Journalist Imran Riaz Khan reached home on Monday, according to a statement from Sialkot police. The journalist had been missing since May.
The announcement was made by Sialkot Police’s X account around 5 am on Monday morning.
The statement from the police added that the journalist had reached home.
Khan’s recovery was confirmed by his lawyer Mian Ashfaq as well. The lawyer added that Khan’s release had been delayed due to the weakness of the judiciary.
The journalist had been arrested from Sialkot airport on May 11 as he tried to leave the country, two days after violent protests had broken out across the country in the wake of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest from Islamabad.
However, a statement from the police on May 15 said that the journalist was not in their custody.
The Lahore High Court had recently given IG Punjab his last opportunity to produce Imran Riaz Khan. Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti had remarked that he had been tolerating the IG’s excuses for five months.
‘Traumatised Riaz cannot speak properly’
Riaz’s lawyer Ali Ashfaq told BBC Urdu that he had a long meeting of three hours with his client after his recovery. Ashfaq claimed that Riaz’s mental and physical condition was “not very good”.
“He is traumatised and has lost a lot of weight in the last four months. He cannot even speak properly at this time even he has difficulty in explaining and completing sentences,” the lawyer said.
The lawyer went on to add that he would consult doctors and conduct necessary medical tests for his treatment and improve his mental health.
“I think the entire process may take at least three to four months. Only when he recovers fully will legal matters be taken forward by following his instructions,” Ashfaq said.
Moreover, the family of Riaz told the British media outlet that the Sialkot police officials reached the journalist’s house at the Millat Tractors Society in Lahore at 5am on Monday and handed over Riaz to his family.
They added that the police also received a “receipt” from the family that Riaz had “safely” reached home. But the police did not say how Riaz reached them.