PPF welcomes safe return of Pakistani journalist who went missing in Kabul; urge an investigation into incident
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) welcomes the safe return of Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick who had gone missing in Kabul, Afghanistan, a day earlier. World Is One News (WION) Bureau Chief for Pakistan Mallick, was said to have been missing for many hours before his safe return was confirmed.
Mallick was in Afghanistan to cover the first anniversary of the takeover by the Taliban of the country, The News reported, adding that he had reached Kabul on August 3. Prior to the incident, Mallick had reported on the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in a US drone strike. For WION, Mallick had reported from the location that included a video clip of the safe house where Al-Zawahiri had been killed.
We urge Pakistan’s delegation in Afghanistan to take up the incident with their Afghan counterparts and ensure an investigation into why and by whom the journalist was taken. While it is welcome news that the journalist has returned safely, it is a worrying incident to have occured. The media should be free to do their work without the fear of arrest, abductions or intimidation.
Early on August 5, Mallick’s brother Hassaan Mallick tweeted that his brother had been missing for over 12 hours in Kabul. He had urged authorities to pursue the case and ensure the journalist’s recovery.
Taking note of the incident, the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan said that they were in touch with local authorities for Mallick’s return.“We at @ForeignOfficePk are deeply concerned about the disappearance of @Anas Mallick, FO correspondent, from Kabul yesterday. We are in touch with local authorities and @PakinAfg for his early and safe return to Pakistan,” the FO tweeted.
Hours after he was to have been missing, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan and the FO confirmed that Mallick was safe.
“Regarding reports about Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick, I have just talked to him on [the] phone briefly. He is in Kabul and safe. Embassy will remain in touch with him,” he said.
Mallick also confirmed his return tweeting: “I am back.”