Pakistan’s spy chief, foreign secretary visit Kabul amid tensions

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, left, meeting Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed at the PM office in Islamabad on June 18, 2019. (PID/File)
Updated 12 November 2019

Pakistan’s spy chief, foreign secretary visit Kabul amid tensions

  • The officials held meetings with the Afghan National Security Adviser, Chief of National Directorate of Security
  • Both countries agreed to form a technical committee to look into the matter of harassment of diplomatic staff

ISLAMABAD: A high level Pakistani delegation, including the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt. General Faiz Hameed, and the foreign secretary, Sohail Mahmood, visited Kabul on Monday to discuss the recent developments, including the harassment of Pakistani diplomats in Afghanistan’s capital city, said an official source in the foreign ministry in Islamabad.
“The delegation had productive meetings with Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, Director General of National Directorate of Security and Acting Foreign Minister Idris Zaman,” the official said, adding that the two sides agreed to form a technical committee to look into the harassment of Pakistani diplomats.
Apart from that, several other “aspects of the Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relations also came under discussion,” he continued.
“It was agreed to hold the next Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity meeting in Kabul in December 2019,” the official informed.
Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul indefinitely closed its consular office on November 3 due to security reasons, as the country’s diplomatic staff complained of being “obstructed on the road” and claiming that “embassy vehicles were also hit by motorcycles,” according to a recent statement issued by the foreign office of Pakistan.

US blacklists former Karachi cop for ‘serious human rights abuse’

Updated 53 min 57 sec ago

US blacklists former Karachi cop for ‘serious human rights abuse’

  • Former district police chief Rao Anwar was granted bail in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case in July
  • Young Mehsud’s family welcomed the US decision, hoping he would also get justice in his own country

KARACHI: Family of Naqeebullah Mehsud, an aspiring model who was killed in a staged police encounter in January 2018, applauded the United States on Wednesday for adding former police officer Rao Anwar to its list of individuals responsible for committing human rights abuses in different parts of the world.

“During his tenure as the Senior Superintendent of Police in District Malir, Pakistan, Rao Anwar Khan (Anwar) was reportedly responsible for staging numerous fake police encounters in which individuals were killed by police, and was involved in over 190 police encounters that resulted in the deaths of over 400 people, including the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsood,” a handout circulated by the US Department of Treasury said.

Anwar, it further noted, led a network of police and criminal thugs that was allegedly involved in extortion, land grabbing, illegal drug trade, and murder.

“Anwar is designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuses,” the statement added.

The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, took action against 18 individuals based in Burma, Pakistan, Libya, Slovakia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan for their roles in serious human rights abuses.

“The United States will not tolerate torture, kidnapping, sexual violence, murder, or brutality against innocent civilians,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “America is the world leader in combating human rights abuse and we will hold perpetrators and enablers accountable wherever they operate.”

“Treasury’s action focuses on those who have killed, or ordered the killing of innocents who stood up for human rights including journalists, opposition members, and lawyers,” said Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich.

Mehsud’s family said they were happy with the US decision and hoped they would also get justice in Pakistan.

Malik Hashim Mehsud, a member of the family, said the American move to sanction Anwar was commendable.

“The US sanctions against Rao Anwar or anyone violating human rights should be appreciated,” Mehsud told Arab News, adding that the case of Naqeebullah’s extra-judicial murder was pending in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and it was his family’s hope that justice would ultimately prevail.

“The sanctions imposed on Rao Anwar by the US treasury department should embarrass our criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies who have failed to provide justice so far and not launched an investigation into the killings of 444 individuals who were murdered by him,” a prominent activist and lawyer, Jibran Nasir, told Arab news.

Senior Superintendent of Police Rao Anwar claimed on January 13, 2018, that he had killed four terrorists who were associated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Daesh.

Four days later, on January 17, friends of Nasimullah Mehsud, popularly known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, claimed on social media that one of Anwar’s victims was known to them, adding that the 24-year-old man was an aspiring model, not a terrorist.

Later, the Supreme Court of Pakistan decided to take a look into the matter, prompting Anwar to abscond.

He surrendered to the court in March 2018 and remained under house arrest until he was granted bail in July 2019. Soon after that, Mehsud’s father, Muhammad Khan Mehsud, who passed away earlier this month, requested the country’s judiciary to cancel the bail.