Rao Anwar arrested after appearing before SC, shifted to Karachi

ISLAMABAD: A police team along with arrested former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, wanted in the Naqeebullah Mehsud killing case, reached Karachi.
He was arrested earlier today from outside the Supreme Court after he appeared in the apex court.
Two armoured personnel carriers (APC) transported the arrested police officer to the Malir Cantonment Police Station.

Sindh Police’s Additional IG Aftab Pathan was also accompanying the arrested official who arrived from Islamabad through a private airline’s flight (NL-126) earlier today.

A heavy contingent of the police force and Rangers was deployed at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport in Karachi to secure the premises. SSP Malir Adeel Chandio, along with other police officials, was present at the Karachi airport.
Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) AD Khawaja had arrived in the metropolis earlier today through a separate flight. In an informal conversation with the media, the provincial police chief had confirmed the transfer of Anwar to Karachi.

Anwar was named as an accused in the extrajudicial murder case of 27-year-old Mehsud and three others who were killed in a fake police encounter in Karachi on January 13 on Anwar’s orders.

The hearing

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar had resumed hearing of the suo motu case of the murder earlier today when Anwar appeared in court in a white-coloured Toyota Corolla with a police escort.

He was wearing a surgical mask when he disembarked from the car.

Anwar’s counsel sought protective bail from the court but the chief justice dismissed the plea and gave orders for his arrest.

Chief Justice Nisar expressed dismay at Anwar’s continuous failure to appear before the bench despite repeated summons and safety guarantees by the apex court.

During the hearing, the chief justice also ordered the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) headed by Additional IG Pathan and comprising four senior officers of the provincial police to probe the case.

Objecting to the JIT’s composition, Anwar’s counsel expressed a lack of faith in the Sindh Police and pleaded to include officials of the ISI and Intelligence Bureau. Chief Justice Nisar dismissed the plea and remarked that he knows why the police officer wanted to include the agencies’ officials in the committee.

The court also ordered the un-freezing of Anwar’s bank accounts which had been seized earlier on its orders.
Following the directions, Anwar was arrested from outside the court by the Islamabad Police and transported amid heavy security to the heavily protected Diplomatic Enclave.
He is expected to be transferred to the Sindh Police’s custody later which will transport him to Karachi.
The court also undertook a sworn statement from Mehsud’s family that they will not take the law into their own hands and harm Anwar.

At the last hearing of the case on March 19, the chief justice, after a detailed briefing by relevant officials, had warned that anyone found facilitating Anwar’s evasion from law enforcement agencies would be dealt with strictly.

During earlier hearings, the chief justice had assured Anwar of its protection and asked him to surrender himself to the court but the police officer chose to remain in hiding.

The court had also revealed during separate hearings the receipt of two letters, reportedly from Anwar, — one seeking an impartial inquiry against him and the other un-freezing of his bank accounts.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Nisar, had taken suo motu notice of the case after protests erupted against Karachi’s ‘notorious cop’.
Several of Anwar’s associates in the police have been arrested in Karachi and are undergoing trial but the former Malir SSP was evading authorities.