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February 17, 2018

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SC cancels Rao Anwar’s bail for failing to appear before court

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a show-cause notice to former SSP (Malir) Rao Anwar for defying its order to appear before it.

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A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the suo moto case on the murder of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud, who was gunned down, allegedly by Rao Anwar and his team in a fake encounter.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed annoyance over former SSP Rao Anwar’s failure to appear before the court. He observed that the court had given him a chance to clarify his position but he wasted it and now he will be caught, directing the police to present him.

The court also cancelled its earlier order granting protective bail to Rao Anwar and directed the intelligence agencies as well as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to assist the Sindh Police in tracing out the former SSP Malir. The court also directed the State Bank of Pakistan to freeze bank accounts of Rao Anwar. It directed inspectors general of police of all the provinces to provide security to the witnesses and adjourned further hearing until March 3.

At the last hearing when the Sindh Police admitted its failure to arrest Rao Anwar, the CJP told IGP Sindh AD Khwaja that Rao Anwar wrote him a letter, which he showed to the IGP, for verification of his signature. The IGP Sindh confirmed the signature as authentic.

In the letter, Rao while claiming innocence, said that he was not present at the site of encounter. The CJP said the former SSP had further claimed that he always abided by the law and will ensure his presence before an independent JIT and will accept its decision.

The chief justice had observed that the accused should be given an opportunity to defend himself, adding Rao Anwar had requested for the formation of an independent JIT comprising officers from Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Military Intelligence (MI). The chief justice had also directed that a brigadier-rank officer of the ISI and an officer of the IB be part of the JIT headed by an 'honest' police officer, who would be appointed by the court.  

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