Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands police probe Briton's disappearance

West Midlands police are investigating the disappearance of a British man in Pakistan, who may have been kidnapped for a ransom.

Mohammed Harris Iqbal, originally from Sparkhill, Birmingham, was seen in the southern Sindh province on 15 September.

The family of the 25-year-old have said they were contacted by kidnappers.

But police in Pakistan have said they believe he has joined an Islamic extremist group.

Mr Iqbal, originally from Sparkhill, Birmingham, was last seen leaving his rented home in the town of Nowshero Feroz.

'Strong evidence'

A statement from West Midlands Police said: "We are aware of the concerns raised by the family of Mohammed Harris Iqbal and his whereabouts.

"We are working with his family and the authorities in Pakistan to support any investigation."

It is still not known whether Mr Iqbal has been kidnapped or if he has disappeared by his own volition.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "British embassy officials in Pakistan are working closely with the Pakistani authorities.

"We are providing consular assistance to the family and we would urge the media not to speculate until we have more information."

'Make the calls'

Speaking from Pakistan, the missing man's father, Iqbal Khan, said the family got in touch with kidnappers when they answered Mr Iqbal's phone on 18 September.

He said his son, who is also known to his family as Ali, was allowed to speak on the phone and kidnappers later called and raised a ransom to 20 million rupees (£280,000).

Mr Khan said the calls were made to his home in Birmingham and the Pakistani police force was monitoring the case.

Police in the Mirpurkhas district have said they have registered the case of kidnapping as reported to them by Mr Khan.

Zulfiqar Maher, from the Pakistani police force, said: "We believe he has gone off with some (Islamic) group and is now getting his friends to make the calls.

"We have strong evidence to back this up, but we can't disclose it to the media at the moment."

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