Missing Pak journalist rescued after over two years


26-year-old journalist Zeenat Shahzadi was abducted on August 19, 2015 from Lahore while she was on the way to work.

Iqbal said tribal elders played an important role in her recovery.

Well-known Pakistani journalist and rights activist Beena Sarwar tweeted about Shahzadi being found: "Thrilled that the disappeared activist-journalist Zeenat Shehzadi is home safe".

The rescue on Friday of a Pakistani journalist, Zeenat Shahzadi, who disappeared two years ago while working for the release of an Indian youth, Hamid Ansari, was greeted with relief and hope by his mother, Fauzia Ansari, here.

According to Zeenat's family, she had been receiving threatening phone calls asking her not to pursue Ansari's case before her alleged enforced disappearance.

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She said the family is joyous on her return but concerned over her mental health. Shahzadi was in contact with her mother and went out of the way to help her. Hamid was imprisoned for three years after Zeenat went missing.

Shahzadi, reportedly travelled from Lahore to Islamabad to attend the hearings.

Zeenat, 25, is a freelance reporter who had raised her voice for missing persons in Pakistan. "The next thing I heard was that she had disappeared", Ms. Ansari recalled, speaking to The Hindu. "I feel relieved because somewhere I feel responsible for what she had to go through", says Ansari, who came to know about Zeenat's release through social media. Ansari, a Mumbai resident arrested in 2012 for illegally entering Pakistan to meet a girl he had befriended online. A week before her disappearance, she was detained by plainclothed men and grilled for four hours after she spoke to the Indian High Commissioner at a public event.

Latif added, "Zeenat received threats from unknown persons who asked her not to pursue the case anymore. Those powers were further strengthened in 2015 by the Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO) which offers greater power and the opportunity for impunity to the police, intelligence, law enforcement authorities and military for acts like forced kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings". 1,300 out of a total 3,000 missing people's cases remain pending before the commission.