ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court warned on Monday that action would be taken against those providing shelter to fugitive senior police officer from Karachi Rao Anwar — the main suspect behind the killing of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud from South Waziristan.

“The facilitators of the police officer will have to answer,” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said while heading a three-judge SC bench which resumed hearing a suo motu case about the tragic murder of Naqeebullah who was aspiring to become a model but was killed during a police raid in Karachi on Jan 13.

“The officer will be safe if he appears before the court,” the chief justice said, adding that Rao Anwar would be provided complete security and protection if he surrendered himself to the court.

“The officer still has a chance to surrender himself and become part of the investigation,” the court said.

On Feb 13 also, the court had asked Rao Anwar to surrender himself before the court and directed Sindh and Islamabad police to extend security and facilitate his appearance. But the officer did not appear before the court.

The court wondered who provided help to the officer at the airport and warned that those helping him would not be spared.

Sindh Inspector General Allah Dino Khowaja informed the court that Rao Anwar had been provided a boarding pass of a private airline.

During the proceedings, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa said the police officer had two banks accounts which had been frozen, adding that although Rao Anwar received his salary in the same accounts, he would now be unable to withdraw it.

Later in an in-camera briefing, the Sindh IG informed the court about Rao Anwar’s failed attempt to flee the country in January. The CCTV footage of the officer at Islamabad airport was also shown.

The Airport Security Force (ASF) director general also briefed the court on the boarding pass issued to Rao Anwar by the Emirates airline.

The court directed the Civil Aviation Authority to explain on whose instructions the boarding pass for the Dubai-bound flight had been issued to the police officer.

Interior minister summoned

The same three-judge bench, while hearing a case relating to the exorbitant fee being charged for the National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (Nicop) and cancellation of the Pakistan Origin Card (POC), summoned Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to appear before the court on Monday (March 26).

The minister is required to explain why the summary for reducing the fees of Nicop and POC has been returned.

The court said the fees for issuing these cards should be reduced.

The court was informed that the fees collected from the overseas Pakistanis were the main source of meeting the expenses of National Database and Registration Authority’s (Nadra) operations abroad.

Nadra issues Nicop and POC to Pakistani citizens residing abroad under sections 12 and 13, respectively, the Nadra Ordinance 2000.

The reason for the expensive cards, the court was told, was because Nadra had to bear expenses in foreign currency of its 14 registration centres overseas.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2018