Request for video statement of Naqeebullah Mehsud's father withdrawn in wake of his demise

Updated December 03, 2019

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Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar speaking to reporters on Tuesday. — Screengrab courtesy video provided by author
Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar speaking to reporters on Tuesday. — Screengrab courtesy video provided by author

A request to have the statement of Mohammad Khan — the father of murdered Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud — recorded via video link was withdrawn by his counsel on Tuesday in the wake of his demise a day earlier.

An antiterrorism court (ATC) in Karachi held proceedings today for the ongoing trial of the murder of Naqeebullah, who along with three others was killed in a staged encounter in Karachi in January 2018.

The court, in March, had indicted former Malir SSP Rao Anwar and 17 others in the case. The former SSP was brought before the court during today's proceedings.

The ATC was informed that Khan — who was the complainant in his son's murder case — has passed away.

Khan's lawyer Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar requested the withdrawal of the application which was granted by the court.

The next hearing will be held on December 16.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Khan's counsel said that an application had been filed with the court to allow his client's statement regarding his son's murder to be recorded via video link — and had also been taken notice of — but unfortunately he passed away on Monday after battling with cancer.

Panhwar said his client had been pursuing his son's murder ever since his demise but unfortunately had fallen ill and had then been hospitalised for quite some time.

"Despite his illness, he had continued to visit various institutions and courts with the hope of finding justice," he said, adding that his client had been hopeful after receiving assurances from the army chief that he would get justice.

The lawyer said he had spoken to Khan's legal heirs who were still hopeful the promises made to Khan would be fulfilled.

Funeral prayers

The funeral prayers of Khan were offered in the Town Hall ground of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Tank district today.

Top civil and military leadership were among thousands present besides tribal leaders. Among those in attendance were Brigadier Imtiaz Hussain and the deputy commissioner of Tank.

'Extrajudicial killing'

An inquiry team probing the January 2018 "extrajudicial killing" of Naqeebullah found that the Waziristan native was killed in a "fake encounter" which was "staged" by the former Malir SSP. Following the inquiry team's findings, Anwar was suspended from his post.

Rao Anwar, however, has stuck to the claim that Naqeeb was a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan militant. No evidence has emerged to support this claim.

The killing of the young Mehsud had sparked widespread protests by the civil society and then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the killings. But a formal trial of the case had not been initiated until March.