ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan issued on Friday a contempt of court notice to former SSP Rao Anwar for defying orders to appear before the top court.
The court also ordered to freeze all his bank accounts immediately.
A three-member bench, which resumed hearing of the extra-judicial encounter of Naqeebullah Mehsud case at the Supreme Court’s Islamabad registry amidst heavy security, cancelled earlier order granting Anwar protective bail and directed all agencies to cooperate with Sindh Police in tracing him.
During the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar expressed annoyance over former SSP Rao Anwar’s failure to appear before the court. “Is Anwar available for court hearing? What are we supposed to do then?” he asked.
Justice Nisar observed that the top court had given him a chance to appear. “We tasked the police to present him,” he noted. “Top security and intelligence agencies were also ordered to arrest him.”
The CJP said that Anwar had failed to appear despite the apex court’s assurance of legal help. “The court had also ensured protection for the former SSP,” he added.
Counsel for the family of Naqeebullah, Faisal Siddiqui told the court that at least 15 other officials suspected to be involved in the fake encounter were also missing. However, Inspector-General Singh Allah Dino Khawaja informed the apex court that nine out of the 21 accused had been arrested by Sindh Police.
The court adjourned hearing until March 3.
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, while addressing the media, said that the government will comply with the orders of the SC. “In the case of Rao Anwar, we will do as the SC says,” he said. “The government also hopes for MQM-P to resolve their internal issues so that we can all unite and work for the province.”
On February 13, the SC had granted protective bail to former SSP Rao Anwar until February 16. Police officials of Sindh and Islamabad were instructed to provide him security prior to his appearance in front of the court and not to arrest him.
The court ordered the police officials to facilitate his appearance.
The top court had also ordered formation of a new Joint Investigation Committee (JIT) comprising of civil and military officials, including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after Anwar wrote a letter to the CJP denying all allegations of a fake encounter against him.
In his letter, Anwar stated that he was not present on the spot when Naqeebullah was murdered and is being framed ‘falsely’.