According to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), discrimination against Pashtuns in Pakistan appears to violate human rights.
The Pashtuns living in Pakistan have been subjected to mass executions, abductions, and other human rights violations by state and non-state actors.
According to IFFRAS, the court’s decision was unsurprising because many eyewitnesses were forced to change their statements to save Anwar from life imprisonment.
Rao’s acquittal is yet another example of how Pakistani state authorities, including the judiciary, openly discriminate against the ethnic Pashtun minority.
Mehsud, a 27-year-old Pashtun model from South Waziristan, was killed in a “fake” police encounter near Karachi on January 13, 2018. Three other victims were killed mercilessly by Pakistan’s authorities.
The IFFRAS investigation team later determined that the incident was a staged “fake encounter” produced by the police. They also claim that fake encounters between young Pashtuns and other minorities are standard in various parts of Pakistan, particularly in Karachi.
However, Mehsud’s death drew attention to the discrimination and marginalisation of Pashtuns in Pakistan and military operations in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Besides that, Mehsud’s defence lawyer expressed concern after key witnesses in the case, police officers from Karachi, began rejecting their original statements against Rao Anwar and his team.
Despite Rao Anwar’s known history of over 400 extrajudicial encounters in Karachi, he was cleared of all charges by the court.
The alleged crime of Rao Anwar and others involved in the ruthless murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud is beyond shameful,” Pashtun leader Mohsin Dawar tweeted. He added that there would be no justice for innocent Pashtuns killed by state-sponsored assassins.