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PESHAWAR / ISLAMABAD: Because the Afghan authorities have decided to carry out a post-mortem on a police officer kidnapped in Islamabad, his body will be handed over to Pakistani officials on Thursday (today), according to sources.

SP Tahir Khan Dawar, who was chief of Peshawar police’s rural circle, was kidnapped in the G-10/4 area of Islamabad on October 26 and a body said to be his was found in a remote area of the Afghan province of Nangarhar.

Afghan officials confirmed that the tortured body found in Nangarhar was indeed that of Mr Dawar, said the Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday.

SP Dawar’s wife received a message from his phone the day after he disappeared

It said the Afghan officials had informed the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul that SP Dawar’s body had been found by residents of Dur Baba district of Nangarhar province on Tuesday. The late officer’s service card had also been found.

“The body has yet to be received by the Consul General of Pakistan in Jalalabad. It will be subsequently transferred to Pakistan via Torkham border [crossing] after completion of necessary formalities,” the FO statement said.

It added the foreign affairs ministry was in contact with the Afghan Embassy, while the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul was in touch with the Afghan foreign ministry since Tuesday night.

The sources said the slain officer’s body had been taken to Jalalabad because the governor of Nangarhar province had ordered that a post-mortem be conducted on him. “The body is being shifted to a mortuary in Jalalabad and will be brought to Torkham on Thursday [for its handover to Pakistani officials],” the sources said.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police also said they were in contact with their Afghan counterparts and some of their officers were already in Torkham to receive Mr Dawar’s body.

“Efforts are being made to bring back the body of the martyred officer as soon as possible,” the police statement said.

According to some sources, the body had been buried in Afghanistan but was retrieved on Wednesday morning for autopsy. A senior police officer confirmed that the body had been buried temporarily.

He said the slain officer was a member of the Dawar tribe of North Waziristan district and in August he had been promoted to the position of acting superintendent and appointed as the head of Peshawar police’s rural circle.

Mr Dawar went from Peshawar to Islamabad on Oct 26 and was kidnapped at around 7:45pm the same day, he said.

Afghan Ambassador Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said that Kabul and Islamabad should both conduct investigations into the mysterious killing.

Talking to journalists, he condemned the barbaric murder of Mr Dawar. “But the question is how the police officer was shifted to Afghanistan after he was kidnapped in Islamabad,” the ambassador said.

He said the Afghan government would cooperate with the Pakistani authorities on the matter. “I think both sides should investigate the killing and the Afghan authorities should also determine through which route the officer was taken to Afghanistan,” he said.

Murder charge

A kidnapping case was registered with the Ramna police of Islamabad on Oct 28 on a complaint lodged by Mr Dawar’s brother, Farhan Ahmed Dawar.

A senior officer of the capital police told Dawn that a murder charge would likely be added to the charges registered earlier. However, before that to happen some legal requirements would have to be fulfilled, including identification of the SP’s body by his family members.

The source said that Mr Dawar owned a house in Sector G-10, Islamabad, where he arrived along with his family on Oct 26. He left his home for a walk the same day, after which he disappeared.

On the evening of Oct 27, his wife got a message from his mobile phone, which said: “I am safe and sound and in Sara-i-Alamgir, and will return later.”

Another message said: “There is a signal issue in the area; so do not panic if my mobile is found switched off.”

The officer said that no one had contacted Mr Dawar’s family since his disappearance. In such a situation, police usually ruled out the possibility of kidnapping for ransom.

According to the officer investigating the case, geo-fencing of the SP’s mobile and number had revealed that Mr Dawar’s last location in the capital was Sector F-10 on the day he was kidnapped. His mobile phone was switched on at Sara-i-Alamgir the next day.

Since then there has been no trace of the SP and his mobile or SIM.

There were reports that SP Dawar was receiving threats from some militant groups. One of his relatives was killed in Islamabad’s area of Mulpur last year over enmity, but later the issue was settled.

Meanwhile, the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement has given a call for protests across the country on Thursday (today) over Mr Dawar’s abduction and killing.

Zulfiqar Ali in Peshawar contributed to this report.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2018