ISLAMABAD: Police officers took away a Pakistani journalist, Zubair Anjum, from his home in the southern port city of Karachi, the broadcaster Anjum works for said on Tuesday, citing his family.
Two police vans and double-cabin vehicles arrived at Anjum’s home near the Model Colony intersection late last night and took him away, according to Pakistan’s Geo News channel.
Some of the police personnel were uniformed while others were in plain clothes.
“They asked for Zubair bhai and took him away at gunpoint. They also took along his mobile phone,” Anjum’s brother was quoted as saying.
“The police did not give any reason for the arrest. They did not even let him wear his slippers. We repeatedly kept asking what the matter was.”
The policemen forced their way into Anjum’s home and “manhandled” the family, according to the report. They also took away the digital video recorder (DVR) of a CCTV camera installed in the neighborhood.
Speaking to Geo News, Faisal Bashir Memon, senior superintendent of police (SSP) in Korangi district, said his force had no information about Anjum’s arrest.
“Police from stations in the Korangi district have not arrested Anjum,” Memon told the broadcaster. “We are investigating the incident.”
Meanwhile, the police have lodged a case relating to Anjum’s “disappearance” at the Model Colony police station, the report read.
Anjum’s disappearance comes days after a prominent Pakistani human rights activist, Jibran Nasir, was “picked up” by about 15 men, dressed in plain clothes, in Karachi, his wife said. Nasir returned a day later, his cousin confirmed to Arab News, without divulging further details.
As a rights activist, Nasir raised alarm over the crackdown against former prime minister Imran Khan’s party members and supporters over the violent protests that erupted after Khan’s arrest on May 9.
The government denies reports it is illegally abducting dissenters, maintaining that only those who partook in violence and vandalism are being dealt with under the law.
Last month, Sami Abraham, a prominent Pakistani television journalist, went missing apparently because of his public support to Khan.
Abraham has long publicly opposed the government of Khan’s successor, PM Shehbaz Sharif. Khan, who has been at loggerheads with the government and the military, was in office in 2018-2022 and was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament last year.
Abraham returned home days later on May 30. No one claimed responsibility for Abrahim’s abduction, but it was widely believed that he was being held by the country’s security agencies, which are often accused of abducting, harassing and torturing journalists. The security agencies deny the allegation.
Another pro-Khan TV journalist, Imran Riaz, went missing last month and has yet to be found.