The Post : 2 cops remanded over Rashid’s escape

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2 cops remanded over Rashid’s escape

Kaswar Klasra | December 19, 2007

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police secured six days physical remand of two policemen who were accused of negligence over the escape of Rashid Rauf from an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday.

Margalla police produced both head constables Nawabzada and Adil who were accused of negligence from their professional duties before the anti-terrorism court judge Tuesday.

After initial hearing, the court gave six days physical remand of both the accused.

A high-level meeting was called in the premises of Federal Interior Ministry on Tuesday following President Musharraf's order who sought a detailed report from Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan on the escape incident.

A meeting was held in the premises of Interior Ministry chaired by Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz while attended by Additional Secretary and all of the members of team that constituted earlier to investigate the matter.

Caretaker Interior Minister asked the investigation team to speed up the process considering the matter as an international issue.

However further details of the meeting were not available with this reporter as all of the members who attended the meeting were tight lipped over the issue.

As directed by Federal Interior Ministry, management and authorities of airport security forces were to put their personnel on high red alert in order to avert Rauf's possible escape from the country.

On condition of anonymity, a high ranked officer from Interior Ministry told this reporter that three teams of security personals were sent to Chamman and Torkhum border to keep a check on Rauf's escape to Afghanistan or Iran by road.

Rauf escaped from police custody last Saturday.

Terror charges against him in Pakistan were dropped last month, but the UK wants him extradited in connection with another case, the death of his uncle.

It is also understood that British police want to question him in connection with an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic jets from the UK.

Earlier, Rauf's lawyer said his client's escape was mysterious, suggesting Pakistani authorities may have been reluctant to hand him over to Britain.

Pakistani officials say they have launched a major investigation and are combing the country for him. His arrest in Pakistan in August 2006 prompted a major security alert at airports worldwide.