LAHORE: A Pakistani woman journalist who was allegedly abducted while pursuing the case of a missing Indian engineer two years ago has been rescued, officials said.
Zeenat Shahzadi, a 26-year-old reporter of Daily Nai Khaber and Metro News TV channel, went missing on August 19, 2015, after some unidentified men abducted her while she was on her way to her office in Lahore.
Shahzadi was then working on the case of Indian citizen Hamid Ansari. Ansari, a Mumbai resident, went missing in November 2012 after being arrested for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.
Javed Iqbal, a retired judge who heads the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, said on Friday evening that Shahzadi had been rescued from an area on the Pakistan- Afghanistan border on Thursday night.
”Non-state actors and anti-state agencies had abducted her and she has been rescued from their custody,” Iqbal said. He said tribals from Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces had played a key role in her recovery.
Beena Sarwar, a rights activist, confirmed the news. ”Zeenat Shahzadi today has been reunited with her family in Lahore and we are happy for her safe recovery. I am thrilled that she is home safe,” she said.
Shahzadi's brother Saddam Hussain, upset by her disappearance, committed suicide in March last year, making her the focus of headlines again.
”Helping an Indian prisoner in Pakistan has cost us dearly. My sister is missing and my younger brother (Saddam), who was deeply attached to her, hanged himself after losing hope to get reunited with her,” Salman Latif, brother of Shahzadi, had told PTI.
”My sister has not committed any crime in helping an Indian national,” he said.
Two years ago, Shahzadi had filed an application with the Supreme Court's Human Rights Cell on behalf of Fauzia Ansari, the mother of Ansari.
In August 2013, she secured a special power of attorney from Ansari's mother. She also pursued his case in the Peshawar High Court.
Shahzadi petitioned the CIED, which ordered the filing of the case in 2014. She also filed a habeas corpus petition in the Peshawar High Court.
Ansari was sentenced to three years' imprisonment reportedly by a military court on charges of illegally entering Pakistan and 'spying'. He is still in jail.