SP Tahir's body to be handed over to Pakistan tomorrow, says KP information minister

Updated November 14, 2018

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SP Tahir Khan Dawar. — Photo courtesy Facebook
SP Tahir Khan Dawar. — Photo courtesy Facebook

The body of Superintendent of Police (SP) Tahir Khan Dawar ─ who was abducted from Islamabad last month and found dead yesterday in Afghanistan ─ is expected to be handed over to Pakistan authorities tomorrow, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) information minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai said in a statement on Wednesday.

Police and civil administration have been waiting at the Torkham border since Tuesday night to receive the slain SP's body.

The body was earlier expected to be handed over to Pakistani authorities today. Yousafzai said a KP Police delegation had waited at the Torkham border crossing all day for SP Tahir's body but were unsuccessful. He did not mention the reason of the delay.

Miram Sadaqat, the spokesperson of the Afghan Red Crescent, told DawnNewsTV that the organisation's volunteers will transfer the body to the Torkham crossing as soon as Afghan authorities hand it over.

He said that Afghan police and hospital administration were "collecting information" about the body.

SP Tahir, a police officer who had survived two suicide attacks while posted in Bannu, was kidnapped from Islamabad's G-10/4 area on October 26. A body believed to be his was found in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province yesterday.

He hailed from North Waziristan district and earlier this year was made acting SP and given charge of Peshawar police's rural circle. Prior to that he had served as DSP of University Town and Fakirabad and had also had a stint with the Federal Investigation Agency.

Photos of the SP's badly tortured body with a hand-written Pashto letter placed on his chest, purportedly written by a yet unidentified militant group, went viral on social media on Tuesday before police could officially confirm the happening, but a senior official said a "source" had informed them of the tragic news.

A senior KP official said that the paper found on the body mentions no militant outfit and would be investigated later. The note carries the name of Wilayat Khorasan, the nomenclature the militant Islamic State (IS) group uses to refer to the Pak-Afghan region.

It referrs to SP Dawar with his first name and says that the "cop who had arrested and killed several militants has met his fate". The note also threatens other people to take caution "otherwise they too would meet the same fate".

In a statement released today, the Foreign Office spokesperson had confirmed that the body of SP Tahir had been recovered along with his service card by Afghan locals.

According to the FO spokesperson, SP Tahir was discovered by residents in Dur Baba district of Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on Tuesday and handed over to the local police.

The police had shifted the body to Momand Dara district of Nangarhar from where it would be transferred to Jalalabad, the FO spokesperson said. The statement further said that the body is yet to be received by the Consul General of Pakistan in Jalalabad and it "would be subsequently transferred to Pakistan via Torkham border after completion of necessary formalities".

Islamabad didn't contact Kabul about SP Tahir, says Afghan envoy

Earlier today, outgoing Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal told journalists at a farewell ceremony that the Pakistani government had not reached out to Afghan authorities for any information about the missing police official.

"How did a police officer disappear from Islamabad and turn up dead in Afghanistan?" he asked.

He urged the leadership of both countries to "sit together" and talk about SP Tahir's suspected murder.

Zakhilwal also expressed grief over the police officer's death and said he did not have any information about the abduction.

In response to a question, he said that the Afghan government had been in touch with slain Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) leader Maulana Samiul Haq and had urged him to play his role to solve the Afghan issue.

"Apart from reconciliation, Pakistan and Afghanistan have no other way [to achieve peace]," he added.