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

Rao Anwar, Senior Superintendent of Police, wanted in slaying of Pashtun youth Naqeeb Mehsud, was produced before the Anti-Terrorism Court on Saturday, April 21 amid tight security measures. (AN photo)
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Updated 11 December 2019

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.


Kamran Akmal’s record breaking 100 leads Zalmi to crushing win

Updated 22 February 2020

Kamran Akmal’s record breaking 100 leads Zalmi to crushing win

  • Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators have the fiercest rivalry in PSL cricket
  • Akmal’s first 10 deliveries saw the most runs scored by any player in the PSL over such a duration

KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi versus Quetta Gladiators has historically been the fiercest rivalry in PSL cricket, and one that has always produced not just great matches, but absolute classics. On Saturday however, a devastating century by Kamran Akmal meant that Zalmi completed a totally one-sided win over their main rivals.
Batting first after losing the toss, Quetta had Jason Roy looking in superb touch. The English opener struck the ball cleanly and without fear, epitomised by one hit that literally landed on the roof of the National Stadium. But he didn’t quite find any support on the other end, as both Ahmed Shehzad and Shane Watson played turgid knocks that never got going. Wahab Riaz, brought in early here, carried over his form from the end of the previous match and was extremely difficult to handle.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Quetta’s captain, arrived in the ninth over and immediately changed the narrative. In an innings that saw him in absolutely fluent touch, he was particularly vicious against the spinners, using his feet to devastating effect. It allowed Roy to play with far more ease, knowing that the responsibility didn’t fall solely on his shoulders.
Their fluency meant that the opposing captain, Daren Sammy, had to make a move.
The day had begun with news that Sammy was being awarded Pakistan’s highest civilian award and honorary citizenship in recognition for his contributions to Pakistan cricket. For all of Sammy’s off field efforts, it’s his on-field ones for Zalmi that are equally legendary. Here, he brought himself on for what would be his only over and immediately got rid of Sarfaraz. It wasn’t obvious then, but that ended up unraveling the Gladiators’ innings.
The opening game’s hero, Azam Khan, and then Mohammad Nawaz each wasted deliveries before being dismissed cheaply. It meant that Roy remaining not out till the end didn’t quite have the effect one would have imagined in such a scenario, and Quetta’s total fell short.
No one though, had any clue how small that target would end up being.
Kamran Akmal decided to singlehandedly end the competition there and then. His first 10 deliveries saw the most runs scored by any player in the PSL over such a duration, and that destroyed the target in effect if not in reality. He was deft against the pacers and far more violent against the spinners, but the effect was just the same. Peshawar were always so far ahead of the rate that the few successes Quetta had felt insignificant.
The innings also went some way in establishing the legend of Kamran Akmal’s PSL career, a storied chapter in what is one of the most notorious tales in Pakistan cricket’s rich history. Always talented with the bat, Akmal’s disasters as a wicket keeper had led to much of the criticism he had always failed. But in the PSL, he is not only the highest run-scorer of all time, he now has three centuries in the competition’s history, which is as many as everyone else combined. Predictably, from the press conference onwards to across social media, calls for Akmal’s return to the international side echoed far and wide.
Barely managing to conceal his famous grin when speaking to reporters later, Akmal was at pains to insist that he had no thoughts on returning to the national side, and his complete focus was on the PSL. But Peshawar Zalmi won’t mind either way — if their prized asset continues to make his case for the national side in a World Cup year on their roster, they would be the most to benefit.
Zalmi’s first win also gave them some consolation for their last encounter with Quetta, also at this ground, where they had lost the PSL final. But after almost chasing down 200 yesterday and then gut punching the defending champions today, Peshawar will feel confident that they will be returning to the final this year as well.