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March 14, 2018

Jirga seeking justice for Naqeeb Mehsud threatens to resume protest


March 14, 2018

Showing concerns over the failure of the law enforcement agencies to arrest suspended police officer Rao Anwar, who went into hiding after he led a police team that killed Naqeebullah Mehsud, a native of South Waziristan, in an alleged fake shootout in Malir on January 13, members of a Pashtun jirga decided on Tuesday to chalk out their future strategy after the next hearing of the murder trial.

The jirga (tribal committee) was formed to seek justice for Mehsud, a 27-year-old aspiring fashion model, and Karachi’s other Pashtun residents who have been either killed in fake encounters with police or gone ‘missing’ after being picked up by law enforcement agencies.

In a jirga meeting on Sunday, the members discussed the murder trial and showed concerns over the delay in the arrest of Anwar, Malir’s former senior superintendent of police, despite orders of the Supreme Court. They said the Sindh government had not been showing interest in fulfilling the demands the jirga had made in the Sohrab Goth sit-in staged after the gruesome murders of Mehsud and three other men in Latif Town.

The demands included Anwar’s arrest and the launch of probes into other fake encounters and missing persons.

A member of the Pashtun jirga speaks during Sunday's meeting that demanded swift action to arrest Rao Anwar and bring him to justice. Photo by author

Also, a 50-member youth coordination committee for the jirga in Sohrab Goth has also been formed at Sunday’s meeting, similar zonal committees would be constituted in other areas of the metropolis, according to jirga elders.

Zafar Mehsud, a leader of the jirga, said the failure of the government to arrest Anwar could force the jirga members to resume the protest to pressure the government to arrest the fugitive police officer.

“The jirga will decide the future course of action in its upcoming meeting if Rao Anwar is not produced in the court as directed by the Supreme Court,” he told The News, adding that the authorities should arrest Anwar to end unrest among the people.

The Supreme Court on March 6 had directed the Inter-Services Intelligence, the Military Intelligence, the Federal Investigation Agency and other law enforcement agencies to furnish their reports about Anwar. The court had said that it had allowed the Sindh police to seek assistance from other law enforcement agencies, yet the suspect had not been arrested.

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