Anas Mallick released from Afghan custody

KABUL/ISLAMABAD: Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick has been released from Afghan custody.

According to senior journalist Tahir Khan, “Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick is back, his brother and Pakistani embassy confirm. I also briefly spoke to him.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmad Khan also confirmed that development.

“Regarding reports about Pakistani journalist Anas Malik, I have just talked to him on phone briefly. He is in Kabul and safe. The embassy will remain in touch with him @ForeignOfficePk @HinaRKhar @PakinAfg,” he tweeted.

Earlier, Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick has gone missing from Kabul just a day after arriving in Afghanistan.

Mallick, who is the Pakistan Bureau Chief for Wion News had reported on Al Qaeda Chief Aymen Al Zawahari’s killing by a US drone strike.

Zawahari was living in a posh Kabul neighbourhood during the time of the strike, suggesting that the Taliban had provided the terrorist mastermind a safe haven within the city.

According to reports, Mallick was going to report from the place where Zawahari was found when he was picked up by unknown men who are believed to be the Taliban.

Despite being a young journalist, Mallick is considered an authority on AfPak affairs and has extensive on ground reporting experience from Afghanistan.

He also travelled to Ukraine this year to cover the Russian invasion.

A senior Afghan official suggested that Mallick may have been taken into questioning by Afghanistan’s security forces.

He further claimed that Mallick did not get the relevant permissions to report from Afghanistan’s Foreign Office which may be a reason why he was picked up.

Former Information Minister of Pakistan, Fawad Chaudhry demanded an immediate return of the journalist.

“Worrying news… Anas Mallick is a brave soul young dynamic reporter, I call upon Pak Foreign Office to pursue this case vigorously, prayers..,” he said.

“Very disturbing to hear of @anasmallick’s disappearance. I hope he is safe and found soon,” Fatima Bhutto wrote.

Reham Khan said in her tweet, “A young Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick has been missing since yesterday afternoon from Kabul. I appeal to the Pakistani government Bilawal BhuttoZardari, PM Shehbaz & the Afghanistan government to ensure safe recovery & return.”

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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