Anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan arrested at Islamabad Airport while departing for Hajj

In the early hours of Wednesday, prominent anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan was apprehended at Islamabad airport as he was preparing to depart for Hajj pilgrimage. Advocate Azhar Siddique, Khan’s lawyer, reported that his client was taken into custody by unidentified individuals accompanied by law enforcement personnel, leading to a scuffle.

“He has been granted bail in all the cases registered against him,” Siddique asserted, emphasising the legality of Riaz Khan’s status. Following the arrest, Siddique filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking clarification on the first information report (FIR) under which Riaz Khan was detained. The petition is currently pending a hearing.

The petition details that Khan was en route to Saudi Arabia for Hajj when several plainclothes officers from various authorities arrested him without explanation and subsequently transferred him to an undisclosed location.

“No information has been provided regarding the FIR used for the applicant’s arrest on the night of June 11, 2024. Hence, it is necessary for the respondents to appear before this court and disclose which FIRs have been filed against the applicant, leading to his unlawful and arbitrary arrest,” the petition stated.

The legal document also mentioned that Khan’s name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) just a day before his arrest, further complicating the circumstances of his detention.

The plea requests the court to direct the police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Secretary Interior, and the Anti-Corruption Establishment to present the details of the FIR under which Khan was apprehended.

This arrest marks the latest in a series of legal troubles for Khan. Earlier this year, he was stopped at Islamabad Airport from boarding a flight for Hajj and subsequently took the matter to court. He had also been arrested in connection with a corruption case involving the Dhrabi Lake contract in Chakwal, where he was later granted bail. Additionally, he faced rearrest in another case related to violence outside PTI founder Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence. On March 10, an anti-terrorism court granted him post-arrest bail against surety bonds worth Rs200,000.

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