Rao Anwar, others acquittal challenged in SHC



The acquittal of former senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rao Anwar and other accused in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case has been challenged in the Sindh High Court.

The appeal was filed on behalf of Naqeebullah’s brother Sher Alam on Monday, who maintains despite strong evidence against the accused, the Anti-Terrorism Court had acquitted all of them, including Rao Anwar.

Sher Alam requested that the ruling of the ATC should be declared null and void. Naqeebullah Mehsud was a 27-year-old shopkeeper from the South Waziristan tribal district of Pakistan who was falsely accused of being a member of the Taliban and killed in a ‘fake’ police encounter in January 2018.

The case gained widespread attention and sparked protests, with many accusing the police of carrying out an extrajudicial killing. The officer who led the operation, Rao Anwar, was arrested and charged with murder, but was later released on bail. The ATC had reserved verdict on January 14 while the decision has been pronounced after five years on January 23.

The case challan had 90 witnesses while seven witnesses of the prosecution had receded from their statements. The JIT report in the Naqeebullah Mehsud case was released in March 2018. It concluded that Mehsud was not a terrorist, as had been claimed by the police, but rather an innocent individual who was killed in a staged encounter.


The report also found that the police officers involved in the operation had fabricated evidence and witnesses to justify the killing.