KARACHI: Five Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials were suspended in the early hours of Tuesday morning after they allegedly detained and tortured television host Syed Iqrarul Hassan and members of his team at the agency’s Karachi office when he tried to “expose their corruption”.

The episode came to light in the early hours of the day when social media was abuzz with posts showing Mr Hasan lying on a bed with injuries at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where he was rushed for treatment after his release from the Saddar office of the IB.

Within a few hours and during treatment, he came on ARY News, for which he hosted a weekly show, to narrate his ordeal.

“Me and my team members were stripped, blindfolded and tortured for exposing corruption of an IB inspector,” he said.

“The IB officials also shot videos after stripping us naked. Actually an IB official was taking a bribe at the gate of the agency’s office and we tried to report him to the high-ups, but senior IB officer Rizwan Shah manhandled us and kept beating us. We were treated as a mole working for a foreign country. We were held hostage for more than three hours. I got almost eight-10 stitches on the head due to the IB torture,” he said.

The CEO of ARY Network, Salman Iqbal, came with immediate reaction and condemned the incident demanding action from higher authorities.

Within hours of the incident, the IB issued a notification suspending five officials — Syed Mohiuddin Rizwan (director, BPS-19), Mehmoob Ali (stenotypist), Inam Ali (stenotypist), Rajab Ali (sub-inspector) and Khawar — “for mistreatment of ARY News team and mishandling the situation”.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2022

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