Pakistani anchor missing since May 9 violence returns home: Police

Pakistani YouTuber Imran Riaz Khan resurfaces unharmed after a 4-month disappearance

Pro-Khan anchor Imran Riaz, known for his criticism of the establishment, reemerges after months of absence. (photo: DW)
Pro-Khan anchor Imran Riaz, known for his criticism of the establishment, reemerges after months of absence. (photo: DW)


 A controversial Pakistani anchor and YouTuber, who went missing four months ago following the May 9 anti-government protest after former prime minister Imran Khan's arrest, has returned home safely, police said on Monday, 25 September.

Imran Riaz Khan, 47, with more than three million followers on YouTube, was reportedly arrested two days after violent protests broke out across the country following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s arrest on 9 May in an alleged corruption case.

Khan was an ardent supporter of the former prime minister and highly critical of the establishment after the former premier was ousted from office in April last year.

He was last known to be taken to the Lahore Cantonment police station after his arrest and later to the Sialkot prison in Punjab province.

On 15 May, a law officer told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that the anchor was released from jail after taking an undertaking in writing.

However, on Monday, 25 September Punjab province's Sialkot police said that Khan has returned home safely without divulging any further information. “Journalist/Anchor Imran Riaz Khan has been safely recovered. He is now with his family,” Sialkot Police said in a statement on X.

Khan's lawyer Mian Ali Ashfaq also confirmed the development and said: “By God’s special blessing, grace, and mercy, I have brought back my prince.” “It took a lot of time due to the pile of difficulties, the last limit of understanding of the matter, a weak judiciary, and the current ineffective public constitution and legal helplessness,” he said.

The Lahore High Court was hearing the case of his alleged abduction and on September 20 had given the Punjab Police a last chance to recover the anchor.

It was not clear where he had been kept during that period.

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Published: 25 Sep 2023, 1:29 PM