KARACHI: Journalist and social media activist Arsalan Khan was released by Rangers in the small hours of Saturday.

Mr Khan took to twitter after his release and posted: “I’m back home safe & sound. Thank you everyone for all the help & support you people extended to my lone family in this testing time. I’m truly short of words. Love you all.”

Confirming the detention of Mr Khan, the paramilitary force said in a statement that he was detained from his Clifton apartment over suspicion of having links with a ‘terrorist group’.

Mr Khan, who had worked with different television channels, was taken into custody early on Friday morning, but no law enforcement agency had acknowledged his arrest. Hence, his ‘abduction’ provoked an outcry on social media with local and international human rights organisations calling it a serious violation of freedom of expression and demanded his immediate release.

A Rangers spokesperson said in the statement issued in the early hours of Saturday morning: “Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) carried out an intelligence-based action in Karachi’s Clifton area on June 24 and arrested Mohammed Amir Arsalan Khan alias ‘AK-47’ on the basis of his links with a terrorist group.”

Without naming the group, the statement claimed: “During initial probe, the held suspect revealed taking financial assistance from the said terror group and his association with it.”

The paramilitary force said that the activist’s case would be transferred to ‘relevant authorities’ for a fully fledged inquiry against his alleged involvement in a ‘white-collar crime’.

“In the meantime, the suspect has been released with a ‘warning’ to cooperate in future with the investigation about the alleged white-collar crime,” the statement said.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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