Punjab Inspector General (IG) Dr Usman Anwar made promising remarks regarding the search for anchorperson Imran Riaz during the court hearing, whose whereabouts have been unknown since his arrest at Sialkot airport on May 11, Local English Newspaper reported.
This arrest occurred in the wake of violent protests that erupted nationwide after the detention of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on May 9. Following his arrest, Riaz was initially taken to Cantt police station and later transferred to Sialkot prison.
Imran Riaz was among several journalists taken into custody during the aftermath of the May 9 protests. Subsequently, on May 16, an FIR was filed with Sialkot Civil Lines police upon the complaint of Riaz’s father, Muhammad Riaz, alleging the abduction of his son. This FIR implicated “unidentified persons” and police officials under Section 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which pertains to kidnapping or abducting with the intent to secretly and wrongfully confine a person.
Furthermore, Muhammad Riaz filed a plea in the Lahore High Court seeking the recovery of his son. LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti presided over the hearing and was informed by the Punjab IG about the “positive progress” made in the case.
The IG conveyed his assurance of delivering “good news” within the next 10 to 15 days and requested additional time from the court to continue the search for Imran Riaz.
Justice Bhatti inquired about the progress made thus far, emphasizing the importance of tangible developments. Subsequently, the court granted the police an extension until September 13 to locate Imran Riaz.
Furthermore, the Lahore High Court also entertained a request from the petitioner’s lawyer for a meeting with the Punjab IG. The court directed the official to meet with Riaz’s father and legal team at 5 pm on the same day, indicating the seriousness of the matter and the commitment to resolving it.