Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday questioned the Sindh Inspector General of Police A.D. Khowaja on the whereabouts of former SSP Malik Rao Anwar, who has been accused of being involved in the extra-judicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, presided by the chief justice, was conducting a suo motu hearing on the case. After being presented with an investigation report by Khowaja, the chief justice remarked: “The state has been blamed for his murder. Those who were responsible for providing security are being accused of murder.”
The chief justice questioned Khowaja what his force was doing when Anwar attempted to flee the country before going into hiding.
“What was the Sindh Police doing?” he questioned. “You did not stop Rao Anwar. Should you not have known [his whereabouts]? I had given you 36 hours.”
“Why did you wait for the victim’s father to arrive? The parents were miles away from Karachi, how could they have reached there so soon? Why did the police not alert all the airports of the country.
“Rao Anwar’s attempt to flee was thwarted by a brave daughter of FIA Immigration,” said the judge, referring to Anwar’s attempt to fly to Dubai from Islamabad. “God knows what would have happened had he managed to flee.”
The court reminded the Sindh police chief that it had put its own neck on the line to keep him in the job.
Khowaja offered to tender his resignation, at which the chief justice said: “What good would that do?”
Khowaja, in his defence, said: “We are using all our resources to arrest him but Anwar has switched off his phones and he knows all the tricks to catching a suspect.
“His last known location was in Dhok Paracha. We have teams operating in Lucky Marwat, Islamabad and interior Sindh. We don’t have the ability to trace Whatsapp. We did write to ISI and IB about it.”
“What would writing a letter do?” Justice Nisar countered.
Naqeebullah was not involved in terrorism, say Khowaja’s report
Earlier, Khowaja had submitted his report to the court.
The report contained two major points of debate. It tried to determine if shoot-out in which Naqeebullah was killed was fake and also analysed the victim’s profile.
The report said that Naqeebullah, along with two of his friends, were picked up on January 3, kept in illegal custody and subjected to severe torture; his friends were released on January 6.
The report said Naqeebullah was frequently shifted from one place to another and that SIP Imamullah Marwat and ASI Gada Hussain were present at the crime scene.
The report noted that Naqeebullah was not involved in any terrorism-related activity and was a liberal-minded individual.
Malik Riaz’s private jets mentioned
DG Civil Aviation submitted in court affidavit statements regarding flights gone out of Pakistan between January 10 and 29.
He also briefed the court regarding the activities of private jets, saying: “Three flights of private jets have taken place. To this, the chief justice asked who the owner of the private jet was.
“The contractor is Ghaus sahab while the jet’s owner is Malik Riaz,” the DG answered.
The chief justice asked an affidavit statement of Bahria Town CEO Ali Riaz to be submitted in a day or two.
Upon Khowaja’s request, the Supreme Court directed the intelligence agencies to cooperate with the police and ordered for protection to be arranged for the case’s witnesses.
The court instructed the DG FIA to seek Interpol’s services and search for Anwar at all the airports of the world.
The court also forbade the media from broadcasting Anwar’s messages on the media.
The case was adjourned until February 13.