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Senior journalist Matiullah Jan kidnapped, released

By our correspondents
July 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prominent journalist Matiullah Jan was kidnapped in broad daylight on Tuesday when he arrived at a school located in G/6-1 in the Federal capital to drop his wife where she is a teacher.

However, he returned home safe and sound at night. It was less than one minute operation when the captors, riding seven vehicles, stormed into a street in front of a NAB office located in Melody Market and cordoned off the main gate of the school in the morning, where Matiullah dropped his wife and was ready to leave towards exit way.

Matiullah after anticipating the danger came out his car and threw his mobile phone in the premises of the school, but two people wearing police uniform, rushed to the main gate and asked ladies in the school to give them the mobile phone who handed over the phone to them.

The wife of Matiullah Jaan has lodged a complaint with the Aabpara Police Station.

Late in the night, some unknown people dropped Matiullah Jan in an area of Fateh Jang from where he was brought back home.

The recovery was made after PM Imran Khan spoke to his Adviser on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on phone and asked him to take all possible measures to ensure quick recovery of Matiullah Jan.

Earlier, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that it is the government’s responsibility to safely recover kidnapped journalist Matiullah Jan.

Faraz, while addressing a press conference, said that he spoke to Interior Minister Brig (R) Ijaz Shah about the incident and that “it was confirmed that he has been kidnapped”.

Ijaz Shah said he has no information regarding the disappearance of Matiullah Jan.

“Have no clue (about senior journalist Matiullah Jan’s alleged abduction),” he said, responding to Geo News’ query seeking updates on journalist’s abduction.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered immediate release of the abducted journalist.

The IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the orders after Matiullah Jan’s brother filed a complaint. Notices have been issued to the interior secretary, and Islamabad’s chief commissioner and inspector general of police (IGP) to respond in the matter. “If he is not recovered by tomorrow (Wednesday), the respondents must appear in person before the court,” said the order.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said she had been informed of the kidnapping. “Have taken note and spoken to the IG Islamabad who informed me they are looking into it. Very disturbing,” she said.

Earlier in the day, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that Jan’s family has reported him missing.

The International Press Institute (IPI) also expressed outrage at the incident.

Amnesty International South Asia, also expressed concern about the “fate and wellbeing” of Matiullah Jan.

The PML-N also condemned the abduction of the journalist.

The PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif earlier said in case of harm to the journalist, the government will be held responsible.

“Matiullah Jan was constantly making efforts for the freedom of the press,” PML-N stalwart Khawaja Asif said.

The PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he is “extremely concerned” at the news of Matiullah Jan’s abduction.

Opposition parties in the National Assembly also staged a symbolic walkout from the National Assembly against abduction of the veteran journalist.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) urged the federal government to take urgent measures for the release of Matiullah Jan.

Sindh Bar Council and Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights also strongly condemned the kidnapping of the prominent journalist.