PESHAWAR, (AFP)— A Pakistani court on Saturday remanded in custody an American national thought to have been working for a private security company, after he outstayed his Pakistani visa, police said.
The decision comes with relations between Pakistan and the United States deeply strained over the arrest last month of a CIA contractor who shot dead two men in Lahore.
The US embassy in Islamabad identified the man arrested Friday as Aaron Mark DeHaven.
Police said he was taken into custody from Falcon Complex, a residential area in the northwestern city of Peshawar that runs into the lawless tribal belt near the Afghan border.
“The American national was produced in the court, which sent him to jail on 14-day judicial remand,” local police official Hashmat Khan told AFP.
“He will now be produced before the court on March 14,” Khan added.
The decision was confirmed by the public prosecutor in the case, Javaid Khan, who said DeHaven was held under the Foreigners Act.
The purpose of the visit by DeHaven, whose visa expired on October 23, was unclear but a security official told AFP he had been working with private security agency Catalyst in Islamabad.
The punishment for staying in Pakistan illegally is three months’ imprisonment or deportation, police said.
On Friday, Hashmat Khan quoted DeHaven as saying he had travelled to Peshawar to meet a Pakistani girl.
In a statement the US embassy said it was aware of the arrest and was arranging consular access through the Pakistani government.
Pakistani police last month charged CIA contractor Raymond Davis with double murder after he shot dead two men on a busy Lahore street. Washington is pushing for him to be freed, arguing he has diplomatic immunity.