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Azadi Report Mobilizes Officials, Thwarts Corrupt Cops

Abdul Wahed (l) and his daughter, interviewed by Radio Azadi's Mujeeb Angaar, 28Aug2012
Abdul Wahed (l) and his daughter, interviewed by Radio Azadi's Mujeeb Angaar, 28Aug2012
A recent Radio Azadi report accusing two Pakistani police officers of robbing an Afghan man seeking medical attention for his daughter caught the attention of the General Consul of Afghanistan in Peshawar and has led to the officers’ arrest and dismissal.

At the end of August, Radio Azadi reporter Mujeeb Angaar became aware that Pakistani police had used the pretext of a roadside document check to rob Abdul Wahed, an Afghan national who was traveling with a friend to a Peshawar hospital to obtain medical treatment for his daughter. Wahed had given the money he had raised for the medical visit, the equivalent of approximately $1,000 in Afghan and Pakistani currencies, to his friend for safe keeping.

“We were in a taxi going to Peshawar, and on our way we were stopped by the police,” Wahed told Angaar. He said that two male officers approached the car and told the friend to leave the taxi. When the friend refused, he was forcibly removed and taken to a hidden area of the street, robbed of Wahed’s money and beaten. Wahed himself was unharmed in the incident.

“I was left alone with my daughter,” Wahed recalled. “I asked these two officers to have a little mercy on us.” The officers ignored Wahed’s pleas and left the scene with his daughter’s medical funds.

Officials at the Afghan Consulate in Peshawar heard the incident reported on Radio Azadi and contacted Pakistani officials. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Minister of Information for the Provincial Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, has since confirmed that the two police officers have been arrested and suspended from their jobs. In addition, Peshawar’s Chief of Police, Suhaib Ashraff, is following up on the consulate’s investigation.

“We thank Radio Azadi for informing us,” said Ashraff in recognition of Radio Azadi’s role in the incident.

The stolen money has since been returned to Wahed and, after hearing the report, Afghans living in Peshawar have collected additional funds to enable his daughter to be treated at a local clinic.

-- JoEllen Koester