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PM orders immediate inquiry into SP Dawar's 'shocking' murder

Updated November 15, 2018

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SP Tahir Khan Dawar. — DawnNewsTV
SP Tahir Khan Dawar. — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday ordered an "immediate inquiry" into the murder of Superintendent of Police (SP) Tahir Khan Dawar.

Taking to Twitter, PM Khan said: "Have followed the shocking tragedy of the murder of SP Tahir Khan Dawar and ordered Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to coordinate with Islamabad police in holding an inquiry immediately."

The premier added that Minister of State for Interior Shahryar Afridi has been tasked to "oversee it with an urgency and present the report" to PM Khan.

SP 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 Dawar, said the Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday.

According to DawnNewsTV, Dawar's body was handed over to Pakistani authorities in Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) Spokesperson Miram Sadaqat told DawnNewsTV that the body was handed to the organisation.

MNA Mohsin Dawar, who has been vocal in demanding justice for the martyred cop since his disappearance, responded to PM Khan's tweet, saying: "We reject an internal inquiry. We know that our investigation authorities can’t question certain powers."

Mohsin further added that since "this murder involves two countries", only the findings of an International Inquiry Commission or a similar body would "be acceptable to us".

Afridi briefs Senate about Dawar's case

State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi briefed the Senate on the issue, reiterating that the prime minister had asked for an inquiry report on the murder of the police official.

"On November 13, the footage of his body was released, they [the Afghan government] were approached. The next day, on November 14, we initiated an inquiry into the matter and the Afghan government sent the message confirming the news [of SP Dawar's death]," Afridi said.

He added: "This was when our prime minister asked the the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa inspector general, the KP chief minister and the Islamabad inspector general for a complete and immediate inquiry report into the matter."

"We only just started receiving all the details [of the case]," Afridi told the Upper House. SP Tahir was transported from Islamabad to Punjab, where he was kept for a couple of days, then he stayed in Mianwali for three to four days, and then he was taken to Bannu, he explained.

"At the border, there is no patrol on the Afghan side, which we have brought up with them [the Afghan government] multiple times," he claimed.

According to Afridi, this is not the first such incident to occur with respect to Afghanistan as the two countries share a porous border. "Many of our jawans have been picked up this way," he said, adding that their bodies were then recovered from the other side of the border.

Afridi also lambasted the Safe City project in Islamabad, claiming that of the 1,800 cameras installed in the capital, at least 600 are non-functional. Additionally, he said, "not one camera possesses the ability to identify a vehicle's license plate or someone's face".

"No one bothered to examine how the nation's money is being spent," he said.

He called for an inquiry into the Safe City project contracts so that the people responsible are penalised.

Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani told Afridi since it fell within his own ministry's purview, he could conduct the inquiry. Afridi replied that he would hold an inquiry on his part, but also wished to bring the matter up in the Senate since he didn't want it said that a particular political party was being targeted.

"The state is responsible for the protection of the lives and property of all Pakistanis," the minister of state said, calling for unity in the House.

He added: "It is the government's promise to the nation that we will make examples of the culprits, whether they are in Afghanistan or Pakistan. All political parties need to be united so that people within Pakistan who are trying to destabilise the country and polarise the nation should get the message that if the state or national security are targeted, there will be consensus and unity [against them]."

Rehman rejects govt's report

The opposition in Senate rejected the federal government's report on SP Dawar's murder.

"The report presented was not actually a report," PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said. "Why are they making fun of this parliament? The foreign ministry should have questioned Afghanistan [authorities] over the SP's murder."

Rehman suggested that PM Khan "should himself enlighten the public on the issue since he has also kept the interior ministry's portfolio".