A Mumbai engineer who went for employment to Afghanistan and is missing for the past 20 months, may be somewhere in Pakistan, his family said on Tuesday.
The Kohat police in Karak region of Pakistan has now revealed that they had arrested Hamid N Ansari (27, then), from a bus station.
This information was provided by investigating Officer Gulzaman Khattak and confirmed by a senior official Farid Ahmed Khan, said Vile Parle Congress legislator Krishna Hegde who has been pursuing the matter with the central government.
“With the confirmation of Ansari’s presence in Pakistan, probably under detention somewhere, the situation is now clearer as till now we were in complete dark on his whereabouts,” said Hegde.
An engineering and management graduate from Andheri, Ansari had gone to Afghanistan Nov 4, 2012, on a three-month tourist visa for job prospects in the aviation sector.
For a week, he remained in touch with his banker father Nehal, college professor Fauzia and dentist brother Khalid. Then, he suddenly disappeared, raising apprehensions that he may have been kidnapped by some extremist group or arrested for illegally entering Pakistan.
Subsequently, some of his Facebook contacts learnt he had crossed the Afghanistan border into Pakistan Nov 12 that year.
Ansari had befriended a journalist through Facebook who put Hamid up at Motel Palhashan in Kohat area from where he went missing. All efforts to trace him remained futile — till now, Hegde said.
After a series of communications with the central government and diplomatic officials and the courts in India and Pakistan, a ray of hope has emerged for the distraught family.
The Peshawar High Court, Pakistan, admitted an appeal by Zeenat Shehzadi, power of attorney holder for Fauzia Ansari (Hamid’s mother) for a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.
On the directions of the Pakistan Supreme Court, the Peshawar High Court sought the report from the JIT, in which the first breakthrough of Ansari’s arrest from near the Kohat bus stand was made.
The next date of hearing in Peshawar High Court is scheduled Sep 9, where the JIT report will be submitted after which Ansari’s exact whereabouts shall be known, Hegde said.
His other friends on the social networking site had earlier indicated that Ansari reportedly tried to help a Pakistani girl avoid getting married against her wishes in Kohat in the Karak region of that country.