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Naqeebullah protest moves to Islamabad, demands end to 'Pakhtun genocide'

February 02, 2018

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A stage is set up in Islamabad during the protest demanding justice for Naqeebullah Mehsud.— Photo by Shakeel Qarar
A stage is set up in Islamabad during the protest demanding justice for Naqeebullah Mehsud.— Photo by Shakeel Qarar

Hundreds of people from the tribal areas rallied in Islamabad on Thursday, demanding the arrest of suspended SP Rao Anwar who has been accused of killing 27-year-old aspiring model Naqeebullah Mehsud in a staged 'encounter' in Karachi.

The protesters had gathered in front of the National Press Club in the capital to demonstrate against the killing. A large banner displayed on a stage set up at the site read, "Justice for Naqeeb Mehsud".

People rally to condemn the killing of Naqeebullah on Thursday in Islamabad.— AP
People rally to condemn the killing of Naqeebullah on Thursday in Islamabad.— AP

"Stop Pakhtun genocide," read another banner.

Holding portraits of Mehsud, the protesters threatened to hold a sit-in outside the parliament if Anwar is not arrested.

They demanded that a judicial commission headed by the chief justice be formed to investigate extrajudicial killings of Pakhtuns in Karachi and other areas.

The missing persons should be presented before courts and those found to be innocent should be released, they demanded.

The protesters also asked that the imposition of curfews in Fata, especially Waziristan, after any incident should be ended and that landmines should be cleared in various areas of Waziristan.

The demonstrators left the protest site late on Thursday but said they would return in the morning to continue the protest.

A similar protest that was being held in Karachi's Sohrab Goth area to protest Mehsud's killing was called off on Wednesday after nearly two weeks.

Naqeeb's death in 'encounter'

Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had taken notice of Mehsud's death following uproar on social media over the alleged staged encounter.

People from Waziristan gather to condemn Naqeebullah's killing on Thursday in Islamabad.— AP
People from Waziristan gather to condemn Naqeebullah's killing on Thursday in Islamabad.— AP

An inquiry committee, formed by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh A.D Khowaja, concluded that Naqeebullah did not have links to any militant outfit and was killed extra-judicially. The investigation report led to Khowaja removing former SSP Malir Anwar from his post on January 20.

Anwar is currently in hiding and the Supreme Court, which has taken a suo motu notice of the incident, has given police 10 days to arrest him.