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October 21, 1999
Sharief's son seeks US help
C K Arora in Washington
Hasan Sharief, the 22-year-old son of deposed Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharief, has appealed to the United States to help bring international pressure to obtain the release of his father and other members of his family.
''The silence is terrifying,'' he said in a statement from London that was delivered to the House of Representatives International Relations Sub-committee on Asia and the Pacific yesterday.
''I write this statement to urge you, as elected officials in a democratic system, to ask the coup leaders in Pakistan to release the prime minister and his family from illegal detention,'' he said.
He wanted the US to join the Commonwealth ministers in a demand to release the prime minister and his family.
He said there had been no word on the whereabouts of his father, who was put under house arrest after the October 12 coup.
Sharief's son-in-law had also been arrested at his home and documents detailing family businesses seized.
''Communication between family members has been terminated. I myself have been unable, in spite of repeated attempts, to contact any of my family members in Pakistan,'' he added.
''The last whereabouts of the prime minister are unknown, with conflicting reports about his location,'' he said. ''Most recent press articles state he is being held in a jail in Attak, north-west Pakistan. These actions taken against the prime minister and members of his family violate basic human rights.''
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