Sunday Jun 26 2022
Web Desk

Saleem Safi investigates Rao Anwar’s allegations against Sanaullah Abbasi, AD Khawaja

Web Desk

Geo News anchor Saleem Safi on Saturday, in his show "Jirga", shared the point of view of senior police officials, Sanaullah Abbasi, AD Khawaja and others against whom ex-cop Rao Anwar recently levelled allegations.

In an earlier show, to which Anwar had been invited, the notorious former police official claimed that Sanaullah Abbasi had demanded illegal favours from him, seeking a piece of land along the highway and accused AD Khawaja of targeting him unfairly.

Explaining the reason for inviting Anwar to his show, Safi said that he met the ex-cop in Islamabad sometime back, and that he had “objected" to Safi "ignoring" his point of view regarding the Naqeebullah case. The anchor said that he had told the former cop that when he did those shows he was absconding.

The show host also told his audience that he strongly believes that everyone’s stance should be taken as per journalistic ethics even if the journalist or the interviewer disagrees with that point of view.

“If I get the opportunity tomorrow I would interview [Narendra] Modi and the American president as well. And if the state allows, I would interview Aymen Zawahiri (al-Qaeda chief) and the TTP leadership, because a journalist’s job is to present a different point of view before the people and questions related to that personality are put before them,” said Safi.

‘Format bars airing of personal opinion’

The journalist also clarified that his programme's format is such that it does not allow him to give his personal opinion, adding that it is only aired twice per week and is only 38 minutes long.

Safi stated that he does not think a person should be grilled excessively on one point, as this only reflects their personal opinion. He said it is not possible that one can ask all there is to ask from a person especially after they get a hold of them after years.

“I hold the same stance that I have had on Rao Anwar and Naqeeb’s case [since the beginning],” said Safi.

Safi’s investigations

While sharing his investigations of the case, the "Jirga" host shared that he found out that Rao Anwar during his career had not done any live encounters.

The second thing that the host found was that the Anwar’s years of service in Sindh were in areas of Karachi located around the airport, Gadap and Malir.

The journalist also shared that the then IG had refused to reinstate Anwar as SSP after he was suspended for raiding MQM-P leader Khawaja Izhar’s residence, adding that it was Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah who took it on himself to reinstate the cop.

Faisal Siddiqui, wife 'targeted'

Speaking of allegations made against Supreme Court lawyer Faisal Siddqui, Safi said that Anwar used offensive language against him, calling him a "tout" of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.

Safi said that had that been the case, the then chief justice would not have rejected a petition filed by Siddiqui, as disclosed by the lawyer on the show.

The show host invited Lawyer Jibran Nasir who was following the case closely to weigh in on Anwar's remarks.

Nasir said that he believes that the allegations are very serious and have been put forward against the Supreme court, adding that he sees it as contempt of court.

“This is an allegation of conspiracy not just on the former chief justice but the suo motu case being talked about included current chief justice Umar Ata Bandial and the third most senior judge justice Ijaz ul Ahsan,” said Nasir.

Regarding Faisal Siddiqui, the lawyer turned activist said that the legal expert was a very respected senior advocate of the Supreme Court who has no record of disciplinary complaints or inquiries.

"There is no doubt he has been targeted because he has stepped forth and overseen cases in which there is great public interest and in which there is a great risk to life," Nasir said.

“The whole background is that Anwar is making allegations as Naqeeb’s father had submitted a request to NAB months after the encounter was done. And that complaint has now been converted into an investigation and Anwar has been blacklisted by US State Department and is on ECL,” said Nasir.

The lawyer said that the former cop fears “losing his ill-gotten wealth” which is why he was making such allegations.

Nasir went on to state that much of what Anwar said during his interview with Safi were all things "which were proven false after a thorough police investigation".

"Neither does Qari Ahsan, who is in jail, say that he knows any Naqeebullah or Naseebullah, nor does the FIR he mentioned link the Naqeebullah in it to the one killed," the lawyer said.

"In addition, two people identified in the encounter — Moulvi Ishaq and Sabir, who were relatives — were also reported two years prior by the media to have been kidnapped by CTD Punjab. So how could these kidnapped men have attacked the police?" Nasir asked.

Nasir said Anwar had also made personal attacks against Advocate Siddiqui's wife, Adeela Suleman, who is a globally renowned artist and is a senior faculty member at an acclaimed university.

The lawyer said that her exhibition during the Karachi Biennale was "targeted" and shut down (by Anwar) for the whole day, when other exhibitions part of the event were underway.

Referring to Suleman's 'Killing Fields of Karachi' exhibit which the cop had forcibly shut down — as it portrayed the 444 murders which were committed between 2011 and 2018 by Anwar — he said that the cop mentioned a petition which he falsely said was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Nasir said that the matter was simply said by the apex court to be one that falls in the Sindh High Court's jurisdiction.

"The Supreme Court did not say that there is no evidence, no complainant, no witnesses and that is why we are not registering a case."

Abbasi, Khawaja, Izhar refuse to respond to allegations

Safi also shared that he reached out to former Sindh Police officials AD Khawaja and Sanaullah Abbasi but they believe that the former SSP is not worthy of a response.

On the allegations made regarding the JIT, Safi said that his investigations found that then IG Sindh AD Khawaja had not acted with prejudice.

Safi said that he had reached out to MQM-P leader Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hasan for a response but he was also of the view that he does not see Anwar worthy of being given a response.

Farooq Dada’s wife seeks justice

Safi also shared the point of view of the wife of MQM activist Farooq Dada, who Anwar claimed was not killed in an encounter.

Dada’s wife, in a recorded message, said that Rao Anwar did kill her husband in an encounter after picking him up from his home.

“You took his family to Adiala jail and you kept us there for seven months. Anwar you have to respond to Allah. Your downfall has begun and we will get justice,” said Dada’s wife.

She appealed through Safi’s programme for justice to be given to all of Anwar’s victims.

“Naqeebullah Mehsud’s case has been opened today and hopefully our case will open as well. I will only say that the youth killed in encounters should not be portrayed on media but should be given justice,” said Dada’s wife.