A day after describing absconding cop Rao Anwar as a "brave kid", Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said that his comment was taken out of context as he only praised the former Malir SSP for his valor during the anti-MQM operation, ARY News reported.
The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday issued a contempt of court notice to former SSP Malir Rao Anwar over his failure to appear in court in a case pertaining to the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah, a young man from South Waziristan.
"Rao Anwar is among those fearless children who survived the fight against MQM", Zardari had said during the interview. "Fifty-three of them were killed and this is the boy who survived".
But a statement issued by PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar on Saturday said Zardari "regretted the remarks he made in [the] interview. that sought to give the impression of [him] supporting the absconding former SSP Malir Rao Anwar".
It was stated in a statement issued in Islamabad today.
Naqeeb's father said his son was innocent and said: "We have come to the SC against the brutality of Rao Anwar".
"Extra-judicial killing is condemnable, whether anyone does it in Punjab, Balochistan or any other province or any where in the world for that matter", said Zardari adding that none, as a human being, can defend such a heinous crime.
In the interview, Zardari has rubbished the claim that Anwar was behind 444 extrajudicial killings in "encounters". "If there are this much encounters, why only 440 petitions against him are in courts?" he questioned.
As the hearing went underway, the court asked the Sindh Inspector General Police AD Khawaja whether Rao Anwar has arrived or not, to which replied in the negative. Since then, Anwar has been in hiding and the Sindh Police, despite the Supreme Court-directed assistance of intelligence agencies, has been unable to trace the police officer.
The former president maintained that the report against Rao Anwar was a result of grouping within the police.
He passed these remarks while heading a two-member bench that is hearing the suo motu case over Naqeebullah Mehsud's "encounter" in Karachi last month, Rao Anwar is the primary accused in the case.