South Asia

Cleaner wins acclaim after handing in $50,000 cash

Essa Khan
Image caption Mr Khan has been invited to Lahore to receive an award for his good deed

A Pakistani hotel employee has won acclaim after handing in over $50,000 (£33,000) in cash that had been left behind by a guest.

Essa Khan, 51, discovered the money in $100 notes left in the room of a Japanese worker at the Serena Hotel in Gilgit.

Mr Khan, who earns about 21,000 rupees ($235; £153) a month, says he never considered keeping the money.

He has been invited to receive an award from a state governor for his honesty.

"My duty with the hotel and my family upbringing teaches me nothing else," he said.

"Times are hard for everyone, but that doesn't mean we should start stealing and taking things which do not belong to us."


The father-of-five says he hopes the incident will help portray his country in a good light.

The Pakistani government has been riddled with accusations of corruption.

"I want people around the world to know that there are many good people in Pakistan - everybody is not a terrorist here."

Hotel manager Rajid Uddin told the BBC there had been similar instances where lost items had been returned, but none "on this magnitude".

He said the guest had been relieved when the cash was found.

"He was naturally very worried as he wasn't able to figure out where he had lost the money," he said.

Mr Khan said he had already received an award from the hotel, and that Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, had congratulated him and invited him to Lahore for a ceremony.