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'Missing' journalist Zeenat Shahzadi recovered after more than 2 years

22 October 2017

Hamid Ansari, a 27-year-old engineer and management graduate from Mumbai, went missing in Pakistan in 2013.

Ms. Ansari learned about Ms. Shahzadi's rescue late on Friday night after journalists in Pakistan tweeted about the development.

The Dawn quoted Justice (Retired) Javed Iqbal, the head of the missing persons' commission, as saying that he was thrilled to confirm Shahzadi's return.

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He said some non-state actors and enemy agencies were behind Shehzadi's kidnapping and that she was recovered from their custody.

Shahzadi's family has yet to issue a statement.

Soon afterwards, Shahzadi was allegedly detained by security agencies and questioned about Hamid. It was later reported that the court sentenced him to three years in prison on the charges of espionage and illegally entering Pakistan. After taking this assignment he said he would continue as the chief of the missing persons' commission. Young Pakistani journalist Zeenat Shahzadi "missing" for 2 years, is back.

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Shahzadi had filed an application with the Supreme Court's Human Rights Cell two years ago on behalf of Hamid Ansari's mother Fauzia Ansari. It was a result of this action on the part of Zeenat that the security forces were bound to agree that Hamid was in their custody.

"Zeenat had been an angel to me ever since she contacted me".

Ansari who has been missing since November 2012 was arrested for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan to meet an online friend. "Those powers were further strengthened in 2015 by the Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO) which offers greater power and the opportunity for impunity to the police, intelligence, law enforcement authorities and military for acts like forced kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings".

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Shahzadi's disappearance once again came to the fore in 2016 when news broke that her brother had committed suicide. Her elder brother, Salman, had told the Dawn that Hussain was disturbed due to their sister's disappearance.

'Missing' journalist Zeenat Shahzadi recovered after more than 2 years