Niaz A Naik ‘tortured to death’
By Shakeel Anjum
Sunday, August 09, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Former foreign secretary Niaz A Naik was found dead in mysterious circumstances at his residence in Sector F-7/3 on Saturday, police said. He was 82.
Naik’s body was shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) where its autopsy was conducted.
Naik had apparently died three to four days back but since he was living alone, nobody knew about it until a neighbour reported foul smell emanating from his house. Naik was a bachelor and had never married.
Talking to The News, PIMS spokesman Dr Waseem Khawaja, while quoting a medico-legal report, said that the lower jaw and four right ribs of Naik were found broken. He said that cuts or bruises on the body could not be detected because the skin had started peeling off due to decomposition.
The Kohsar police said that a party was sent to Naik’s house, which was locked from inside. However, some police personnel managed to enter it and found Naik dead, lying in his bed, his right arm placed over his forehead.
Dr Khawaja said that Naik’s body was decomposed and it was difficult to identify it. “Ascertainment of the actual cause of death could be difficult due to decomposition,” Dr Khawaja said.
However, viscera (internal organs of the body) have been sent for histopathology and chemical examination to know the exact cause of his death, he added.
The spokesman of the PIMS did not rule out the strong possibility of murder, saying that the preliminary medico-legal report strengthened the doubts of homicide after torture.
It is pertinent to know that on December 18, 2005, two of Naik’s domestic servants — Masood Khan, son of Shah Zaiwar, and Usman Ali, son of Mairaj Ali, both hailing from Charsadda, had looted his house and decamped with valuables after having tied him with a rope. The Kohsar police had registered a case against the nominated accused under Sections 382/34 PPC on the complaint of Niaz Naik. Both accused were arrested after some time and stolen articles and foreign currency were recovered from their possession. Both ended up in jail. The police are checking whether they had been released and in such an eventuality an act of vengeance on their part was not being ruled out.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Islamabad, Syed Kaleem Imam, told The News that the police would investigate all the aspects, adding that the accused involved in looting would, definitely, be interrogated.
Naik, Pakistan’s former high commissioner to India, was involved in backchannel parleys with R K Mishra, a close aide of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during the Kargil conflict. At the time, the two sides had come close to a deal to end the conflict in June 1999. Naik was engaged in the Track-II diplomacy with India and frequently visited New Delhi for the purpose. He was the 16th foreign secretary of Pakistan from July 11, 1982 to May 30, 1986.
APP adds: President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and others have expressed deep grief and shock over the sad demise of Niaz A Naik.