The death of Naqeebullah Mehsud was an extrajudicial killing, the Additional Inspector General of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Dr Sanaullah Abbasi, on Tuesday told the victim's grieving friends, family and tribesmen gathered on the outskirts of Karachi.
Abbasi, who headed a three-member team investigating Naqeebullah's killing in an 'exchange of fire', assured his kin that Naqeebullah had never been involved in terrorism-related activities as alleged earlier, but had been innocent and was in fact killed in a 'fake encounter'.
"This was a fake encounter in which an innocent man was killed," Abbasi said. "Whoever was involved will be brought to justice."
"No one will be allowed to kill extra-judicially," he added.
Members of a Mehsud jirga were also present in the meeting between the investigation team and the deceased's family.
A first information report (FIR) was registered against former SSP Malir Rao Anwar and other police personnel accused of involvement in the alleged 'encounter' on Tuesday evening. The murder case was lodged at Sachal police station after the victim's father nominated Anwar and his team in the FIR.
According to his statement, eight or nine subordinates of SSP Anwar had taken his son into custody before he was killed.
Senior police official Rao Anwar is among the officials who are being investigated for their alleged involvement in the fake encounter. He was removed from his post as the senior superintendent of police Malir by Sindh's Inspector General, A.D. Khowaja, soon after the inquiry team had submitted an initial report.
Anwar appeared before the team on Friday, but later boycotted the police probe, alleging that two members of the police inquiry team held "personal biases" against him. He had claimed that instead of asking him about the incident, the members of police inquiry team “were bent upon implicating him in the case”.
On Tuesday morning, DawnNews learnt that Anwar had attempted to flee the country late Monday night, but was stopped by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials at the immigration counter.
The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, ordered that Anwar's name be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) to avert any such further attempt in the future.
According to Sindh's Home Minister, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Anwar had attempted to fly from Islamabad to Dubai using a No Objection Certificate (NOC) signed by the Sindh chief secretary instead of the provincial interior department — the authority which is actually supposed to issue the NOC.
Anwar, while speaking to Dawn, had earlier denied reports of him trying to leave the country.
Naqeebullah, hailing from South Waziristan, was among four suspects killed in an 'encounter' with a police team headed by Anwar in the Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of the metropolis earlier this month.
Anwar had alleged that Naqeebullah was a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant, but a later statement reportedly issued by a spokesperson for TTP's South Waziristan chapter had termed the claim "baseless", clarifying that the deceased had no links with the banned militant outfit.
Naqeebullah's family had also disputed Anwar's claim, saying that the 27-year-old had no links with any militant organisation.
Naqeebullah Mehsud — whose name was given as Naseemullah on his national identity card — was a shop owner fond of modelling, relatives of the deceased had told Dawn.