–Afghan envoy says Islamabad didn’t contact Kabul about Peshawar SP’s abduction
–Wonders how senior cop kidnapped from Islamabad ended up dead in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province
–KP info minister says police team waiting at Torkham border since Tuesday evening to receive Peshawar Rural SP’s body
ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: The body of Peshawar Rural Superintendent of Police (SP) Tahir Khan Dawar, who was abducted from Islamabad last month and found killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, is expected to be handed over to Pakistani authorities on Thursday, as Afghanistan’s outgoing envoy Omar Zakhilwal claimed that Pakistan did not contact them regarding the officer’s kidnapping.
SP Tahir, a police officer who had survived two suicide attacks in Bannu, was kidnapped from Islamabad’s G-10/4 area on October 26. The next day a text message sent to family members from his mobile phone claimed he was well and would be back home soon. After the text message was received, Dawar’s family reported his disappearance to the KP police that contacted Islamabad police and an FIR was lodged.
Two weeks later, a body believed to be Dawar’s was found in Dur Baba district of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Tuesday.
It merits a mention here that Pakistan has been fencing the Afghan border under a security project initiated in 2017 as Islamabad maintains that the programme will help prevent the movement of militants in either direction across the nearly 2,600-kilometer boundary. Moreover, Islamabad was the first city where a Rs 14 billion safe city project was installed with close to 1,950 surveillance cameras.
Dawar hailed from North Waziristan district and earlier this year was made acting SP and given charge of Peshawar police’s rural circle. Prior to that he had served as DSP of University Town and Fakirabad and had also had a stint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Photos of the SP’s badly tortured body with a hand-written Pashto letter placed on his chest, purportedly written by a yet unidentified militant group, went viral on social media on Tuesday before police could officially confirm the happening, but a senior official said a “source” had informed them of the tragic news.
A senior KP official said that the paper found on the body mentions no militant outfit and would be investigated later. The note carries the name of Wilayat Khorasan, the nomenclature the militant Islamic State (IS) group uses to refer to the Pak-Afghan region.
It refers to SP Dawar with his first name and says that the “cop who had arrested and killed several militants has met his fate”. The note also threatens other people to take caution “otherwise they too would meet the same fate”.
In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Information Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai said that police and civil administration have been waiting at the Torkham border since Tuesday night to receive the slain SP’s body.
The body was earlier expected to be handed over to Pakistani authorities on Wednesday. Yousafzai said a KP Police team had waited at the Torkham border crossing all day for SP Tahir’s body but were unsuccessful. He did not mention the reason for the delay.
Miram Sadaqat, the spokesperson of the Afghan Red Crescent, said that the organisation will transfer the body to the Torkham crossing as soon as Afghan authorities hand it over. He said that Afghan police and hospital administration were “collecting information” about the body.
‘HOW DID TAHIR REACH AFGHANISTAN?’:
Earlier in the day, outgoing Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal told journalists at a farewell ceremony that the Pakistani government had not reached out to Afghan authorities for any information about the missing police official.
“How did a police officer disappear from Islamabad and turn up dead in Afghanistan?” he asked, urging the leadership of both countries to “sit together” and talk about SP Tahir’s murder.
Zakhilwal also expressed grief over the police officer’s death and said he did not have any information about the abduction.
‘SP IDENTIFIED FROM SERVICE CARD’:
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed that the body of SP Tahir had been recovered along with his service card by Afghan locals.
According to FO Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal, SP Tahir was discovered by residents in Dur Baba district of Nangarhar and handed over to the local police.
The police had shifted the body to Momand Dara district of Nangarhar from where it would be transferred to Jalalabad, the FO spokesperson said. The statement further said that the body is yet to be received by the Consul General of Pakistan in Jalalabad and it “would be subsequently transferred to Pakistan via Torkham border after completion of necessary formalities”.