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Wednesday Dec 11 2019
Web Desk

US blacklists Rao Anwar for 'human rights abuse' through fake police encounters

Web Desk

The United States on Tuesday blacklisted former Malir senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rao Anwar, for his involvement in "serious human rights abuse". 

With the reputation of being an 'encounter' specialist, Anwar is among 18 individuals from six countries  blacklisted by US for their alleged engagement in human rights violations.

He made headlines in the media after he was declared a prime suspect in the murder case of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud from South Waziristan in 2018.

The US Treasury Department has accused Anwar of staging scores of fake police encounters in which a number of individuals were killed in Karachi.

Read also: Who is Rao Anwar?

"The former cop was involved in over 190 police encounters that resulted in the deaths of over 400 people, including the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud," US said.

It added Anwar "helped to lead a network of police and criminal thugs that were allegedly responsible for extortion, land grabbing, narcotics, and murder".

He has been designated "for being responsible for or complicit in or having directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse," the press release stated.

"America is the world leader in combatting human rights abuse and it will not tolerate torture, kidnapping, sexual violence, murder, or brutality against innocent civilians,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The sanctions mean all property and interests of the individuals and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 per cent or more by them, individually or with other designated persons are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case

Mehsud was among three others who were accused of terrorism and killed in January 2018, in what was later termed a fake 'encounter'.

A case on the incident was filed on January 19, 2018, while Anwar was suspended from duty the next day. Anwar and his police party went into hiding soon after an inquiry committee was formed, following claims of innocence from Naqeebullah's family.