What you need to know:
In an interview with Dissent Today, journalist Zeenat Shehzadi opened up about the time when she was forcibly disappeared by security forces in 2015. After her release, neither the Missing Persons Commission nor any other constitutional agency recorded her statement.
Zeenat was abducted by masked individuals. Her case was the first reported instance of a female journalist being kidnapped in Pakistan. Zeenat was leaving her office when gunmen covered her mouth and took her hostage.
What was Zeenat investigating:
XZeenat was investigating an Indian national named Hamid Nehal Ansari who had vanished from Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in 2012. Ansari crossed the border into Pakistan without a visa. He wanted to meet a Pakistani woman with whom he became friends with on Facebook.
What happened to Ansari:
Ansari’s presence in Pakistan was initially denied by Pakistani officials, but after Zeenat continued to press the issue before the Missing Persons Commission. The then-deputy attorney general had to acknowledge that Ansari was being held by the Defence Ministry for a ‘military court prosecution.’ Ansari was released in 2018 after his case was brought to light after Zeenat’s recovery in 2017.
Where is Zeenat now?
After being freed, Zeenat kept a low profile for more than three years, during which she got married in Faisalabad. She recently started working at a freshly established media outlet in Lahore. When asked if the promises of compensation made by intelligence officers were kept, she disclosed that those were just ‘empty words.’
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