Taliban abducted Anas Mallick: A 21-hour long trauma for the WION family

WION
Islamabad, Pakistan Updated: Aug 06, 2022, 01:48 AM(IST)

Image of Anas Mallick reporting from Islamabad. Photograph:( WION )

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WION's correspondent Anas Mallick was abducted by the Taliban on Thursday and was released a day later on Friday 

WION's correspondent Anas Mallick was abducted by the Taliban on Thursday (August 4) when he was reporting in Kabul, Afghanistan. A day later, he returned home safely but not to forget the physical and mental trauma he suffered and will continue to suffer for a very long time. 

Anas was missing for about 21 hours, it came as a nightmare for the WION family, whose first thoughts were and still are with Mallick's family. WION remained in contact with the relevant authorities in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan to secure his safe return to his home in Islamabad. 

When he went missing, we tried to contact him on his mobile phone. We texted him, and called him, but got no response. Anas told us later that his phone was taken away by the Taliban. 

We also reached out to the hotel where he was staying. But no luck! From Thursday night to Friday morning, nobody had any clue where exactly Anas was. 

Turns out, Anas was never returned to his hotel. Despite multiple tries, we got no information about his whereabouts, it was the moment we knew something was wrong. 

ALSO READ | WION correspondent who went missing in Afghanistan is safe, recalls his ordeal 

Officials from WION headquarters in India reached out to the Pakistani embassy in New Delhi. We also contacted the Taliban's foreign office. 

Everyone in the newsroom was tense because his disappearance was not in a very friendly nation. We all know this was Afghanistan, where the safety of common people is a massive concern ever since the Taliban returned last year in August. 

Afghanistan is not exactly friendly territory for any journalist, let alone a foreign reporter. And we were right! Anas was abducted by the Taliban when was reporting in Kabul. It was terrifying for the WION family and the viewers who were constantly tweeting and asking about Anas. 

Mallick was reporting for special coverage on the anniversary of the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country when he was forcefully dragged away from his car, and taken away to some other place - what Anas assumed was the intelligence unit of the Afghan-Taliban. 

The world knows that last Sunday the United States carried out a drone strike on the city and killed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Anas actually visited that building - the safehouse - where Zawahiri was said to be killed. He took the world through WION's lenses as he drove through the locality and sent pictures. 

But the free press in the Taliban regime appears to be a distant dream. 

ALSO READ | 'Handcuffed, blindfolded and physically assaulted': What happened to WION's Anas Mallick in Kabul? 

Anas told us they were handcuffed, blindfolded and questioned on journalistic credentials. Personal questions were also asked. While speaking from Islamabad on Friday evening, he told us that he got bruises all over his body. 

On Friday morning around 10:10am (local time), Anas was allowed to walk free but his press credentials were not returned. The accreditation and the permit letter were also taken away. 

Anas told us that a local producer and our driver are still being held by the Taliban and there is no update about their release. 

Until their release, it's not over. 

Watch the report here: 

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