Translation by Fazal Amin Beg
Here I present the English translation of the last Urdu message of Imran Riaz Khan, a highly regarded and renowned journalist and anchorperson of Pakistan. On May 11, 2023, he was unlawfully arrested at an international airport in Pakistan after getting his boarding pass to travel towards a Gulf country. Without any legal basis, he is then handed to thePunjab police and a fake case is made then sent to the Sialkot Jail. While spending 18 hours in the prison, against the protocol and law, he is handed over to some veiled personnel of the secret agencies at mid-night. Since then, there is no trace of him and he is missing unfortunately. Despite the fact the Chief Justice of Lahore High court, the legal team members and the suffered family members of Imran Riaz Khan have been struggling from the legal front to recover and release him, there is no progress so far in ten days. Thre thus seems a malicious nexus of the Punjab police and the personnel of the secret agencies.
All those connected with the Human Rights bodies at international and regional scales are requested to kindly raise your robust voices for the recovery of Imran Riaz Khan. His family members are so much concerned as the English translation of their earnest messages are also shared below the message of Imran Riaz.
In the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful
Greetings to all viewers: You are watching the YouTube channel. I am Imran Khan. Continue watching the youTube channel. In this connection, I was arrested. I will put all the situations before you. While watching this video, I will then have been arrested. If you don’t watch this video, I might not have been arrested. What are the causes of the arrest? I will elaborate it to you.
When the Regime Change Operation was made [in Pakistan in April 2022], since then I have been continuously providing you the news updates. I lost my employment four times. Many times I was intimidated. Many times I was reminded of the dangerous consequences. I was called over and I met with the related people [referring to the secret agencies, especially the personnel of InterServices Intellegence or ISI]. They would then tell me the strange things.They tried on different fronts to convince me by assuring that the (forged) cases suited against me will be terminated. The issue of my employment will be resolved. But in turn, I should change my stance [they conditionalized]. I however didn’t change my stance since the Regime Change Operation. Consequently, I have come across the punishment.
Behind the wall of my house, where my parents room is located, someone was brought, beaten up and shooted with bullets .he would scream and cry. This [criminal act] they did in order to terrorize my family members at home. Sometimes, they would send drones in my home. Sometimes, they would employ the heavy machines to destroy my house. All our businesses were closed down. My brothers were harassed. I was harassed. My family was harassed. I was threatened that my family will be murdered.
Well, when Chairman Imran Khan was arrested [on May 9, 2023], I had my plan to go out of Pakistan but I then cancelled it with a hope that the situations in the country would get improved and I will then go out of the country. Instead of allowing me to give the coverage of the situations and permit to speak on the states of affairs on the ground, conversely the Internet services in the country was restricted. For the last two days, I have been roaming at various places in the area in order to record my videos. Sometimes, I would go somewhere, and sometimes in other places to upload the videos. There is thus no availability of Internet services and in a grave situation we have been managing our tasks.
The reason [further] behind [leaving the country] therefore is so dangerous that attacks are made on our houses. My colleagues and myself have been facing this unfortunate situation frequently. My family members are being harassed constantly . For the purpose of arresting me, twice my house has been encircled and entrapped. Earlier, I didn’t share these situations with you [the viewers] because there were many other important news to be shared with you.
According to the information I have received, the orders are being made from Raivand [House of Nawaz Sharif in Lahore]that at any cost I should be arrested.
In pakistan, the social media has already been restricted. So, rest of the voices that are still proactive should be stopped and the right of the speakers should be seized. But, I like to speak.I like to share the information, as I cannot participate physically in the situations. Instead, I offer my analysis.I provide the information and I have my own standpoint against the Regime change Operation. I have my own stance about the decisions made in the closed doors:against the involvement of the Establishment in politics. I amd therefore paid with the punishment. I have thus been facing the bitter realities constantly for the last one year. God forbid, no one should get encountered with such situations.
Let me clarify one thing here again, as I had already stated some days earlier. The politicians haven’t got such power or limit to restrict the land for its people. They cannot do so. But, at this time, the interests of both the Establishment and politicians fuse together. That is why they take fully care of each other. They respect the wishes of each other. The politicians have also become facilitators. For instance, it is an old tradition that those politicians who don’t agree or like your opinions, they opt to crush you. Though, they don’t possess the required capacity to deliver it, because, at present, the [Military] Establishment and the Government have their interrelationships, they have come to such position for the time being. I still [firmly] stand on my viewpoint that if the Establishment will remove itself from the alliance, the people in the Government cannot do anything. If the Establishment remains neutral, those people [in the Government] cannot do anything.
Now, look at the causes of my arrest. I was arrested at the Sialkot Airport as I was leaving for Oman. Why was I going to fly for this country? First, uploading the videos here in Pakistan has become so challenging. The police and other people [personnel of secret agencies] have been persuading us. There are some other people of the law enforcement agencies [ISI]that are not in uniform and are chasing us. Different categories of people have been following us everywhere. Wherever I have been, Those people have been meticulously monitoring and smelling [my foot prints].
I am not arrested yet while recording this video and those who are listening the video [Live]. From Sialkot, I am going to fly for Omon and then I will be arrested. And the reason is so obvious:I like to express my viewpoints. I wlike to talk. When I consulted my team members, my other friends, and many other people, they advised me to speak on and it is very important to continue speaking on the issues instead of physical appearance ]somewhere in the gathering]. [They said: “Because, in this way, through you, the information gets communicated to the people. Therefore, for the sake of getting news and information updates, it is important to speak on the issues. If the grave situations regarding restriction on the Internet continues, or if you are arrested, you won’t be able to speak on.” Or it is also possible that some people will make propaganda that in order to avoid the arrest, I have fled the country. This will be made by those whose leader [i.ge., Nawaz Sharif]has fled the country and with a fear he doesn’t come back,despite the fact there is his brother’s Government in Pakistan. But he doesn’t dare to make his return .
As for avoiding the arrest, last time, when I was caught at the Islamabad Airport, I had asked the personnel of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) myself if they like to arrest me? In turn, I was then arrested. I had never resisted in anyway. Instead, I cooperated with them and joined the personnel. The FIA officials will witness it to you. Besides, when the police came to arrest me, the official to whom I had surrendered myself, despite the fact I had the bail present with me and the Islamabad High Court had ordered not to arrest me.Nevertheless, I was then arrested. When I was detained, the concerned police official will tell you as a witness where he said to me: “You showed your strong courage and bravery to surrender.” He said that they had the apprehension that you might lock the car as I had an armored car with me. If I had locked myself in the car, the police officials could not take me out of it. There was this risk factor that the people would gather there and a big drama would have emerged.
It should be noted that there is no issue of surrendering myself [to the police]. If you are watching this video, I might have been arrested again. The stance I had yesterday, that is the same today. I cannot drift aside from my stance because this is pertaining to the issue of my country. It is the people of the country who have to decide for their fate. The decision of 230 million people cannot be made by the few brains of people behind the closed door. No matter at what level they are intelligent, they cannot compete the collective knowledge of 230 million people.
In short, the only solution to the grand issue of Pakistan is by holding the election. For whatever time I am in the prison, you won’t be able to listen my voice. It was for this reason to save my voice and leave out of Pakistan. It was exactly the same way as Shaheed Arshad Sharif had gone. He was also mere avoiding his arrest so his voice must not be stopped. He thus continued his speech . You might rmember that during his death days, the senior military officers including dg ISPR (Director General InterServices Public Relations) and DG ISI (Director General, InterServices Intellegence)had held their joint press conference where they said that if they had opted to restrict travel [of Shaheed Arshad Sharif), he would have not gone out of Pakistan. [Logically], I cannot go abroad now and you need to understand that they [DG ISI] won’t like me to go out and therefore could not travel out now.
I am a journalist and freedom of speech is my right. Till today, I haven’t said a sentence (illegally) for which these people could take any legal action against me. Whatever I have said, they are within the ambit of the law and constitution [of the land]. In this regard, whether or not my talk or speech suits some people it is up to them. Up to yesterday, my language suited some people and today it doesn’t favor them. Today, it suits the people of Tehrik-e Insaf and they are happy. It is possible tomorrow my speech won’t be suitable to them and they would be angry with me. Such phenomena continue but the right of speech of the journalists should not cease.
Sometimes earlier, I had spoken somewhere [in a gathering) that the fire will catch the house of all of you. It has reach to our house and it has devastated our lives. We have become targeted and also my family. The time has come to a phase where I was leaving Pakistan and I was arrested.
Keep in mind I had gone out of Pakistan thrice. Recently, I had paid pilgrimage [in Saudi Arabia], and thanks God. All my family advised me not to come to Pakistan but I returned [neglecting their advice].When I was in Dubai, all my family asked me to stay there and should not come to Pakistan but I returned, again. I had gone outside Pakistan in October, you might rmember Ms. Uzma Bukhari [a female journalist on television) had made fun of me.Likewise, Mubashir Luqman, who has been a friend of mine and he also made fun of me that why did I run out of Pakistan. I had two days assignment and I returned [instanlly]. After my arrival in Pakistan, they had to face the humiliation.
I am not absconding somewhere and all of you knowe it well. I cannot live without Pakistan. I cannot survive without this country. The only reason is I like to speak as late Arshad Shaheed liked to speak. As far as I am alive, I would like to talk. When I am outside, I would speak. When I am released, I will speak on, again. Though, I have been arrested, pray that God confers me with life and once I am freed, you will then listen me. If you like to listen my voice, I will then request you all, especially my mothers, sisters and all women, to pray for me. This is a difficult time in my life but let’s hope for the best.This time will also hopefully pass on.
Thanks a lot!
Source: Imran Riaz Khan YouTube Channel
When there came up a high level of insensitivity and ignorance by the related public servants within the law enforcement agencies, the family members of Imran Riaz Khan are seen so much in a trouble. In this regard, wife of Imran Riaz Kahn is seen to come in the media and appeals the whole nation to raise their genuine and strong voices in favor of her husband who has been abducted bythe the unknown people. Please read her message below that I have translated in English for the international audience.
Greetings Pakistan: Imran Riaz Khan, a well-known and accepted voice and name of Pakistan, the most listened voice in journalism! I am Mrs. Imran Riaz Khan. For the last five days, we don’t know anything about Imran.
The way Imran has raised his voice for Pakistan and Pakistanis during his last fifteen years of journalism commitment and has been to the most difficult areas of the country for the reporting purpose, they are not hidden from anyone. These days, the way his family members, friends and companions have gone in great trouble and anxiety , God forbid and should not bring such situation even to the enemies. The parents of Imran have taught him to speak the truth. He therefore has always raised his voice against corruption and the corrupt elements. He has raised his voice against the inhuman treatement.
I appeal Pakistan, the mothers, sisters and brothers in Pakistan to pray for the release of Imran. I am grateful to all of you , the way you chorused your voices with us for the last five days. We do trust our honorable judges and the team of lawyers. The way the case is being processed in the court of law, we do have confidence on them. We do anticipate and have full trust for the justice from them as we have knocked the door of the High Court. The next 48 hours are very important for usas the Court has given this timeframe for us. May God bless Imran and those people present him in the court safely and that Imran is with us.
I have the only request from the mothers, sisters and brothers of our nation and the journalist friends of Imran to raise their voices as the next 48 hours are very important for us, for Imran’s children and his parents.
Source of the Request of Mrs. Imran Riaz Khan to Pakistani Nation: Capital TV
In a situation, where the legal system takes its weak position or otherwise and the notion is “Might is Right” prevails, all individuals become concerned about their survival . No family could then be spared when people start living in a banana republic. We could witness that how Mr. Muhammad Riaz, the compassionate father of Imran Riaz Khan, comes forward and expresses his heart in a serious compulsion. It is so much touching, indeed. He says:
“It was the fault of my father who taught me to tell the truth. The same trait of telling the truth I transferred to my children. If it is a crime, it is mine and I should then be hanged. I cannot tell him to stop telling the truth. How could I tell him that I taught him for the whole life?”
Source of the video clip: Capital TV
Similarly, one of the brothers of Imran Riaz Khan named Usman Riaz Khan shows his concern and requests the public to raise their voices for the release of his brother from the clunches of the beasts apparently in human forms.
Greetings! I am Usman Riaz Khan. Imran Riaz Khan is disappeared for the last three days. He was arrested from Sialkot Airport. My parents and I have appeal from the whole nation to kindly raise your voice for him. The way he was raising your voices, the time has come to raise your voices for him now. Please post more and more on the social media. As much as you can, please raise your voices. Many many thanks.
Source of the video clip: Capital TV
Note: An article on the issue has already been published on FAZALAMIN.COM and could be accessed and read on the following link here:
The unlawful Arrest, mysterious Abduction and tragic Disappearance: last Video Messages of Imran Riaz Khan, a renowned and candid Pakistani Journalist