Controversial cop booked on terrorism charges in Pakistan

Pakistani police officer Rao Anwar, who reportedly escaped an attack, talks to reporters in Karachi, Pakistan. (AP)
Updated 23 January 2018
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Controversial cop booked on terrorism charges in Pakistan

KARACHI: A Karachi police official known for his encounters with Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists was booked on kidnapping, murder and terrorism charges here on Tuesday.

Senior Superintendent of Police Anwar Ahmed Khan, popularly known as Rao Anwar, on Saturday, Jan. 13, claimed to have killed four terrorists who he said were associated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Daesh.

Four days later, on Jan. 17, friends of one of the dead men, Nasimullah Mehsud, also known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, claimed on social media that the 24-year-old was an aspiring model not a terrorist.

A day later the news made mainstream media after demonstrations in Karachi and Islamabad, pushing the authorities in Sindh to investigate.

A police committee interviewed police officials, including Rao Anwar, and concluded that the encounter was staged.

The committee recommended that Rao Anwar and his lieutenants should be suspended and their names be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), which means they cannot leave the country.

Rao Anwar on Tuesday tried to leave the country but was stopped at Islamabad International Airport.

Meanwhile, the head of the inquiry committee, Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi, visited the Mehsud jirga (traditional assembly of leaders) at Karachi’s Sohrab Goth neighborhood where he announced that the inquiry committee has found Mehsud innocent. He said that justice will be done.

A day earlier, Mehsud's father arrived in Karachi from his home town in South Waziristan where his son was laid to rest and thanked Pakistanis for their support. “Today all of Pakistan has raised its voice for Naqeeb,” he told Arab News on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR, which sets the process of criminal justice in motion) was registered at Sachal Police Station against Rao Anwar and nine other members of his team under the Pakistan Penal Code and Anti Terrorism Act.

“The sections cover kidnapping, threats, murder and terrorism,” SHO Sachal Shakir told Arab News.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available to Arab News, Mehsud was picked up by Rao Anwar and nine members of his team at 3 p.m. on Jan. 3.

“Naqeebullah was picked up along with two of his friends, namely Hazrat Ali s/o Shakir Ali and Mohammed Qasim S/o Daud, but both were freed at 10 p.m. on Jan. 6,” according to the FIR.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court will hear the case regarding Mehsud on Wednesday. The court has ordered the suspended police officer to appear in the court.


Thailand to ban imports of high-tech trash, plastic waste

Updated 16 August 2018
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Thailand to ban imports of high-tech trash, plastic waste

  • The Thai ban covers 432 types of electronic refuse — from electronic circuit boards to old television and radio parts — and will take effect within six months
  • Thailand’s e-waste ban follows a series of raids that began in May on factories accused of illegally importing and processing electronic waste

BANGKOK: Thailand will ban imports of 432 types of scrap electronics within six months, an environment ministry official said on Thursday, the latest country to respond to China’s crackdown on imports of high-tech trash this year.
Southeast Asia nations fear they are the new dumping ground for the world’s trash after China banned the entry of several types of waste as part of a campaign against “foreign garbage.”
Thailand’s ban comes weeks after regional neighbor Vietnam said it would stop issuing new licenses for waste imports and crack down on illegal shipments of paper, plastic and metal.
The Thai ban covers 432 types of electronic refuse — from electronic circuit boards to old television and radio parts — and will take effect within six months, a senior environment ministry official told Reuters on Thursday.
He said the ban was agreed at a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Surasak Kanchanarat, the environment minister.
“The meeting yesterday passed a resolution to stop importing 432 kinds of electronic waste and to ensure...that this is enforced within six months,” said the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Mongukol Pruekwatana, director general of the department of industrial works, told Reuters a full list of banned items would be announced soon.
E-waste — commonly defined as any device with an electric cord or battery — can be mined for valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper. However, it can also include hazardous material such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
Surasak told Thai media on Wednesday that imports of some electronic appliances and second-hand devices would be allowed if these items can be repaired and reused.
Scrap metal, including aluminum, copper and steel, can still be imported for industrial use, but must be separated at the country of origin and cleaned, he said.
Thailand’s e-waste ban follows a series of raids that began in May on factories accused of illegally importing and processing electronic waste.
Environmentalists say waste once destined for China is being re-routed to Southeast Asia, and new laws are needed or existing laws better enforced to prevent illegal imports.
Vietnam’s central bank said on Wednesday it has asked banks to tighten lending to projects deemed environmentally unfriendly. It said banks must have strategies for environmental risk management by 2025.
Thailand also planned to ban imports of plastic waste in the next two years, the environment ministry official said, but he gave no details of the program.
The death of a pilot whale in June found with some 80 pieces of plastic rubbish in its stomach focused attention on what environmentalists call Thailand’s “addiction” to plastic bags and packaging.
Thailand’s military government has said improving the country’s waste management infrastructure is a priority and set goals for 2021.
They included cutting the use of plastic bags and bottles in government agencies and businesses, and plastic bans in tourist destinations. A tax on plastic bags has also been mentioned, along with a target to recycle up to 60 percent of plastic by 2021.