ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari regretted his remarks about absconding former SSP Malir Rao Anwar, denouncing extra judicial killings as “abhorrent, criminal and unacceptable”, according to a press statement.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman, during an interview with a private news channel, had called Anwar a “brave child” who survived the fight against militant wing of Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
“Rao Anwar is among those brave children who survived the fight against MQM,” Zardari had said during the interview. “54 SHOs participated in operation under General Naseerullah Babar, among which 53 were killed, only he survived.”
Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar, in a statement issued this evening, said the former spokesman has described his words as “mis-spoken and regretted any offence to anyone”, which he also acknowledged during another TV interview.
Babar said the PPP co-chairman also denounced extra judicial killings as “abhorrent, criminal and unacceptable” and called for bringing to justice all those involved in it.
“Enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings are twins of a deepening curse. It is unthinkable that the Pakistan People’s Party would support it in any form or manner,” the statement read.
“The party’s record in and out of the parliament is a testimony to it,” it said.
The former president realises that his remarks “made unwittingly in the flow of conversation may have caused anguish and has regretted it”, the statement added.
Speaking further during Friday’s interview, the former president had said that everybody should step back and look at Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case again.
Mehsud, a 27-year-old native of Waziristan, was among three others who were accused of being terrorists and killed by the then Malir SSP in Karachi on January 13, in what was later determined to be a fake encounter. Anwar and most members of his encounter team have since gone into hiding.
The Supreme Court in its hearing on February 17 issued a contempt of court notice to Anwar over his failure to show up in court.
The court also directed the State Bank of Pakistan to seize Anwar’s bank accounts.
The orders were given by a two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, that is hearing the suo motu case of Naqeebullah Mehsud’s extrajudicial killing in Karachi last month, wherein Anwar is the primary accused.