A day after the United States (US) imposed sanctions on infamous Karachi police officer Rao Anwar for his role in “serious human rights abuses” during his tenure as senior superintendent police in the provincial capital of Sindh, the ‘encounter specialist’ has decided to sue the US government.
In a video message issued on Wednesday, Anwar, while vowing to fight for clearing his name, said that he will file a lawsuit with the help of his counsel in the US and will also write a letter to the US consulate.
He said that he was blamed for the extrajudicial killing of over 400 people but there was no formal complaint against him except the one he is currently facing the court proceedings against.
“I fought against terrorism alongside state institutions … there is a group deliberately doing a false propaganda against me and American government has also become victim of the same campaign and acted against me,” he said, adding that the “US government would have to prove my links to criminals or else render an apology”.
The former Malir SSP said that the move is an attempt to defame Pakistan and divert the world’s attention from the Kashmir issue.
On Tuesday, in a statement issued on the US Treasury Department website, Deputy Secretary Justin G Muzinich said that the action “focuses on those who have killed, or ordered the killing of innocents who stood up for human rights including journalists, opposition members, and lawyers”.
In addition to Anwar, the US blacklisted 17 individuals located in Burma, Libya, Slovakia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and South Sudan for their roles in serious human rights abuse.
“Additionally, six entities have been designated for being owned or controlled by one of the aforementioned individuals,” the statement added.
During his tenure as the Senior Superintendent of Police in District Malir, Pakistan, Rao Anwar was reportedly responsible for staging numerous fake police encounters in which individuals were killed by police, and was involved in over 190 police encounters that resulted in the deaths of over 400 people, including the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud, the US Treasury Department said.