The search for missing journalist Imran Riaz Khan took a perplexing turn on Tuesday as key government officials failed to locate him, further prolonging the court proceedings. Secretaries of Defence and Interior, along with the Inspector General Police Punjab, Dr Usman Anwar, informed the Lahore High Court that the cell phones used in the case belonged to Afghanistan, and their capacity to trace them was limited. The journalist, who is a staunch and vocal supporter of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his policies, was arrested by the police on May 11 from Sialkot Airport. The government had swung into action and initiated a crackdown against PTI supporters after the former premier’s arrest from the premises of the Islamabad High Court on May 9 sparked widespread protests and rioting. The anchor was reportedly arrested for allegedly inciting violence during clashes between security forces and PTI supporters. During the court proceedings, Chief Justice LHC Muhammad Ameer Bhatti directly addressed the secretaries and the IGP, seeking an update on the missing journalist. Dr Usman Anwar, taking the rostrum, revealed that despite conducting geo-fencing operations, they were unable to locate any relevant numbers. Following the court’s direction, the authorities met with Imran Riaz Khan’s family members, legal team, and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but they discovered that the numbers associated with the case were from Afghanistan. The IGP informed the court that their current capabilities did not extend to tracing numbers in Afghanistan. In a bid to share further details regarding the foreign numbers and their transcripts, the IGP requested an in-chamber proceeding. However, the court adjourned the proceedings until 12:30pm. Later, during the resumed proceedings, Chief Justice Bhatti conducted the in-chamber hearing, where the IGP provided a detailed briefing on the matter. This closed-door session aimed to shed light on the newly discovered information. The court had previously set a deadline for the IGP to produce Imran Riaz Khan by May 22, stating that “the time has come to take this proceeding to its logical end.” However, despite the given ultimatum, the IGP failed to locate the missing anchorperson. Since then, the IGP has repeatedly been directed to produce the missing journalist, but each attempt has been unsuccessful. The extended search for Imran Riaz Khan, who went missing under mysterious circumstances, has raised concerns about his safety and well-being. The court proceedings have highlighted the challenges faced by authorities in tracing the foreign numbers associated with the case, particularly those from Afghanistan. The limitations in their current tracing capabilities have added complexity to the investigation, leading to frustration and delays.