Pak court remands American to 14 day judicial custody

Peshawar: A Pakistani court on Saturday remanded an American security contractor, arrested in this northwestern city for not possessing valid travel documents, to judicial custody for 14 days.

Aaron Mark DeHaven, described in media reports as a security contractor, was arrested by security agencies yesterday and booked under the Foreigners Act for illegally residing in Pakistan after his visa expired in October last year.

DeHaven was brought to court in an armoured vehicle amidst tight security.

He was sent to the central jail after the court remanded him to judicial custody.

In a brief statement, the US Embassy in Islamabad said consular representatives had met with DeHaven.

"We appreciate the cooperation of the Pakistani authorities and respect the Pakistani legal process," the statement said.

DeHaven came to Pakistan on a business visa and had made some investments in the country, officials said.

He had no connection with any NGO and was running his own business, they said.

He was detained in the posh University Town area of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Reports said his firm, Catalyst Services, offered services like secure residences, protective surveillance and armed security.

They also said that Dehaven was married to a Pakistani woman.

The development comes at a time when US-Pakistan relations have plunged to a new low over the arrest of CIA contractor Raymond Davis after he shot and killed two armed men in Lahore last month.

Earlier, in Washington, the State Department said the US is arranging through Pakistan government consular access to DeHaven.

"We`ve seen reports that Aaron Mark Dehaven has been detained by police in Peshawar, and we are arranging consular access through the Government of Pakistan," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters.

Crowley said he had no other information about Dehaven.