A test case.

THE trial of Rao Anwar for the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud is a test case. It will determine whether the criminal justice system has the will to hold accountable a top police official - now retired - whose terrifying reputation as an 'encounter specialist' long preceded this particular killing and yet who managed to thrive professionally. The former SSP was accused of the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah and three other detainees in Karachi in January 2018. While the police had initially put out the predictable story of a shootout with four 'terrorists' which had resulted in their deaths, it later emerged that one of the men was a missing person while Naqeebullah himself was no militant but an aspiring model. His murder sparked outrage on social media and led to countrywide protests by civil society. When an inquiry implicated him in the crime, Rao Anwar was suspended but kid glove treatment of the well-connected cop continued regardless. He remained on the lam for two months, and nearly managed to make a getaway from the country with the help of powerful patrons; after he was finally arrested in Islamabad, he was brought to Karachi and detained in a house in Malir cantonment which was later declared a sub-jail. It took a year before the police officer was indicted along with 17 others for...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT