The British government has imposed a travel ban on former Pakistani police officer Rao Anwar and has frozen his assets under the Sanctions Act.
The retired senior police officer Anwar was on the British sanctions list announced last Friday. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia implements a global human rights sanctions system through the provisions of its Sanctions Law.
In his role as the Malir SSP, Anwar was reportedly “responsible for numerous staged police encounters in which individuals were killed by police, and was directly involved in over 190 police encounters that resulted in the deaths of over 400 people, including the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud in 2018,” the British government said in a statement on its website.
Anwar is therefore “responsible for, or complicit in, the serious violations of the right to life,” it added.
Anwar was suspended after he was accused of killing 27-year-old Mehsud and four others at a farmhouse in Karachi’s Shah Latif Town on January 13, 2018.
Naqeebullah is from South Waziristan. Anwar accused him of liaison with the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Islamic State.
However, the Anti-Terrorism Court called these allegations “baseless.” It declared Naqeebullah, Sabir, Nazir Khan and Ishaq innocent, and sued Anwar for extrajudicial executions.
Anwar and the former deputy police chief are currently on bail. Eight other police officers involved in the incident have been in prison, while the former SHOS Amanullah Marwat and Shoaib Shaikh are still absconding.
The encounter and approval of Anwar’s bail led to protests and widespread criticism of the country’s judicial system. The Pashtun Tahaffuz movement and rights activists carried out a wide range of activities and demanded transparency and timely handling of the case.
The United States also sanctioned Anwar in December 2019 for participating in “serious human rights violations” in Pakistan.
The action was taken by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on the International Human Rights Day.
The Department of Treasury said that Anwar was reportedly responsible for staging numerous fake police encounters during his tenure as an SSP.
“Anwar helped lead a network of police and criminal thugs that were allegedly responsible for extortion, land grabbing, narcotics, and murder,” it added.