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Pakistan concerned over inordinate delay in handing over mortal remains of SP Dawar: Foreign Office

Updated November 15, 2018

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Police personnel offer guard of honor to the coffin of martyred SP Tahir Dawar. —APP
Police personnel offer guard of honor to the coffin of martyred SP Tahir Dawar. —APP
KP Governor Shah Farman lays floral wreath on the coffin of martyred SP Tahir Dawar during his funeral procession in Malak Saad Shaheed Police Lines, Peshawar. —APP
KP Governor Shah Farman lays floral wreath on the coffin of martyred SP Tahir Dawar during his funeral procession in Malak Saad Shaheed Police Lines, Peshawar. —APP
KP Governor Shah Farman, CM Mehmood Khan, Corps Commander Lt Gen Shaheen Mazhar, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi along with others offer Dua after funeral prayer of martyred SP Tahir Dawar. —AP
KP Governor Shah Farman, CM Mehmood Khan, Corps Commander Lt Gen Shaheen Mazhar, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi along with others offer Dua after funeral prayer of martyred SP Tahir Dawar. —AP

Following the burial of Superintendent of Police (SP) Tahir Khan Dawar on Thursday night, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal took to Twitter to express "Pakistan's concern over the inordinate delay in handing over mortal remains" of the martyred police official.

He added that the handing over [from the Afghan side] was linked to "insistence on non-diplomatic procedures and non-official individuals resulting in avoidable pain to the Shaheed’s family".

"Diplomatic and humanitarian norms need to be observed, especially in such circumstances," he said.

Editorial: SP’s murder

SP Dawar, chief of Peshawar police’s rural circle, was kidnapped in the G-10/4 area of Islamabad on October 26. On Tuesday [Nov 13], his body was found in a remote area of the Afghan province of Nangarhar and a day later, FO said that Afghan officials had confirmed that the tortured body found was indeed that of Dawar.

Profile: Career officer Tahir Dawar

Earlier in the day, according to senior government officials, members of a tribal jirga on the Afghan side refused to hand over the police officer's body to Pakistani authorities. Eventually, the body was handed over to SP Dawar's brothers.

State Minister Shehryar Afridi waits at Torkham border for SP Dawar's body. — DawnNewsTV
State Minister Shehryar Afridi waits at Torkham border for SP Dawar's body. — DawnNewsTV

Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi and KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousufzai, as well as MNA Mohsin Dawar, were present at Torkham to receive the body of SP Dawar.

The martyred police officer's body was then dispatched to Peshawar via a helicopter, where his funeral prayers were offered at Police Lines at around 9pm. Peshawar Corps Commander Lt General Shaheen Mazhar Mahmood, Commandant Frontier Constabulary Moazzam Ansari, and other high-ranking law enforcement officials were also in attendance.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Shehryar Afridi, KP Police Chief Salahuddin Khan Mahsud, Shaukat Yousufzai, and provincial spokesperson Ajmal Wazir also attended the funeral.

Dawar's family held a separate funeral in Hayatabad, after which he was laid to rest at a graveyard in the Phase-1 area of the locality.

'Brutal murder highly condemnable'

The Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, condemned "the brutal murder" of "a brave police officer", and suspected the involvement of an entity "more than a terrorist organisation".

The DG ISPR also urged "Afghan security forces to cooperate in border fencing" to "deny use of Afghan territory against Pakistan".

Earlier in the day, the Foreign Office had offered its condolences to SP Dawar's family, and said it had registered with the Afghan Charge d' Affairs "our strong protest over the inordinate delay and manner of return of the body".

"It is hoped that Afghan authorities will offer full cooperation in ascertaining the circumstances under which a Pakistani police officer was found murdered in Afghanistan," the FO had said.

'No compromise on SP Dawar's murder'

In a joint presser later in the day, Afridi and Yousufzai assured that the state "will not compromise" on SP Dawar's murder, and lamented the Afghan authorities' behaviour over the body's handing-over process.

"We were made to stand at the border for two, three hours," said Yousufzai, to which Afridi added: "The behaviour that we saw at the border today was painful."

"A game of politics was being played, trying to spread chaos in Pakistan," added Afridi. "When an officer of the state is martyred, instead of handing his body over to the state, you place some other demands and employ delaying tactics."

"The Afghan refugees have been given the most respect by Pakistan," the state minister said. "We have respect for the Afghan government [but] they will have to think why such a behaviour was adopted."

Regarding the investigation, Afridi said: "The PM has already directed KP CM, KP IGP and Islamabad IGP to conduct an immediate inquiry and furnish a report. A meeting will be held in this regard at the Prime Minister House at 3pm tomorrow.

"We will take this matter to its logical end. We will go all out. The lives of our soldiers and citizens alike are the responsibility of the state. It will be a message to all those who have made a mockery of the issue that the state will not compromise on this."

The martyred police official's sibling, who also sat alongside the two ministers in the presser, requested the state to "help me bring to justice whoever has done this to my brother".

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

On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an "immediate inquiry" into SP Dawar's "shocking" murder.

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."

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."