The United States has urged Pakistan to grant consular access to Khadija Shah, a prominent fashion designer with dual citizenship who was detained during a wave of protests. The State Department has stated that its diplomats have not been able to visit Shah, who is the founder of the luxury fashion brand Elan. She was presented before an anti-terrorism court following protests related to the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 9.
State Department spokesman Vedant Patel confirmed Shah’s dual nationality and expressed concern over the arrest of more U.S. citizens. Patel stated that whenever a U.S. citizen is arrested abroad, the U.S. government is ready to provide appropriate assistance and expects Pakistani authorities to uphold fair trial guarantees for the detainees.
Shah’s family has asserted that she participated in non-violent protests on May 9. Some demonstrators accused the powerful military of conspiring against Khan, who was arrested on corruption charges. According to Shah’s family, she willingly appeared for questioning but was subsequently arrested. During her appearance in the anti-terrorism court, her face was covered.
Since the Supreme Court declared Khan’s detention as illegal and allowed him to be released, thousands of people, including grassroots supporters and key Khan aides, have been rounded up.