Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Briton goes missing in Pakistan

Police are investigating the disappearance of Mohammed Harris Iqbal in Pakistan

Detectives in the UK are investigating the disappearance of a 25-year-old Briton in Pakistan, police said.

Mohammed Harris Iqbal was last seen leaving his rented home in the country's southern Sindh province on September 15 and it is believed he may have been kidnapped for a ransom.

West Midlands Police are working with their colleagues in Pakistan to find Mr Iqbal, who is originally from Sparkhill, Birmingham.

A statement from the force said: "We are aware of the concerns raised by the family of Mohammed Harris Iqbal and his whereabouts. We are working with his family and the authorities in Pakistan to support any investigation."

It is still not known whether Mr Iqbal has been kidnapped or if he has disappeared by his own volition.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "British embassy officials in Pakistan are working closely with the Pakistani authorities. We are providing consular assistance to the family and we would urge the media not to speculate until we have more information."

Speaking from Pakistan, the British national's father Iqbal Khan told the BBC: "We had been trying to get in touch as nobody had seen him since the 15th. My daughter, who was trying his cell phone, finally got through, but a stranger answered.

"He said 'We have your son and you must pay us 10 million rupees (£140,000) in ransom'."

Mr Khan said his son had been beaten and had begged for help after being allowed to speak on the phone to his mother. He added the kidnappers called again and raised the ransom to 20 million rupees (£280,000).

Mr Khan said his son, a business student, had travelled to Pakistan to set up a company in the country and had been looking for potential opportunities.

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