out of the country due to his personal engagements and medical reasons.
“Law enforcement agencies have been mobilized; whoever is responsible for this [crime] will be duly punished and will not be able to evade the authorities.”
“I say this under oath [on behalf of] Bahria Town and Malik Riaz that our plane was not used for any such activity and neither have we taken any practical actions to help him.”
“I stand united with the family and not with any criminal,” Hussain had said. “With God’s blessings my record is very clear and God is my witness.”
Naqeebullah murder case
Anwar and his police party went into hiding soon after an inquiry committee was formed, following claims of innocence from Naqeebullah’s family.
An FIR was registered against the suspended SSP and his associates, owing to their no-show and alleged involvement in the case.
The committee, headed by Counter-Terrorism Department Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi, submitted its report on the case to the Supreme Court on Friday, which stated that Naqeebullah was killed in a ‘fake encounter’ with the police.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh AD Khawaja Sunday wrote a letter to intelligence agencies, seeking their help in arresting Anwar.
The Sindh IGP has requested the intelligence agencies to provide technical and intelligence assistance.
The letter for assistance reads that Anwar reached Islamabad through a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight on the morning of January 20 and attempted to flee to Dubai on January 23, but was barred from doing so by immigration officials.
Speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court on Saturday, after the apex court’s 72-hour deadline, IG Khawaja had said: “I think that he [Rao Anwar] should face the court. The court will listen to his legal arguments.”
Responding to a question about the court’s deadline, Khawaja remarked: “We will try our best to arrest him.”
Anwar was present on site of ‘encounter’
An analysis of cellular data has confirmed Anwar was present at the scene of the ‘police encounter’ where Mehsud was killed along with three others.
A technical analysis of Call Detail Records (CDRs) of the cell numbers in use of Anwar and his eight associates shows that the police officials were present at the scene of the encounter, an investigative report on the incident revealed on Saturday.
Among Anwar’s associates present at the scene were ASI Khair Muhammad, SI Muhammad Anar, ASI Gada Hussain, SI Amanullah Marwat, SI Shoaib, HC Faisal Mehmood, HC Mohsin Abbass and PC Raja Shamim, the report stated.