Tahir Dawar


The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government and police have confirmed the murder of Superintendent Police (SP), Rural Peshawar, Tahir Dawar, across the Afghan border. And while the family readies to receive the body, which reportedly shows signs of torture, both the federal set-up and the security apparatus must prepare to answer some tough questions.
That a serving senior police officer vanished from the federal capital without a trace at the end of last month is unfathomable. That he was somehow ‘trafficked’ across the Durand Line with seemingly the greatest of ease simply beggar’s belief. Not least because the alarm was raised the day following his disappearance; with the KP and Islamabad police both alerted and a First Information Report (FIR) lodged. At best, this signals a mammoth intelligence failure across the board. Starting here in Pakistan. To the efficacy of existing Af-Pak intelligence sharing mechanisms. To the US drones that continue to operate in this country with their satellite precision tracking systems. To the presence of NATO troops across the western front.
Admittedly, one or all of the above resources may have been tapped into to uncover Dawar’s body. Yet this still fails to explain how the SP ended up in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. The Centre, for its part, is refusing to comment until the coffin reaches this side of the border; on national security grounds. Indeed, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi preferred to talk of a cyber war being fought against the state. The ammunition being fake images with social media as the trigger. Except that the KP government has confirmed that these pictures are, in fact, of Dawar. And while it is understandable that moves are made to keep an abduction of this kind under wraps as all efforts are directed towards safe return – now that the news of kidnapping has turned to murder, the federal set-up cannot afford to sidestep the issue.
It has been widely reported that unidentified militants pinned a note to the dead body; warning that the killing was payback for Dawar’s involvement in operations against certain non-state actors. News coming out of Afghanistan has pointed the finger at ISIS. But the reality is that a whole cast militant groups could be involved; Pakistani and foreign. Indeed, the SP, originally from Waziristan, had survived previous assassination attempts and had been transferred to Peshawar after receiving death threats from particular groups.