Pakistani national says he wants ‘US safe’


Afp May 19, 2010

SANTIAGO: Pakistani national Saifur Rehman Khan who was briefly detained after trace explosives were detected on him at the US embassy in Chile, staunchly denied on Tuesday the explosives charge lodged against him.

“I have friends and family in the United States of America and more than anyone I want America to be safe and secure. I have been to the US and I greatly admire the American values of true, justice and freedom,” Khan said in a statement issued in English. “I can fully understand the panic and fear and the reaction from authorities on Monday 10th of May. But, as my defence pleaded, that appears to have stemmed from a false alarm,” he stressed. “Please, have your trust in me.

I have no knowledge of any substance that can cause harm to anyone. I wish the perpetrators of violence are caught.” According to the suspect, the case owes to “a big misunderstanding stemming from a mistaken identity.” Khan read the statement outside the prosecutor’s office, and did not take questions from reporters. Khan was charged on Saturday with possession of illegal explosives, and was set free pending the investigation. He is barred from leaving Chile and must check in with a judge every two weeks, a court source said.

The 28-year-old had been detained for five days under Chile’s anti-terror law after officials detected traces of TNT on him when he visited the US embassy in Santiago. But he was not charged with violating the anti-terror law on Saturday. The Santiago hotel intern had gone to the embassy after being called in for a meeting about his US visa, which had been revoked. As he went through a security check, embassy officials discovered traces of a TNT explosive on his hands, cell phone, bag and documents.

Khan was detained a week after the arrest of a naturalised US citizen born in Pakistan, who US authorities accuse of having planted a car bomb on May 1 in New York’s Times Square. It failed to explode, and Faisal Shahzad was arrested as he tried to leave the United States on a flight to Dubai.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 20th, 2010.

COMMENTS (4)

Tanvir Khalid | 12 years ago | Reply Sir, I am a mermoderate Muslim from Pakistan. There is a lot of hate and anti-Islamic propaganda against Islam and Pakistan in Germany, and Belgium. Germany is now a very good friend of India, whereas Pakistan is consisdered to be a Taliban-like state. See more in the Web editon of www.welt.de. You would find a lot of anti-Islamic propaganda. The newspapers are inciting hate against the Muslims. The state prosecutor does nothing in Germany. The suppression of Muslims have begun in Europe. They talk about the human rights and democracy, but there are no 100% democracies in the Western countries. The Letters to the editors written by the Muslims (you can see from the names) are in most case withheld. Unfortunately our embassy in Berlin does not have competent staff.
Zulfiqar Haider | 12 years ago | Reply It must have a big relief for the parents of this guy and of course for Pakistanis as well. We need to improve our image in the whole world and such incidents simply hamper our efforts towards a better future.
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