Extrajudicial Murder of Pashtun exposes State Brutality in Pakistan

The murder of a Pashtun man in Karachi by the Sindh police last week has brought renewed attention to the brutal practices of Pakistan’s police and security forces.

According to his relatives, Naqeebullah Mehsud, a 27-year-old from the war-torn region of South Waziristan, was kidnapped by plainclothes police officers in Karachi earlier this month. On January 16, Mehsud’s family was told that he’d been killed in a shootout with police along with 4 other alleged terrorists a few days earlier.  Mehsud was buried in his hometown of Makin in South Waziristan on Friday.  On the same day, a large demonstration in Karachi to demand justice for Mehsud was viciously crushed by baton-wielding police.

Naqeebullah Mehsud made a living as the owner of a small clothing store on the outskirts of Karachi.  He was also an aspiring fashion model, having amassed 14,000 followers on the Facebook account he used to promote his modeling, according to Al Jazeera.  While the Sindh police claim that Mehsud was a member of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and that he was involved in terrorist attacks, they have failed to provide a shred of evidence to back up this assertion. Meanwhile, Mehsud’s relatives, human rights organizations and Pashtun activists continue to insist that he was the innocent victim of an extrajudicial killing.  According to the Dawn, a spokesman for the South Waziristan chapter of the TTP released a statement last week in which it denied any association with…

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