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

WION
Islamabad, Pakistan Updated: Aug 05, 2022, 11:45 PM(IST)

WION's Anas Mallick was held captive by the Taliban for 21 hours after he went to Kabul on a reporting assignment. Anas Mallick tells Molly Gambhir about what he went through.

Story highlights

Anas Mallick was picked up by the Taliban and was physically assaulted. When Anas went missing, WION worked with relevant authorities to secure his release. After he landed in Islamabad, Anas revealed what exactly he went through

WION’s correspondent Anas Mallick, who went missing for nearly 24 hours in Afghanistan, has safely returned to his native Pakistan after being abducted and assaulted by the ruling Taliban. 

Mallick, who was reporting on the anniversary of the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country, reached his home in Islamabad on Friday (August 5) from Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. Anas has been reporting on Afghanistan developments for nearly five years for WION, including exclusive, on-the-ground coverage of the regime change last year. He has travelled the length and breadth of the country in the run-up to the Taliban takeover and the tense situation at Kabul airport and elsewhere in the country last August.

He had arrived in Kabul on Wednesday evening and the next morning, approached Afghanistan’s ministry of foreign affairs to get the due permissions and completed the necessary formalities for the same. 

Anas also did extensive reporting on the United States’ claims that Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Kabul.

But he was picked up by the Taliban and was physically assaulted. When Anas went missing, WION worked with relevant authorities to secure his release. 

After he landed in Islamabad, Anas revealed what exactly he went through. 

"Twenty-one hours of the ordeal have come to an end. I was picked up by what we know are the Taliban, in Kabul while we were filming general visuals. My crew was also with me when we were picked up," he said. 

"I arrived in Kabul the day before, on the 3rd of August, to cover the one year anniversary (the Taliban takeover of Kabul) and how Afghanistan is now. Coincidentally, the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri also happened. 

"We were duly accredited, we had all the press credentials and were filming general visuals when we were intercepted, taken out of the car... dragged off the car to be very precise. Our phones were taken away," he added.

"And then we were physically assaulted. My crew was assaulted and I was assaulted as well. After some while, we were shifted from the place where were intercepted to what we know is the intelligence unit of the Afghan-Taliban. We were handcuffed, blindfolded, and faced the wildest accusations and after that were questioned thoroughly on our journalistic credentials as well. Personal questions were also hurled at us.

"Late in the evening yesterday, at around 9:30 (local time), I was moved into a room where I was told I will be allowed to walk free once the translator shows up.

"Then around 10:10 this morning (local time) in Kabul I was allowed to walk free. Dropped off to be precise with my press credentials still not with me. The accreditation and the permit letter are still not with me.

What is to be noted is the fact that the local producer and our driver are still being held by the Taliban. They said they will be releasing them soon, how soon, we still have no update on that." 

Earlier, Anas had reported exclusively from near the house in which Zawahiri was staying when he was killed in a US missile attack.

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