Security officials detained a man of Belgian-Pakistani parentage outside the Belgian embassy after finding ten knives in his backpack. The man told the officials he was keeping them for kitchen use.
However, he was detained by the security guards and was later handed over to the police for questioning. The Kohsar police said Malik Asad, the detained man, did not seem to be of sound mind. He was booked for carrying knives without permission.
His relatives reached the police station and had him released on bail. A police officer, asking not to be named, said Asad went to the embassy seeking assistance in returning to Belgium.
“It appears he had bankrupted himself and was denied assistance by his relatives as well,” said the officer, adding that Asad was advised by his relatives to contact the Belgian embassy for financial help. His father, a Belgian national, is under medical treatment in Brussels.
Asad’s mother — a Belgian — left him and his father sometime back. His father was later hospitalised and is being treated for free as Belgium has a universal healthcare system for its citizens.
Asad claims he came to Pakistan to meet his father’s relatives, said the police officer, who did not know the exact date of his entry. “He had a Pakistani National Identity Card with him but we are assuming that he is a Belgian national because of both his parents,” said the police officer.
“We could not establish any criminal intent,” said the police officer, adding that they weren’t sure why he was carrying knives on him.
Belgian embassy officials in Islamabad categorically refused Asad assistance and implied that he may not be Belgian. “He will have to sort out his own way back to Belgium. He is not our problem,” said a police officer quoting senior embassy officials.
The police said the man was released as possession of illegal knives was a bailable offence and Asad was not required for further investigations as he was not found to be involved in any prior criminal activity.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2012.