A Pakistani journalist and critic Gul Bukhari was released on June 6, hours after her abduction on Sherpao Bridge in Lahore’s Cantonment area at around 11 pm on the night of June 5, the family said.
Bukhari is a dual Pakistani-British national.
Ali Nadir, Bukhari’s husband said, “She was on her way to record a TV programme on 5 June evening on the late-night Waqt news show, her vehicle was intercepted and she was abducted.”
He further confirmed that “She is back and she is absolutely fine.”
Muhammad Gulsher producer on the Waqt news program, while basing her information on the statement given by Bukhari’s driver, who witnessed her abduction said, “a group of pick-up trucks stopped her vehicle and men in plain clothes dragged her way while other men in “army uniforms” stood guard.
“Two persons came out of a double-cabin and asked Bukhari to get into their vehicle. When she refused they bundled her up in the vehicle and sped away,” the driver of the Waqt TV cab told police.
She was later released as her abduction invited massive outrage on social media, especially it became a trending topic on Twitter in the nation, many Pakistani journalists and activists raised concerns over military involvement or intelligence agencies in the same.
“If true, this would be a most audacious attempt to silence a known critic. Is this Pakistan or Kim’s North Korea or Sisi’s Egypt?” tweeted Syed Talat Hussain, a prominent journalist.
Extremely disturbing and worrisome news of Gul Bukhari’s abduction. This is just cruel & worst kind of oppression. A sad day,” tweeted Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former PM Nawaz Sharif.
“The police had reached Bukhari’s house but she refused to record her statement at the moment,” a police official said.
According to reports, the military has outrightly denied playing a role in any abduction or enforced disappearances.
In past few months, Bukhari has penned several articles critical in nature for Pakistan dailies accusing raising concerns over Army’s increasing interference in politics.