agents pick up physician
the same day when the US authorities in their own country arrested
hundreds of Iranian citizens who had turned up to comply with the
INS regulations, the FBI was accused of picking up a physician and
his eight family members from their residence in Pakistan, apparently
with the compliance of the local authorities. The incident invoked
strong protest as an outrage against the sovereignty of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister denied the involvement of foreign agencies in
the raid, and a committee was set up for inquiry into the matter.
FBI agents pick up physician, eight family members
Dawn, Karachi. Friday, December 20,
LAHORE, Dec 19: The US, FBI agents and local law enforcers
picked up a physician and his eight family members from their residence
in Manawan on Thursday.
Those arrested are Dr Ahmad Javed Khawaja, his sons
Dr Omar Karar and Dr Khizar Ali, his brothers Ahmad Naveed Khawaja
and Ahmad Nadeem Khawaja, nephews Usman, Ali and Hassan and, uncle
The physician and his two sons also hold the US nationality,
while one of his brothers and a nephew have Canadian passports.
Rubina Omar, Dr Omar's wife, and her mother Mrs Saeed
said the family members woke up when they heard gunshots, shouts
and screams at around 2:30am. "We thought some robbers had
Danish Khan, a night watchman, said he saw people
in uniforms scaling the outer walls. "They hit me in the head
with pistol butts when I raised an alarm," he said and added
the intruders gave him a thrashing but in the meantime the family
members opened fire which was retaliated by the law enforcers.
"We are here just for your safety as we have
got information that some criminals had broken into the house,"
Rubina quoted the law enforcers as repeatedly saying after they
had trespassed the house and managed their entry into the rooms.
She said all the men in uniforms stayed outside the
rooms and only people in plainclothes and three policewomen came
inside and started a search. She added one of the plain-clothesmen
was a foreigner and the other seemed to be men from local intelligence
"There were other foreigners too outside the
rooms as I heard speaking them in English." They did not tell
the family that what were they searching for, she said.
Rubina said the plainclothesmen made a thorough search
of all belongings of the three families residing in the house. "They
collected everything they found like notebooks, phone index, cell
phones, four computers, all floppy discs and CDs, cash and jewellery."
She said the law enforcers lined up all the male family
members and chained them. All the women were taken to a room and
the policewomen conducted their body search, she added.
Zunaira Imtiaz, another family member sitting beside
Rubina, said the law enforcers bundled all the male family members
in police vans- and drove them away.
Marghoob Ahmad Mir, a brother-in-law of the physician,
denied that the doctor or his family members had any links to Al
Qaeda, Jihadi groups or any other religious outfit.
However, he admitted that the physician was a. religious
man and had been visiting Afghanistan during its Soviet occupation.
He visited there several times to help the war victims,
To a query, Rubina said Dr Javed once visited Afghanistan
after 9/11 in Oct 2001 and had taken a truckload of medicines for
the war victims. However, Mr Marghoob was quick to intervene and
claimed that the physician had not succeeded in entering Afghanistan
and returned from border. Later, he said, the doctor distributed
the medicines among Afghans at refugee camps in Peshawar.
To another question, Mr Marghoob said the physician
did his MD (Doctor of Medicine) and specialisation in gastroenterology
from America and spent there around 10 years. He returned to Pakistan
in 1983 and since then he was running a clinic dose to his house
and had been treating patients free of cost. It was also confirmed
by neighbours and residents who said the doctor never charged even
a penny from any patient.
He said contacts had been made with the authorities
through a bureaucrat, who happened to be a dose relative of the
physician, in Islamabad. "They have assured us that six of
the arrested men would be released on Friday (today).
The doctors' wife did not come to meet this reporter
but sent a message through a family member which reads: "Why
the authorities treated us like criminals. This is just a shameful
act. The government like terrorists is doing unlawful acts just
to please the foreigners. This is sheer violation of the law and
the human rights." "If someone is wanted in any case he
could be asked to appear for investigation and what is there to
harass people and trespassing their houses like criminals?"
On the other hand, there was no official word on the
issue. Spokesmen for the police and the Punjab government officials
kept on saying that they were preparing a statement whenever they
were contacted but nothing was there till the filing of this report
Source: Dawn, Karachi.
Friday, December 20, 2002
Back to Top
Search the Republic of Rumi