Death of a Legendary Police Officer Abid Ali

Bannu DIG’s murder mystery a challenge for NWFP police
Daily Times, December 20, 2006: Staff Report

PESHAWAR: The sombre faces of senior police officers during Bannu DIG Abid Ali’s funeral were revealed how shaken NWFP Police are over the loss of a competent officer.

“We cannot believe it,” most police officers were heard saying when his coffin, wrapped in the national flag, was taken to the airport for its journey to his native city, Lahore. People at the funeral said that the police, as an institution, was losing its respect among people, but officers like Ali, earned it back with their hard and honest work. They said that letting his murderers go free would be an unforgivable act for the Riffat Pasha-led team. They believed that the assassins were professional killers.

The government had awarded Ali two Quaid-e-Azam Police Medals in recognition of his services to the police force, making him the only officer to earn the honour. The place where Ali was murdered is notorious for car thefts and kidnappings and was a time when public transport crossed the area only with police escorts, but the situation had improved recently. The place is about 12 kilometres south of Peshawar on the busy Peshawar-Kohat highway. The motive of the murder is still unclear.

Some people said Ali was a “strict officer, who always wanted to follow the book”, and that irked many of his colleagues who did not share his ideology. They said he also did not aloow anyone undue favours and many people had been angry with him for this reason. People said he could have been killed by any such person.

Ali’s murder occurred after he nabbed a suicide bomber near Bannu and unearthed a gang of terrorists who fired rockets on Bannu and military installations last year.

Ali sacrificed his life for the NWFP, said a junior police officer, adding that he was posted in dangerous areas where others refused to go. He had married a Pushtun girl and served the province since his commissioning there in 1990.

Ali was born on May 12, 1967, in Lahore. He was credited for maturity in handling Bannu district’s affairs independently with brilliant output despite being a young police officer and for standing up against the feudal Khans and Hotis of Mardan.

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