Victim Support head denies allegations about gun threats during Pakistan visit

Javed Khan rejects newspaper claims that he used a group of armed men to threaten rivals during a dispute involving family members

Javed Khan
Javed Khan

Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, has denied allegations that he used a group of men armed with automatic weapons to threaten rivals during a dispute involving members of his family in Pakistan.

Khan issued a statement rejecting claims made in the Mail on Sunday newspaper that shots were fired and local people threatened when he arrived in the village of Haveli Baghal in Kashmir with about eight men last week.

The charity’s trustees have issued a statement saying they were "making further enquiries as a matter of urgency".

Khan said the allegations were "either false or a gross distortion of the truth". In a personal statement he said his family had been victims of a property dispute and he was with a group of people who "supervised the demolition of an illegally erected wall on our land. However, we were acting in accordance with a written authority given to us by the proper local government officials".

He said he had visited a local police station several hours after the incident to accept an apology from the other party, who had been arrested for their actions and was in custody.

"At no point was I under police investigation for my conduct," he said.

"I believe these false allegations were made in response to the authorities ruling in favour of my family in relation to this property dispute and I will be seeking legal advice in relation to them."

The Mail on Sunday story quoted a local police inspector who said the row had been resolved with a wall erected on the correct boundary.  Both sides accused the other of brandishing guns, the inspector said, but police did not see any firearms. "In this area, it is the custom that everyone shows guns in disputes," the inspector said.

Enid Rowlands, chair of Victim Support, said in a statement that the trustees were making urgent inquiries into the allegations.

"I would like to reassure everyone involved in the important work of our charity, including our staff and volunteers, that we remain entirely focused on delivering our much-needed services to victims and witnesses of crime," she said.

Khan is due to leave Victim Support in April to join Barnardo’s as chief executive.

A spokeswoman for the children’s charity said: "We are aware of these reports and are in contact with Victim Support."

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