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Pakistani Ex-Police Officer Charged In High-Profile Murder Case

FILE: Former Pakistani police officer Rao Anwar
FILE: Former Pakistani police officer Rao Anwar

Pakistan has charged a former police officer in last year's high-profile death of a 27-year-old man early last year.

The ex-officer, Rao Anwar, pleaded not guilty to murder charges at a March 25 hearing at an anti-terrorism court in the southern port city of Karachi.

The trial is set to begin in April.

Naqeebullah Mehsud was killed under suspicious circumstances on January 13, 2018, in what authorities initially described as a shoot-out during a raid on a "terrorist hideout" in Karachi.

Anwar and several other officers were detained following the shoot-out.

Police initially claimed Mehsud was a member of the Pakistani Taliban, which his relatives in his native South Waziristan tribal region denied and a government investigation concluded.

Mehsud’s death triggered nationwide protests by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), or Pashtun Protection Movement, a group started mainly by young ethnic Pashtun activists denouncing perceived high-handedness by security forces.

With reporting by AP

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