Naveed Aman Khan
STUDIED in Government College Lahore, Abid Boxer became encounter specialist after joining Police as Inspector. Boxer was said to be the most wanted criminal police officer of Punjab in the decade of 1990s. After dismissal from service he managed to escape to Dubai from where through Interpol he was arrested on February 7, 2018 against cases of dozens of extra-judicial killing. In 2002, stage and film actress Nargis was beaten black and blue by dismissed police inspector Abid Boxer one night. He had some ‘relations’ with her so he entered her home. When on his demand she refused to give him the documents of her property and millions in cash he started beating her with wiper, cut hair and shaved off her eyebrows. He held her sister Didar, sister-in-law Neelam, two nephews, cook, a maid and security guard hostage at gunpoint. Boxer was also involved in the dacoity at Didar’s home as well. Later on Police registered a case against Abid Boxer and others on the complaint of Nargis.
Notoriously known for the killing of many criminals in fake police encounters Abid Boxer remained a symbol of terror during the 1990s owing to his connection with the underworld of organized crimes. He was sacked from service and charged against extra-judicial killings and corruption. In the past Premier Imran Khan had been strongly saying that Abid Boxer was behind a string of encounters at the behest of the then Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. In another brutal incident unarmed Sarfaraz Shah 22 was fired with 3G battle rifles by Sindh Rangers in a public park in Clifton Karachi in 2011. Former President Mamnoon Hussain granted pardon to Rangers personnel who had been sentenced to life imprisonment over their involvement in June 2011 killing of Sarfaraz Shah. Footage of the killing was filmed by a cameraman from a private TV channel who incidentally was at the park to cover an event. The video which was later aired by all news channels sparked widespread public outrage. The outrage was so extreme that the government took the rare step of removing the provincial chiefs of Rangers and Police after the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry took notice of the killing.
On August 12, 2011, an anti-terrorism court in Karachi handed death penalty to a Ranger trooper Shahid Zafar for the extra judicial murder and life imprisonment to five others, including Sub-Inspector Bahaur Rehman, Lance Naik Liaquat Ali and constables Muhammad Tariq, Manthar Ali and Afzal Khan. The park’s watchman, Afsar Khan, was also jailed for life in the case. The convicts challenged the decision in the Sindh High Court (SHC), which rejected the appeal in January 2014 and retained the death sentence and life imprisonment for everyone, except Lance Naik Liaquat Ali. Later, the convicts filed appeals in the SHC against their conviction, requesting the court to set aside the ATC judgement. The appellant bench of the SHC rejected the appeals on January 21, 2104 and upheld the ATC ruling of sentencing Shahid Zafar to death after finding him guilty of pulling the trigger.
But in August 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty awarded to Shahid Zafar when his family appeared before the court and told that the victim’s family had reached a ‘compromise’ with them. Later, the court commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. The culprits after being sentenced by the court were later pardoned by the then President Mamnoon Hussain in exercise of his powers under Article 45 of the Constitution. On 13 January 2018 Naqeeb ullah Mehsud 26, father of two daughters and a son was murdered in a fake encounter staged by the then SSP Rao Anwaar Ahmad Khan of Malir District of Karachi. Mehsud was kept in captivity, tortured and then killed. Suspended Sindh police officer and so called ‘encounter specialist’ Rao Anwaar has a big question mark on his entire career. His postings at different police stations with huge financial benefits and involvement in the killing of unwanted ones are two of the distinct patterns that emerged. He was removed from the post of SSP in Malir after the public outcry emanating from the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud. Naqeeb was a familiar face on Facebook. His murder and fake allegation of links with terrorists caused countrywide outrage.
After Supreme Court suo motu notice of this incident Rao is still under ‘inquiry’. There still is scepticism over the outcome of an ‘inquiry’ conducted by his own department, although the head of the inquiry team, Sanaullah Abbasi, has assured that ‘justice’ will be served. Till the time the murderer of Naqeebullah Mehsud, Rao Anwaar is enjoying liberty and protocols. On January 19, 2019 Khalil his wife, daughter and driver Zeeshan were brutally and mercilessly murdered by Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in front of Khalil’s three innocent children aging 10, 7 and 4 and other eye witnesses near Sahiwal. It was the worst level of brutality. Shamefully Counter Terrorism Department committed terrorism in Sahiwal. On January 7, 2019 Ahmad Mustafa in his 40s, spokesperson of Saraiki National Party was taken by unidentified persons from home at Mohalla Kanjoo, Rahim Yar Khan at 3 am. He is grandson of late Major Abdul Nabi Kanjoo former Member Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. He is still missing. No body knows his where about. All such incidents of murder and kidnapping create terror in the masses throughout the country. What to talk about tribal areas life, property and honour even in settled cities of the country are unsafe. Earlier terrorists have been creating terror and now extra judicial killings have started terrifying innocent citizens. Such incidents cause serious brain and money drain in the country. People for the sake of their life, investment and honour are being forced to move to safer and better countries. Our younger generations are being brought up in terror. This terror will ultimately turn them complex, revengeful and terrorists. We need to save our generations for better future.
— The writer is political analyst based in Islamabad.