US asks access to detained designer in Pakistan

The United States demanded on Tuesday that Pakistan allow a well-known fashion designer with dual citizenship who was detained after a wave of protests access to the consulate.

According to the State Department, its diplomats have not been able to speak with Khadija Shah, the creator of the upscale clothing line Elan, who was brought before an anti-terrorism court as a result of protests over the detention of former prime minister Imran Khan on May 9.

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“We have asked Pakistani officials for consular access to her,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters, confirming Shah’s dual nationality.

He indicated that more US citizens have been arrested.

“Whenever a US citizen is arrested overseas, we stand ready to provide all appropriate assistance and we expect Pakistani authorities to respect all fair-trial guarantees owed to these detainees,” Patel said.

Shah’s family reported that she participated in peaceful demonstrations on May 9.
Some protesters accused the powerful military of plotting to undermine Khan, who was detained on suspicion of corruption.

Shah’s relatives said that she voluntarily attended a police investigation before being detained. Her face was concealed when she appeared in a counterterrorism court.

Since the Supreme Court ruled that Khan’s detention was unlawful and freed him, thousands of people, including grassroots followers and important Khan associates, have been arrested.

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