Published: Sun, October 22, 2017
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Rights activists, media persons welcome return of abducted Pakistani woman journalist

Rights activists, media persons welcome return of abducted Pakistani woman journalist

She was recovered on Wednesday night from near the Pakistan-Afghan border, Iqbal said.

Shahzadi, who had spoken up against the disappearance of people, went missing in August 2015 while on the trail of an Indian citizen Hamid Ansari who, it was reported, had been caught by Pakistani agencies. "I am thrilled that she is home safe".

Reportedly, Zeenat was kidnapped by some unidentified men in a populated locality of Lahore on August 19, 2015, on her way to work.

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Soon afterwards, Shahzadi was allegedly detained by security agencies and questioned about Hamid.

He was later sentenced to three years' imprisonment by a military court on charges of illegally entering Pakistan and "spying". She was due to appear before the Commission for Missing Persons the next day. "I don't even know what what condition she was in for the past two years and what she might have gone through", Ms. Ansari said.

Zeenat Shahzadi, 26 years old, worked as a reporter in Daily Nai Khaber and Metro News TV. She had filed an application with the Supreme Court's Human Rights Cell on behalf of Fauzia Ansari, Hamid Ansari's mother. Fauzia was happy to hear the news of Zeenat being rescued, she said,"I was asked earlier that between Zeenat and my son whom I would want to be released first and I had said Zeenat". "She first obtained all the details about Hamid's case and confirmed that his intentions were not mala fide, though he did try to enter Pakistan illegally".

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Though the commission has blamed "non-state actors", Pakistan's ISI is notorious for targeting journalist and activists.

The family of Zeenat was devastated after her kidnapping by intelligencve agencies.

Shahzadi's family suffered a tragedy in March 2016 when her teenaged brother, distraught over her kidnapping, hanged himself. "In addition to the missing persons' crisis, Pakistan ranks sixth in the Committee to Protect Journalists' list of the 20 deadliest countries for journalists in the world, and as the ninth worst country in the world for impunity for crimes against journalists", it said.

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