21 Oct 2017/Saturday
Zeenat Shahzadi, a 24-year-old female journalist who was investigating a disappearance case of a Indian national named Hamid Ansari, was allegedly abducted by some armed personnel on 19 August 2015 and went missing. Through social media, Zeenat had managed to get in touch with the mother of Hamid who had gone missing in Pakistan.Pointing out that non-state actors and enemy agencies had kidnapped Zeenat and that she was recovered from them, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, head of Pakistan’s missing persons commission, said on Friday, “Tribal elders in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa played an important role in her recovery on Wednesday night from near the Pak-Af border.However, no statement has yet been received regarding the recovery of Zeenat Shahzadi from herself or her family.
Pakistan ISI has been regularly suspected of targeting and eliminating journalist/activists. As per reports of Amnesty International 40 journalists have been killed in Pakistan for their work since 2008. Dawn reported that, in the first seven months of 2016, there were 510 reports of forced disappearance in Pakistan. However, according to Amnesty International, the commission has so far received 3,000 cases of such disappearances. In early January 2017, five social media activists Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed, and Ahmad Raza Naseer went missing from different parts of Pakistan. Also target killings of Hamid Mir (GeO TV), Raza Rumi, Abrar Tanoli etc in the recent past indicate the barbarism of ISI. Dozens of journalists have reported instances of harassment, intimidation or attacks at the hands of the ISI to Amnesty International.The circumstances of Shahzadi’s disappearance which took place in broad daylight in a metropolis city of Lahore also indicated the involvement of ISI however, her release hints at a specific purpose, else silencing voices which expose ISI is the usual practice adopted by ISI.