Pakistani journalist critical of army believed kidnapped

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Matiullah
Matiullah

A Pakistani journalist, known for his criticism of the country’s powerful military, went missing on Tuesday, his family and colleagues said, fearing he might have been kidnapped.

Matiullah Jan, one of the country’s leading journalists based in the capital Islamabad, was abducted by several men after they intercepted his car, his colleague, Asad Toor, said.

Footage from surveillance cameras seen by dpa shows men dragging a driver out of his car and bundling him into another vehicle before driving away.

The journalist’s wife, who is a teacher at the school outside, which the alleged abduction took place, told dpa the first car in the video belonged to Jan.

Jan, who has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for the past three decades, has previously been intimidated, harassed and attacked, his friend, Azaz Syed, said.

He was fired as an anchor by former employer Waqt Television allegedly under pressure from the military, of whom Jan was a vocal critic.

Jan afterwards maintained a presence via a YouTube channel and social media platforms such as Twitter.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court this month issued Jan notice of contempt of court for tweeting about a recent ruling.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said they were concerned about Jan’s fate and demanded his immediate release.

Leading politicians, activists and journalists took to Twitter to call for the journalist’s release, with the hashtag ‘BringBackMatiullah’ trending in the country. (dpa/NAN)

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