Abducted Pak journalist released in Islamabad

Islamabad: Senior Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan, known for his hard-hitting criticism of the country’s military and other institutions, has been released after he was kidnapped by heavily armed men in Islamabad.

Jan, a freelancer who has worked for numerous local and foreign media outlets, had been bundled into the back of a car around midday outside a school in the capital, where he had come to see his wife.

His apparent abduction prompted a swift outcry from fellow journalists and a campaign to free Jan soon trended on Twitter.

The editor of Pakistan’s leading daily Dawn, Zaffar Abbas, termed the development as “extremely disturbing” and “highly condemnable” and called upon the editors to play their role by airing news of his disappearance.

Jan was taken a day before he was to appear in the country’s top court in a contempt case brought against him after he criticized the court’s verdict in a case involving a top judge, the BBC reported.

Jan’s brother has alleged that the intelligence agencies of Pakistan may be behind his abduction. He said, “CCTV footage shows that there were people in uniform along with others in civilian dress. It shows that the agencies have taken him.”

Freedom of press and security of scribes remain the most neglected aspect in Pakistan, as working journalists continue to suffer forced abductions.

Image courtesy of Matiullah Jan/Twitter

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