Matiullah Jan says grateful to those who made quick return possible

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ISLAMABAD : Journalist Matiullah Jan, who went missing in Islamabad on Tuesday and returned home after nearly 12 hours, has thanked the national and international journalist community, politicians, judiciary and others for their ‘quick response’ which led to his safe return.

“I am back home safe and sound. God has been kind to me and my family. I am grateful to friends, national and int. journalist community, political parties, social media and rights activists, lawyers bodies, the judiciary for their quick response which made it possible,” Jan wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Jan, who was abducted on Tuesday afternoon from outside his wife’s school, returned home after being missing for about 12 hours.

The journalist was supposed to appear before the Supreme Court this week concerning a contempt of court case based on an allegedly contemptuous tweet by him.

Jan was dropped off at about 11pm on Kohat Road near Fateh Jung.

The correspondent quoted Jan as saying that he had been kept blindfolded and driven around for quite some time. He was then taken to an unknown location. Later, he was handed over to his brother.

Jan’s abduction has prompted uproar on social media with both the national and international journalist community, political parties and human rights organisations demanding the government ensure the “safe recovery” of the journalist.

Govt’s responsibility to safely recover Jan: Shibli
After news of his abduction had surfaced, Information Minister Shibli Faraz had said that it was the government’s responsibility to safely recover Jan.

Faraz, while addressing a press conference, had said that he spoke to interior minister Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah about the incident and that “it is confirmed that [Jan] has been kidnapped”.

“It is the government’s responsibility to ensure his safe recovery and it will fulfil this responsibility,” he had said.

Shah said he had no information regarding the disappearance of Jan.

Rights organisations voice concern
Following the incident, the International Press Institute (IPI) had issued a statement, expressing outrage at the incident.

“We fear that Mutiullah Jan’s life is in danger, and immediate steps must be taken to locate him and ensure his release from his apparent kidnappers”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “Given the history of violence against journalists in Pakistan, the authorities cannot delay in seeking to protect Jan’s safety.”

Amnesty International South Asia had also expressed concern about the “fate and wellbeing” of Jan.

“We are extremely concerned for the fate and wellbeing of@matiullahjan919. He has been the subject of physical attacks and harassment for his journalism. The authorities must establish his whereabouts immediately. #ReleaseMatiullah,” tweeted the human rights organisation.