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Cape Town - Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a Joburg businessman in Pakistan, with speculation that he may have been arrested by intelligence agents.
Eyewitness News (EWN) reported on Sunday that the Vaal businessman and ANC Meyerton chairman Arshad Ali had been “kidnapped” in Pakistan, while on his way to board a plane to South Africa at the Lahore Airport on Tuesday.
EWN reported he was approached by four men who forced him into a white, double-cab bakkie.
But a source back in South Africa told the Cape Argus on Sunday night he had not been kidnapped, but arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), described as Pakistan’s most important intelligence agency, responsible for national security.
The Federation of American Scientists reports that “the ISI is tasked with collection of foreign and domestic intelligence; co-ordination of intelligence functions of the three military services; surveillance over its cadre, foreigners, the media, politically active segments of Pakistani society, diplomats of other countries accredited to Pakistan and Pakistani diplomats serving outside the country; the interception and monitoring of communications; and the conduct of covert offensive operations”.
The source reported that his mother, in Pakistan, was recently granted a visa to visit South Africa and that Ali had gone to fetch her and accompany her here.
It is understood the family has not received any formal communication from the Pakistani authorities, but the family intends seeking help from the Department of International Relations and Co-operation on Monday.
Ali owns a supermarket and has been involved in charitable feeding schemes in parts of Joburg, the Vaalweekblad reported earlier this month.