Imran Riaz not found in any police dept across Pakistan, Punjab IG tells LHC
Imran Riaz was not found in any police department across Pakistan, Punjab IG told the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday.
Inspector General Punjab Dr. Usman Anwar appeared before the LHC in the journalist Imran Riaz‘s Abduction Case.
Anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan’s whereabouts remain unknown since his arrest at Sialkot airport on May 11.
At the previous hearing, the LHC had once again directed Punjab police to recover and present the anchorperson. However, the police failed to present Imran Riaz before the court during May 22 hearing.
Anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan was among the individuals apprehended in the wake of the May 9 protests that erupted following the arrest of the PTI chairman Imran Khan.
During today’s LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti inquired about the developments in the case.
“IG sahib, what is the progress on your end?” he questioned.
IG responded, “Imran Riaz was not wanted by us. However, agencies had asked for a police van. Why they had asked for a police van, [the court] can summon the agencies and ask.”
The judge warned the IG Punjab of the consequences if he failed to provide information regarding efforts made to locate the anchorperson.
In response, the IG said before the court that a meeting had taken place on Sunday, adding that it was attended by representatives from all relevant agencies.
“We have asked police across Pakistan. No one has Imran Riaz,” IG added.
IG Punjab urged the court to seek a response from the secretaries of the interior and defense ministries, calling on the court to direct the two to assist the police.
“Would you like more time?” the judge asked the IG, to which the latter responded in the affirmative.
The Punjab police chief Dr. Usman Anwar said that his department had also reached out to the Ministry of Interior, but had yet to receive a response.
The judge remarked that the court had been making efforts for the recovery of the anchorperson and was also taking steps in order to protect him.
“The court should summon representatives from the Ministry of Interior so that the matter can be taken forward,” the IG said, adding that Imran was not detained in any police center.
The judge issued a stern warning to the IG, saying “I am giving you one more chance”. He further said that if any harm befell Imran, he would hold all responsible parties accountable.
Imran Riaz’s lawyer Azhar Siddique, meanwhile, said one of the individuals involved in the raid on the journalist’s residence was also among those who apprehended him at the Sialkot airport.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the LHC CJ said that an order would be issued regarding today’s proceedings.