The counsel for Rao Anwar argued before an anti-terrorism court in Karachi on Wednesday that the suspended Malir SSP had no involvement in the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud — the Waziristan youth who was shot dead in an alleged fake police encounter earlier this year.
Anwar is the prime suspect in a case pertaining to the extrajudicial killing of Mehsud and three others in an alleged staged encounter.
Arguing on an application seeking bail for the former Malir SSP, Advocate Amir Mansoob Qureshi took nearly three hours to try and convince the court that Anwar had nothing to do with the episode that led to Mehsud's killing — starting from his kidnapping in Karachi to the fake encounter in which the aspiring model was shot dead along with others.
The lawyer also argued that his client had not been present at the site of the encounter, urging the court to grant him bail.
The court asked the counsel to explain why the victims were reported to have been shot dead from inside the room if the encounter wasn't staged. The court also wondered why the men were shot in their backs and not from the front, as would seem intuitive during an exchange of fire with suspected militants.
However, Advocate Qureshi maintained that as far as his client is concerned, he [Anwar] had not been involved in either picking up Mehsud or in the encounter that led to his killing.
Following the hearing, which was adjourned until Thursday, the counsel representing Mehsud's family, Salahuddin Panhwar, told media persons that he has proofs showing Anwar's involvement in the kidnapping, the fake encounter and his failed attempt to flee the country.
Panhwar said he would present all evidence before the court tomorrow, when he will continue his arguments against the bail plea filed by Anwar and other accused.
Meanwhile, a representative of the tribal jirga, Saifur Rehman, alleged that Anwar was putting the whole blame on fellow policemen. He said that Anwar's name had been included in the case based on evidence.
Activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir highlighted that Anwar's counsel had not termed the police encounter as fake throughout his arguments.
Anwar and other accused, who have also filed bail applications, were earlier brought to the ATC amid tight security.
The suspended SSP — who is currently detained in Multan Lines in the Malir cantonment area, which was declared a sub-jail due to reported threats to his life — had moved an application through his counsel seeking bail in connection with the main case pertaining to the murder of Mehsud and others registered at the Sachal police station.