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'We no longer trust the govt': SP Dawar's family deplore lack of progress in murder probe

Updated February 14, 2019

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SP Tahir Dawar was kidnapped in Islamabad on October 26 and his body was recovered in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province the next month. — File
SP Tahir Dawar was kidnapped in Islamabad on October 26 and his body was recovered in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province the next month. — File

The family members of Superintendent of Police (SP) Tahir Khan Dawar have expressed a lack on confidence in the government, saying there has been no progress in the investigation of the cop's murder despite the passage of nearly three months.

SP Dawar, head of Peshawar police’s rural circle, was kidnapped in Islamabad on October 26 and his body was recovered in Afghan­istan’s Nangarhar province the next month.

Amjad Tahir Dawar, the son of SP Tahir Dawar, speaks to DawnNewsTV.
Amjad Tahir Dawar, the son of SP Tahir Dawar, speaks to DawnNewsTV.

Talking to DawnNewsTV, Amjad Tahir Dawar, the elder son of the deceased officer, accused the government of keeping mum over the investigation and trying to sweep the matter under the carpet.

"We no longer have any trust in the government," he said, demanding that an international commission be asked to investigate the abduction and murder of his father.

Editorial: Family of SP Dawar and the police force he represented deserve a full explanation on his murder

After Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the case, the government had formed an eight-member joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the abduction and murder. The JIT was rejected by SP Dawar's family, which demanded an international investigation of the case.

"We met Prime Minister Imran Khan at PM House and he assured us that a proper investigation would be carried out by forming a parliamentary committee comprising members both from government and opposition benches," said Amjad, adding that the premier had also requested the family to trust government authorities instead of demanding an international probe.

Amjad said they were told by the government at a press conference that the notification for the formation of the five-member parliamentary committee, which was to oversee the JIT probe, would be issued within three days. They were also informed that the family could repeat its demand for an international investigation if they were not satisfied with the work of the committee, Amjad added.

Since the press conference, he said, government officials have only given the family assurances about the formation of the committee. "Instead of three days, we waited for three months but there has been no substantial progress regarding that," he claimed.

Amjad said they had asked Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi to fulfil the government promise of forming the parliamentary committee at a meeting last week in Islamabad.

"Shehryar Afridi just told us to trust the government," SP Dawar's son said, claiming that when they inquired about the progress in the murder probe, the minister remained silent.

Afridi could not be reached for a comment despite multiple attempts by Dawn.com to contact him.

Amjad said his family wanted justice and because his father's murder involved two countries [Pakistan and Afghanistan], a fair and unbiased investigation was not possible without an international commission probing the case.

"We want an independent body to probe and unmask the faces behind the incident," the officer's son said. "We will not give up."

He also said that the family was yet to receive the Rs70 million compensation package promised by the government.

MNA Mohsin Dawar, who like SP Dawar hails from North Waziristan tribal district, while speaking to DawnNewsTV said the state interior minister had announced the formation of the parliamentary committee on the floor of the house, but the government was yet to form the body.

He said the government has so far not shared the progress in the murder investigation being conducted by the JIT.

SP Tahir Dawar had disappeared from the limits of the Ramna police station on Oct 26, 2018. The police could not find a clue to his whereabouts. The SP’s brother, Ahmed Din, said his family had received a message that he was in Sarai Alamgir near Jhelum but his mobile phone was switched off.

Weeks later, SP Dawar’s body was recovered from a remote area of the Afghan province of Nangarhar and later handed over to his family in Pakistan.