End extrajudicial killings in Pak: Bilawal Bhutto

Karachi: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto has called for an end to extra-judicial killings in Pakistan.

Answering a question asked by media, Bilawal said he is against police encounters taking place anywhere in Pakistan. Such practices must end, he added.

He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of a country-wide membership drive of the party here on Sunday, a day after authorities suspended a senior police officer for the killing of a man in an alleged encounter that sparked anger and protests across the nation.

Senior Superintendent of Police Rao Anwar and other officers are in the dock for killing at least four men during what they claimed was a raid on a suspected Taliban hideout in Karachi.

Relatives of one of the dead men, who was identified as Naqeebullah Mehsud, 27, from South Waziristan tribal district, rejected claims of him having militant links, and maintained that he was an aspiring model who had been a resident of Karachi since 2008. They added that Naqeebullah was looking for a job and had been running a shop in the city.

His killing evoked a national outcry and triggered protest rallies in several cities.

Bilawal’s appeal also assumes significance in connection to the killing of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) London’s deputy convenor Dr. Hasan Zafar Arif, who was found dead in his car in Karachi’s Ilyas Goth area on January 14, a day after his abduction.

The MQM has asked Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saquib Nisar to take suo motu notice of what it described as the custodial assassination of Dr. Arif.

“The death of Professor Hassan Arif will not go in vain, he was a fearless and true ideological worker of the MQM, despite being detained arbitrary for several months in 2016, at a time when enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings were a daily occurrence, Professor Arif remained steadfast to his cause,” MQM Founder Altaf Hussain had said earlier this month.

An editorial in one of Pakistan’s leading dailies has said that the reduction in extra-judicial killings can only be realised through the overhauling of the criminal justice system, which is long overdue.

“A security policy without checks on the excesses of police and Rangers is designed to fail,” the editorial in the Daily Times said. (ANI)