An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), on Saturday, issued release orders for former Malir SSP Rao Anwar in Naqeebullah murder cases. The former Malir SSP along with 11 of his subordinates has been facing trial before the ATC for allegedly killing Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others in a staged encounter on January 13. Another case, involving the use of illegal arms and explosives during the staged encounter was registered against him. Rao Anwar’s bail plea in the case pertaining to the use of illegal arms and explosives during staged encounter was approved by the ATC court on Friday. The former Malir SSP was directed by the ATC to submit a surety bond of Rs1 million (mn). Before this, on July 10, the ATC had granted bail to former Malir SSP in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case. Rao Anwar submitted bail bonds worth Rs1 mn on the ATC’s directions. The court said that Rao Anwar was not present at the time of the encounter. Following the court orders granting bail to the suspended police official in Naqeebullah Mehusd murder case, Naqeeb’s father Mohammad Khan had questioned the partiality of the judge hearing the case. His counsels repeatedly claimed that Anwar was being awarded a special treatment. Mohammad Khan had also submitted an application requesting that the case be moved to another court. Initially, former SSP Anwar had claimed that all four of the men killed, allegedly on his orders, belonged to the terrorist outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Rao Anwar went into hiding soon after demands for his arrest surfaced. Protests staged by the Mehsud tribe and the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) erupted in the country afterwards. A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was then constituted to look into the incident. The team found that the encounter was a staged one. Soon after Rao Anwar’s arrest, his house in Malir Cantonment was declared a sub-jail. He had later moved an application for provision of ‘Better Class’ facilities in the sub-jail. The court had accepted Anwar’s application for facilities, including an exemption from being handcuffed. Published in Daily Times, July 22nd 2018.