Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan describes how he was kidnapped and what happened thereafter

Matiullah Jan said his biggest disappointment was when he appeared before the Supreme Court, it ordered a report on his “alleged” abduction instead of accepting that this actually had happened.
Matiullah Jan, a journalist and columnist, was released around 12 hours after he was kidnapped in Islamabad.(Reuters Photo)
Matiullah Jan, a journalist and columnist, was released around 12 hours after he was kidnapped in Islamabad.(Reuters Photo)
Updated on Jul 24, 2020 01:21 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Islamabad | ByImtiaz Ahmad | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi

In a video released online on Thursday night, Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan has pointed fingers at Pakistan’s security agencies for his abduction, and said that no matter who picked him up “all the agencies are on the same page on this.”

Jan thanked all those who stood up to protest his abduction and observed “it is possibly because of how strongly people reacted that my life was spared”.

Jan was kidnapped from outside a public school in the heart of Islamabad at around 11 am on Tuesday. He was released about 12 hours later in a desolate area near Islamabad by his captors.

In the video, he spoke in Urdu about how a hood was put over his face. Jan said he was also blindfolded and handcuffed for most of the time he was in detention.

Jan recalled how he was pushed and shoved when kidnapped and when he was taken to what appeared to be a cell in an abandoned police station. “Time and again they told me that they knew who I was and that I needed to be aware of the consequences of what I was doing.”

The Pakistani journalist recalled that his blindfold moved in two instances “as if they wanted me to see where I was being kept”. In the video, Jan recalled that the place looked like a police station and that his captors insisted on speaking in Pushto, “although I could tell they were not native Pushto speakers with the way they were speaking.”

After spending several hours in the confined cell, he was taken to a desolate area where he was again asked his name. “Here my captors asked me my name and when I gave my name yet again, they sounded like they had abducted the wrong person. After a while they opened my handcuffs and then left me in the middle of nowhere.”

Jan said that he made his way to the nearest locality and from there was able to make his way home. In retrospect, he said while his life was spared, “a message was given by those who consistently fight against democracy and democratic values.” He said his biggest disappointment was when he appeared before the Supreme Court after being released, the court ordered a report on his “alleged” abduction instead of accepting that this actually had happened.

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