The Sindh Rangers confirmed in an early morning statement on Saturday that Karachi-based social media activist and journalist Arsalan Khan, who was reported missing on Friday, had been arrested by the paramilitary personnel and was later released.
The statement, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said the Sindh Rangers had arrested Khan — known as AK-47 on Twitter — on Friday on the basis of "intelligence that he was in contact with a terrorist group".
"The initial investigation has revealed that the suspect has allegedly been in contact with the terrorist group and receiving financial assistance from it," the statement said.
Describing the case as a "clear white-collar crime", the statement added that it was being handed over to relevant authorities for a complete investigation.
"Meanwhile, the suspect has been released after being instructed to cooperate in the future investigation," the statement said.
Later, Khan also confirmed his release on his Twitter.
"I'm back home safe and sound. Thank you everyone for all the help and support you people extended to my lone family in this testing time. I'm truly short of words. Love you all," he tweeted.
Khan has worked as a journalist for different broadcasters in the past, including Geo News, Abb Tak, Business Plus and A-Plus. He has also been active on Twitter and is currently associated with a civil society organisation called Karachi Bachao Tehreek (KBT).
Presently, he is working as a freelance journalist and social media activist.
The news of Khan having gone missing was reported by the media on Friday night, with his friends claiming that he was picked up by law enforcement agencies.
Later, his wife, Ayesha, also said in a video statement shared on social media that “14 to 15 armed Rangers personnel” had entered their house at 4:30am on Friday and allegedly held the family at gunpoint.
She alleged they took away Khan in front of her and their children, and when she asked where her husband was being taken and for what crime, she was told he was being detained for being vocal on social media. In the video, she had urged the institutions concerned to look into the case and help recover her husband.
Ayesha had separately told Dawn.com that she had visited the Clifton police station to register a first information report but officials had refused to do so.
However, Senior Superintendent of Police South, Asad Raza told Dawn.com at the time that Khan's family had not approached them with a complaint and denied that police had detained him.
Various organisations, including the KBT, Karachi Union of Journalists and Amnesty International, had condemned Khan being picked up.