Pakistan Press Foundation welcomes the safe return of anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan after over four months; calls for a complete investigation into his disappearance
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) welcomes the return of anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan over four months after he was initially arrested, released, and then went missing. We urge a complete investigation into his disappearance and whereabouts over the past four months.
On September 25, the Sialkot Police confirmed the release of the media person, stating that he had been “safely recovered” and was with his family. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Riaz Khan’s legal representative, Mian Ashfaq Ali, confirmed the return of Riaz Khan.
On May 11, Riaz Khan was arrested at Sialkot Airport in the Punjab province. According to The News, the anchorperson was arrested for “allegedly inciting violence” when clashes ensued between security forces and supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan. The report stated that the anchorperson was offloaded from a plane by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) when he was about to fly to Muscat from Sialkot. He was reportedly handed over to the police and shifted to an “unknown place.”
In court proceedings on May 12, the Lahore High Court Chief (LHC) Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti was told that Riaz Khan had been released, The Express Tribune reported.
As per Dawn, a law officer had told the high court that Riaz Khan was released from jail after taking a written undertaking, but there remained no news of where he was. The report added that a First Information Report (FIR) was registered by Riaz Khan’s father about his kidnapping on May 16.
Months later, according to Dawn, on September 20, the LHC had given the Punjab Inspector General (IG) Dr Usman Anwar the “last opportunity” to recover Riaz Khan by September 26. The anchorperson was released a day earlier, on September 25.
As per Dawn, Sialkot District Police Officer (DPO) Hassan Iqbal shared that the police got a call that Riaz Khan was at the Civil Hospital. He was later taken from the hospital to his residence.