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WION Journo Abducted, Physically Assaulted by Taliban in Kabul, Returns to Pak

The Pakistani journalist was abducted a day after he filed a story on slain al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Published
India
2 min read
WION Journo Abducted, Physically Assaulted by Taliban in Kabul, Returns to Pak
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Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick, who was in Afghanistan to cover the anniversary of the Taliban's takeover of the country, was kidnapped and physically assaulted by the group.

After being reported missing, Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan took up the matter with the Taliban. He was subsequently released and is now back in Pakistan.

The journalist had taken to Twitter to confirm his return to the country, saying, "I am back."

Mallick, who works for India's WION news channel, had landed in Afghanistan on Wednesday to cover the anniversary, which comes shortly after the killing of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri by the United States.

In fact, he was reported missing a day after he filed a story about the safehouse where al-Zawahiri was assassinated.

Reports of Mallick's disappearance started circulating on Thursday night.

His fellow journalist was one of the first people to share the news of the matter through a tweet.

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She said that his phones were unreachable, and that the Pakistan embassy in Kabul had no information regarding his location. Following this, the embassy started conducting preliminary inquiries with the Taliban.

Mallik's younger brother Hassan had also tweeted of the former's disappearance. "My elder brother and journalist Anas Mallick has been missing in Kabul from past more than 12 hours. Authorities are requested to please pursue the case and ensure his swift and safe recovery. Prayers requested too."

Subsequently, Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan confirmed that the journalist had been located and was safe.

"Regarding reports about Pakistani journalist Anas Malik, I have just talked to him on phone briefly. He is in Kabul and safe. Embassy will remain in touch with him," the Ambassador said in a tweet.

'Handcuffed, Blindfolded': Mallick Describes Ordeal

Narrating what had transpired on the day he was kidnapped, Mallick said, "We were handcuffed, blindfolded, and faced the wildest accusations and after that were questioned thoroughly on our journalistic credentials as well."

"We were physically assaulted. My crew was assaulted and I was assaulted as well. After some while, we were shifted from the place where were intercepted to what we know is the intelligence unit of the Afghan-Taliban," he said, as per WION.

"Personal questions were also hurled at us. Late in the evening yesterday, at around 9:30 (local time), I was moved into a room where I was told I will be allowed to walk free once the translator shows up," he added.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto had also shared information regarding Mallick's safety. The journalist had recently interviewed Bhutto on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in Tashkent.

An image of him was also uploaded on Twitter following his return to Pakistan.

This wasn't Mallick's first visit to Afghanistan. He had also covered the Taliban's takeover of the country after the US withdrew its forces from the region last year.

The journalist's local producer and driver are still being held by the Taliban. Though the group said that they will be released soon, there has been no update about them so far.

More than 200 media outlets had ceased operations in Afghanistan since the Taliban's takeover, and around 7,000 media personnel lost their jobs.

(With inputs from ANI and WION.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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