Pakistani journalist Zeenat Shahzadi allegedly kidnapped since two years, rescued

Pakistani journalist Zeenat Shahzadi allegedly kidnapped since two years, rescued

Pakistani female journalist Zeenat Shahzadi, who went missing from Lahore on August 2015 while tracking an Indian prisoner accused of spying on Pakistan, has been found by the Pakistani security forces.

CIED's chief Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal told the media that non-state actors and anti-state agencies had abducted Zeenat. She was allegedly kidnapped by unidentified men while she was on her way to work in an autorickshaw from her home in Lahore on August 19, 2015. A Pakistan human right activist Hina Jillani had in 2016 told the BBC that Zeenat had informed her family that security agencies had "forcibly taken her away" and detained her for questioning about Ansari.

However, fellow journalist Beena Sarwar while quoting Iqbal, in her tweet confirmed Shehzadi's return.

"At the time of her disappearance, Shahzadi was working to find Nehal Hamid Ansari, an Indian citizen who disappeared in Pakistan in 2012. 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".

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Shahzadi's family has yet to issue a statement.

Latif added, "Zeenat received threats from unknown persons who asked her not to pursue the case anymore".

Zeenat had also filed an application with the Supreme Court of Pakistan's human rights cell on behalf of Fauzia Ansari, thereby playing an important role in encouraging Islamabad's Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to investigate his case. The two had been in touch on daily basis before her kidnapping. Law enforcement agencies exercise unrestricted powers under the Pakistan Protection Act of 2014.

Shahzadi's brother Saddam Hussain was miserable after her kidnapping due to which he committed suicide in March previous year bringing her case back to headlines. "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.