Harrowing tales of Afghan jails penned by Karachi-based journalist
Inspired by Yvonne Ridley, a British female journalist who came to prominence in September 2001 when she was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Faizullah Khan, a young Karachi-based journalist, also considered risking his life for the sake of journalistic adventurism.
For this purpose, Khan visited the Pak-Afghan bordering area in April 2014 to interview some leaders of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, but unfortunately ended up in the headlines himself when Afghanistan’s law-enforcement agencies arrested him in the Nangarhar province and then an Afghan court sentenced him for four years in jail for travelling to Afghanistan without a visa.
However, luckily, he was freed following the efforts of the Pakistani authorities, the civil society, journalist bodies, and Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. He was released on outgoing Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s last day.
Khan, after many months of overcoming professional and personal challenges in writing a manuscript, has published his Urdu book “Durand Line Ka Qaidi (Prisoner of Durand Line) last week, wherein he not only narrated his ordeal in Afghan jails but more importantly, discussed exclusive information about Pakistani and Afghan Taliban groups and interesting, untold stories of the militants imprisoned in Afghan jails.
The book contains in-depth information about the cooperation and differences among Pakistani militants, Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda and their interests in other countries, especially Syria and Iraq, besides exposing the sufferings of the prisoners in Afghan jails.
The book contains valuable information about the Mohmand faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, its leadership and media cell and their approach. He also discussed the general perception of the Afghan people and its government regarding Pakistan as well as about India.
Khan also wrote about his interview with Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesperson of the TTP during the days when negotiation were under way between the federal government and the proscribed outfit.
“After meeting Ehsan, I assumed I would be meeting other Taliban leaders in the tribal areas in Pakistan’s territory, but I had to travel to the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan for that where Afghan intelligence officials detained me at the Lalpura check-post,” Khan writes in his book.
The book has been published ZAK Books and is available at leading bookstores across the country.
Khan, who belongs to Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtukhwa, has been working as a TV journalist for several years. He has extensively covered the lawyers’ movement for the reinstatement of the deposed judiciary in 2007 and violence and various social and political issues in Karachi.