Kin of missing Pak journo who helped Indian seek Sharif’s help

Lahore: Family of a Pakistani woman journalist, who was allegedly kidnapped while pursuing the case of an Indian engineer recently jailed over espionage charges, today sought Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s help to trace her after her distraught brother committed suicide.

“Helping an Indian prisoner in Pakistan has cost us dearly – my sister is missing for the last seven months and my brother hanged himself after losing hope to get reunited with her,” said Salman Latif, brother of the missing journalist Zeenat Shahzadi.

“Our family cannot bear more mental torture. We urge Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to intervene and help in securing the release of my sister as she has not committed any crime in helping an Indian national,” Latif told PTI.

24-year-old Zeenat, a local reporter of Daily Nai Khaber and Metro News TV channel, went missing on August 19, 2015, when some unknown men allegedly kidnapped her while she was en route to her office in an auto-rickshaw from her home in a populated locality of Lahore.

Police have registered an abduction case against ‘unknown men’.

Latif said Zeenat had filed an application with the Supreme Court’s Human Rights Cell on behalf of Fauzia Ansari, the mother of Indian national Hamid Ansari, who had gone missing in Pakistan since November, 2012.

She secured in August, 2013 a special power of attorney from Ansari’s mother. She also pursued his case in the Peshawar High Court.

Ansari was reportedly in love with a Pakistani girl of Kohat, a district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, whom he had befriended on Facebook.

According to an official of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, unable to get a visa for Pakistan, the then 28-year-old IT Engineer and MBA from Mumbai managed to arrive in Kabul, on November 4, 2012.

He somehow reached Pakistan around November 12, 2012 and stayed with one of his online friends till another friend got him lodgings in a hotel in Kohat.

From there, police took Ansari away on November 14, 2012 and handed him over to an officer of a security agency, the rights official said.

The official said attempts to register an FIR for his arrest and detention failed.

Zeenat submitted application to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances that ordered registration of the FIR in 2014. At the same time, she also filed a habeas corpus petition in the Peshawar High Court.