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November 12, 2019

Court issues warrant for FIA Sindh director over no-show


November 12, 2019

A model court has issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) of arrest for DIG Sultan Ali Khawaja, currently serving as the Sindh director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), for his failure to record his testimony due to repeated absences in a case pertaining to an allegedly fake police encounter.

The District East’s first additional sessions judge, Haleem Ahmed, also directed the Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Kaleem Imam to ensure compliance with warrants on Tuesday (today).

The judge ordered that in case the NBW could not be served, the the additional IG Karachi will have to appear in person before the court to offer an explanation for non-compliance with the order.

The order was issued in a case pertaining to the murder of a man, Tariq Hussain, in the jurisdiction of the Awami Colony police station on September 9, 2015. According to the charge sheet, Hussain was killed in a fake police encounter.

The judge said that despite having knowledge of the proceedings, DIG Khawaja neither did appear nor did inform the court about it. The judge added that it was a “sheer disregard” of the court order and the case was lingering on because the officer did not record his statement. According to the charge sheet, Khawaja, who at the time of the incident was serving as the East DIG, had found that the encounter was staged.

The prosecution maintained that six people, Faraz Baloch, Hasan Baloch, Zameer Brohi, Sher Muhammad, Muhammad Ayub and Imran, had called the victim at a ground in the Korangi neighborhood and later killed him.

The incident was misrepresented as a police encounter but an inquiry conducted by Khawaja had found it to be a staged encounter. The court has been seeking Khawaja to corroborate the fact.

The judge observed that the case was supposed to be tried within the prescribed time as per the guidelines by the National Judicial Policy Making Committee but the absence of Khawaja was prolonging it.

Khawaja is the last witness from the prosecution side. According to the order, he was given sufficient time and opportunity to appear and record evidence on a date of his choice but he remained neglectful of his duty without a cogent reason. The judge added that the court was left with no other option but to issue coercive process against him since his attendance could not be procured by any other mode of service.

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