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Canadians Missing in Pakistan

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  • ummyakoub
    Canadian Arab family claims Pakistan holding relatives Dec 30, 2003 - AFP http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2004
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      Canadian Arab family claims Pakistan holding relatives

      Dec 30, 2003 - AFP

      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?
      tmpl=story&ncid=1502&e=2&u=/afp/20031230/wl_canada_afp/pakistan_attack
      s_canada&sid=81587690

      ISLAMABAD (AFP) - The Canadian family of two people missing since a
      swoop against al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan have filed a law suit here
      to find out whether their relatives are still alive, their lawyer
      said.



      Ahmed Saeed Khadr and his 14-year-old son went missing in Pakistan's
      northwestern tribal belt in early October, their lawyer Hashmat Ali
      Habib said.


      "It is not clear whether Ahmed Saeed Khadr and his son Abdul Karim,
      both Canadian Arab Muslims doing charity work in South Waziristan
      were killed or arrested by authorities in an operation," Habib told a
      press conference at his home.


      Habib said there had been newspaper reports that Ahmed had been
      arrested and his son killed but the family had no information on
      their fate.


      Eight people were killed when Pakistan army commandos besieged a
      suspected al-Qaeda hideout in mud-walled tribal homes in the South
      Waziristan district bordering Afghanistan (news - web sites) on
      October 2.


      Two Pakistani troops were killed and two wounded in the day-long
      gunfight at Angoor Adda, five kilometers (three miles) from the
      Afghan border. Eighteen people were arrested in the operation.


      Habib said he had filed the petition with the Supreme Court on behalf
      of Ahmed's wife Maha Elsamna and daughter Zaynab Khadr requesting
      that the women be allowed to meet their missing family members if
      they were being held so they could arrange legal assistance.


      In an unusual incident, the press conference was interrupted by a
      local administration official who with a police contingent and
      plainclothes cops began removing microphones and documents and
      announced the press conference was over.


      "I have been sent by higher authorities to stop this press
      conference," Islamabad district administration official Asadullah
      Faiz told reporters who protested he had no right to do so.


      "We have secret information that there is some relation with al-
      Qaeda," Faiz said.


      "This family and some other people living with the family have very
      close relations with al-Qaeda," Faiz told annoyed reporters.


      Faiz told the lawyer that he was also considered an al-Qaeda suspect.


      "According to our information you are suspected," Faiz told Habib
      when he protested.


      Ahmad's daughter Zaynab denied any links to terrorist organisations,
      saying the family had been running a non-governmental organisation
      partly funded by the UN to help the poor and destitute of Afghanistan
      and Pakistan.


      But she said the Canadian Embassy in Islamabad had withheld the
      family's passports for the past year without giving any reason. The
      embassy could not immediately be contacted to confirm her statement.


      "We cannot go back to Canada to meet the rest of our family there,"
      Zaynab said.


      She said the female members of the family had escaped to Islamabad
      after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in late 2001. Since then
      they had lived a life in near hiding, helped by local people who
      offered them shelter, food and money.

      She said her father had previously been falsely arrested in Pakistan.

      An official who asked to remain anonymous said Ahmed had been
      arrested in connection with 1995 bomb blast at the Egyptian Embassy
      in Islamabad.

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