Journalist Matiullah Jan goes missing from Islamabad: family

Journalist Matiullah Jan goes missing from Islamabad: family

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry expressed his delight at the news. "Welcome back", he wrote.

Matiullah Jan went missing on Tuesday, his wife Kaneez Sughra had told DW.

HRCP demands that the government immediately ensure the safe recovery of journalist @Matiullahjan919, whose family confirms that he has gone #missing.

After news of his abduction surfaced, information minister Shibli Faraz said that it is the government's responsibility to safely recover January.

Speaking at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, Faraz said he was aware of the incident and had already talked to Interior Minister Brig Ijaz Shah about the matter.

"This is the government's responsibility to ensure his safe recovery".

Amidst the news of Jan's disappearance, his son had tweeted to say that his father has been kidnapped and demanded action in the matter.

Another government official, Shahzad Akbar, who is now the special assistant to the prime minister on accountability, had termed the abduction "unacceptable", and said that he had instructed the Islamabad police chief to register an FIR and take immediate action in the case. "But there is no update yet".

Matiullah Jan, one of the country's leading journalists, was abducted on July 21 in the capital, Islamabad, by several men after they intercepted his vehicle, his colleague Asad Toor said.

Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC), while hearing the petition, issued notices to the secretary interior, chief commissioner and IG Islamabad police.

"If he is not recovered by tomorrow, the respondents must appear in person before the court", said the order.

Shireen Mazari said that she was informed about the kidnapping of the senior journalist and termed it "very disturbing" incident.

The Austrian-based International Press Institute (IPI) also joined the chorus of calls for Jan's freedom.

"We fear that Matiullah Jan's life is in danger, and immediate steps must be taken to locate him and ensure his release from his apparent kidnappers", IPP Deputy Director Scott Griffen said in a statement.

"Given the history of violence against journalists in Pakistan, the authorities can not delay in seeking to protect Jan's safety".

Amnesty International South Asia, also expressed concern about the "fate and wellbeing" of January.

The report, launched by the Freedom Network, titled "Murders, harassment and assault: The tough wages of journalism in Pakistan", documents 91 assaults and other violations against journalists during the past 12 months. "The authorities must establish his whereabouts immediately", the human rights organisation tweeted.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan condemned the abduction, calling it "an act of cowardice". The long list of violations includes the killing of seven journalists, two abduction cases, nine detention cases, eight instances of frivolous lawsuits, 10 cases of censorship, 10 physical assaults, half of which caused severe bodily injuries, and more than 20 cases of written or verbal threats.

"Taking him into custody at this time is an attempt to silence the voice of the media", Asif said, adding that PML-N had always and would continue to support freedom of speech in Pakistan.

Last week, Pakistan's Supreme Court had initiated contempt proceedings against him over his alleged derogatory tweet against the court and its judges.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also voiced concern over the incident, saying he is "extremely concerned" at the news of Jan's alleged abduction.

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