BBC calls on Pakistan government for urgent help to locate missing journalist

The BBC today expressed "serious concern" over the sudden disappearance of one of its reporters Dilawar Khan Wazir in Pakistan and called on the Pakistan government to help locate the missing journalist.

Mr Khan, a Pakistani journalist who has been reporting for the BBC from South Waziristan, went missing from Islamabad on Monday under what the BBC described as “suspicious circumstances”.

The BBC spokesperson said the organisation was seriously concerned about the whereabouts of its reporter. He confirmed that the BBC World Service Director Nigel Chapman had written formally to the Pakistan Interior Ministry to request urgent help in tracing Dilawar Khan Wazir.

Nigel Chapman wrote: “I am seriously concerned about the whereabouts of our reporter and would request your kind help in tracing him at the earliest. I would be very grateful for your support in this matter.”

Dilawar was in the federal capital to visit his younger brother Zulfiqar Ali who is a student at the Islamic University. He was on his way back to his hometown Dera Ismail Khan after seeing his brother. His family hasn’t heard from since then.

Accoring to Zulfiqar, some plain clothes men came to the hostel (of the Islamic University) and told his friends that Dilawar had met an accident and insisted that Zulfiqar should come with them to the hospital. Dilawar’s brother got suspicious and did not accompany them.

When Zulfiqar called on Dilawar’s mobile phone, the call was received by someone who identified himself as Dr. Jamshed. He reportedly asked Zulfiqar to rush to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). “Your brother met an accident near Peer Wadhai and is seriously injured.”

When the BBC checked with PIMS, the local police and other offices in the capital there was no confirmation of any accident involving Dilawar Khan Wazir. When the BBC’s Islamabad correspondent visited the hospital in question there was no trace of Dilawar and no member of the staff by the name of Dr Jamshed.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We are concerned for the safety of Dilawar Khan Wazir. We are investigating this matter with some urgency and are in touch with Pakistani authorities. We expect them to do their utmost in helping us trace our reporter.”

Issued by BBC World Service Press Office

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