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SAHIWAL: The Chinese engineer who had “gone missing” during a visit to Pakpattan to see his in-laws last Friday, was traced and taken in custody by police from a mosque in Lahore, where he was doing a six-day ‘chilla’ – a spiritual practice of penance and solitude – under a religious organisation.

His “recovery” was made after 70-hour hectic police efforts, involving GPS tracking and leg work.

Pakpattan District Police Officer Kamran Yousaf told Dawn on Monday that the Engineer Muhammad Yousaf, whose Chinese name was Yeuhi, had gone to do Chilla at a mosque in Lahore’s Township area without even informing his wife Sumera, a resident of Shahidi Mohalla, Pakpattan.

Read: Pakistan-origin Chinese engineer ‘goes missing’

Yousaf is working at Coal-Fired Power Plant, Bin Qasim Port, Karachi. According to sources, police have taken engineer into custody from Lahore and would bring him back to Pakpattan soon.

Sumera filed a complaint with Pakpattan city police station, saying her husband had gone missing. Acting on the complaint, SHO Saif Ullah filed an FIR (187/16) against unknown “kidnappers”.

After initial inquiries, DPO formed a team to trace the engineer. The team included DSP Shahida Noureen, SHOs Saifur Rehman and Nadeem Iqbal, security branch in charge Abdul Malik and Muhamad Khurram.

Using Yousaf’s mobile phone calls data, police came to know that the Chinese national got converted to Islam after being in touch with Tableeghi Jamaat through one Haji Iqbal of Mazdoor Puli, Sahiwal.

Later, Haji Iqbal also arranged his marriage with a girl from Pakpttan in February 2016.

The investigators, focusing on Yousaf’s Tableeghi Jamaat connections, contacted Raiwind Markaz, the organisation’s headquarters in Lahore. The Markaz provided police with the list of all individuals who had gone for Chilla to different locations in Punjab, which included Yousaf’s name.

During a raid, police found the Chinese engineer at Masjid Al Qudis, Township, A-block, Lahore.

The DPO categorically denied that Yousaf was kidnapped.

“I thank God that my husband is safe”, Sumera told Dawn on phone.

Sources said Yousaf was visiting Pakpattan for completion of documents required for his wife’s travel to China.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2016