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Pakistani Government Official Reported Missing Releases Video Statement

A Pakistani government official who was reported missing in Islamabad earlier on November 16 has released a brief video statement in which he claimed he was visiting relatives in the country's northwestern Dera Ismail Khan district.

Muhammad Ayaz Khan, the director of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), failed to show up at home on November 15 after leaving his office.

Muhammad Hassan, Khan's brother-in-law, told RFE/RL on November 16 that Khan's wife had been in mobile-phone contact with her husband until late on November 15 when the device was apparently shut off.

Police also told RFE/RL that Hassan's car was found outside the Islamabad offices of the CDA, which provides municipal services in Pakistani capital.

Later on November 16, Khan released a video message in which he said he was safe and sound and visiting relatives in Dera Ismail Khan district. He said that he had lost his mobile phone and asked that people not spread rumors that he had been abducted or was missing.

However, nothing in the video proves that it was shot in Dera Ismail Khan district, and Khan did not explain how he traveled so far without his car.

Neither Khan's family in Islamabad nor his relatives in Dera Ismail Khan has issued a statement regarding the video.

Islamabad police told RFE/RL they believed Khan was in Dera Ismail Khan, but did not explain the basis for that conclusion.

Khan's reported disappearance comes days after the body of a senior Pakistani police officer, who was reported missing in Islamabad on October 26, was located in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan on November 13.

On November 15, Afghan officials handed over the body of Tahir Khan Dawar to Pakistani authorities at the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan, according to local media reports.

Dawar sent a text message to his wife on October 27 claiming that he was fine and was in the Jehlum district of eastern Pakistan.

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