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Tribesmen threaten sit-ins over police officer’s disappearance

Updated November 07, 2018

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Family members of missing SP Tahir Khan Dawar address a presser at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. — White Star
Family members of missing SP Tahir Khan Dawar address a presser at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Expressing concern about the mysterious disappearance of a senior officer of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police in Islamabad, Tahir Khan Dawar’s family and elders of North Waziristan tribal district on Tuesday demanded the immediate recovery of the superintendent of police.

“The government should recover the missing police officer within five days otherwise the residents of North Waziristan district will organise sit-ins protest in Islamabad and Peshawar simultaneously,” said Malik Jalal Khan told a joint news conference here.

The tribal elders, family members of the missing officer, including his two small daughters, and the activists of Waziristan Qaumi Welfare Jirga, who were present in the news conference, said the government seemed clueless about the whereabouts of SP Tahir.

Set five-day deadline for recovery of SP

Mr Tahir, the Peshawar SP (rule zone), had left his house in Islamabad for a walk on Oct 27 but didn’t return.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for his ‘abduction’.

A family member told Dawn that a text message sent by an anonymous mobile phone user few days ago read that Tahir Khan was in Punjab’s Sarai Alamgir area.

“We think that the message was fake,” he said.

Sources said the police department continued to be groping in the dark about the disappearance of its senior officer.

They said the disappearance had been really embarrassing for the department and had caused discomfort among the police officials.

A source said the city police’s chief had visited Islamabad on Tuesday to discuss SP Tahir Khan’s disappearance with his counterparts.

He said provincial police chief Salahuddin Mehsud was also in the federal capital to take up the issue with the relevant federal authorities.

Addressing the news conference, Malik Jalal said the family of Tahir Khan, especially his children, was distressed as the police department didn’t give satisfactory response about his disappearance.

He said the people of Waziristan were concerned about the matter.

“The elders of Dawar and Ahmadzai Wazir tribes held separate meetings with police chief Salahuddin Mehsud and other senior officers of the department but they gave verbal assurances only,” he said adding that SP Tahir Khan was a very patriotic officer and had fulfilled his duty and responsibilities honestly.

The elder regretted that a senior police officer had gone missing in Islamabad but the authorities concerned were still unable to find his whereabouts.

He said the federal police and interior ministry couldn’t absolve themselves of the case and that KP police and provincial government should play the due role in the recovery of their officer.

Malik Jalal said if the government failed to recover SP Tahir Khan in the next five days, then the people of North Waziristan would stage sit-ins in Peshawar and Islamabad.

He appealed to the prime minister, Supreme Court chief justice and army chief to take notice of the police officer’s disappearance and the silence of the relevant departments on it.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018

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