Missing Anchorperson & Youtuber Imran Riaz Khan ‘recovered’ after nearly 5 months

Imran Riaz Khan, a news anchor and YouTuber, was "recovered" on Monday and arrived at his house without incident, according to District Police Officer Sialkot Hassan Iqbal. Khan had been gone for about five months.

The Sialkot police announced: "Journalist/anchor Mr. Imran Riaz Khan has been safely recovered"
The Sialkot police announced: "Journalist/anchor Mr. Imran Riaz Khan has been safely recovered"

After nationwide demonstrations on May 9 erupted as a result of PTI Chairman Imran Khan's imprisonment at the Islamabad High Court, the journalist was taken into custody by 3MPO on May 11 at the Sialkot Airport.

After being released from the district prison on May 12, Riaz departed in a private vehicle. On May 15, the Lahore High Court (LHC) was told that the anchorperson had been freed from custody after signing a written undertaking.

The LHC gave the Punjab police chief "a last opportunity" to find Riaz by September 26 after he had been missing for a lengthy amount of time.

The Sialkot police announced: "Journalist/anchor Mr. Imran Riaz Khan has been safely recovered" in a post on X, previously known as Twitter. Right now, he is with his family.

Furthermore, in a post on X, Riaz's attorney stated: "By God's special blessing, grace, and mercy, I have brought back my prince."

He claimed: "It took a long time due to the mountain of difficulties, the last frontier of understanding, a weak judiciary, the current ineffective public constitution, and legal helplessness."

"Despite the unspeakable circumstances, Allah Almighty showed us this best day," the attorney continued. Only unending thankfulness at this moment.

The case of Imran Riaz Khan's chronology

After the unruly protests on May 9 that started after PTI Chairman Imran Khan's imprisonment, the YouTuber was arrested by police.

On May 15, however, the LHC was informed that he had been released following a written commitment.

On May 16, his father Muhammad Riaz filed a first information report (FIR) with Sialkot Civil Lines police detailing the kidnapping of the anchorperson after his whereabouts remained unclear.

In the FIR filed against an unnamed individual, it was claimed that police officers abducted Riaz in violation of Pakistan Penal Code Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent covertly and illegally to imprison somebody).

In the LHC, his father also made a request for his recovery.

His father begged for forgiveness at a hearing on May 19 as the crackdown on the violent protestors grew more severe. The next day, the high court's chief justice gave the police until May 22 to locate and bring the YouTuber to the jury.

After Punjab IG Anwar reported that there was no sign of the journalist at any police agency nationwide, LHC also gave instructions to the interior and defense ministries to "discharge their constitutional duties to effect the recovery" of the anchorperson.

Later, the court was informed that the journalist was not in their custody, according to both the Military Intelligence (MI) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The judge ordered "all the agencies" to work together on May 26 to locate Riaz and have him appear in court by May 30.

On that day, IG Anwar had informed the LHC that the case comprised phone numbers that may be linked to Afghanistan.

In the hearing on June 6, Riaz's attorney argued that they were "wearing thin" in their patience, despite the Punjab administration having told the court that efforts were being made to locate the journalist.

The LHC gave the police until July 25 to find the journalist; however, due to the bench's unavailability, no hearing could be place on that day.

We are working on tracking locations and other concerns, the Ministry of Defence's retired brigadier Falak Naz told the court at the session. Imran Riaz is being treated with the goal of recovering quickly.

Usman Anwar, the Punjab IG, was given till September 13 after he informed the LHC on September 6 that the police will offer "good news" in the coming few days.

The IG had still told the court on September 13 that the investigation was "going in the right direction" despite having no significant "good news" to provide.

Later, on September 20, the court adjourned the proceedings in a petition requesting Riaz's recovery till September 26, giving the Punjab IG one "last opportunity" to retrieve him.

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