Second missing Pakistani blogger found, leaves country fearing for life: family

Saeed, who is Singapore-based and works in the IT department of the German Merck Group, disappeared on Jan. 4 while visiting the eastern city of Lahore.

By: Reuters | Islamabad | Published:January 29, 2017 4:25 pm
pakistan, missing pakistani blogger, pakistani blogger, pakistan blogger disappears, pakistan news, world news Saeed’s recovery comes a day after poet and activist Salman Haider, who disappeared from the capital Islamabad on Jan. 6, was recovered, according to his family.

Pakistani blogger Aasim Saeed who went missing earlier this month has been found but has quickly left the country fearing for his life, his family said on Sunday. Saeed’s father said his son was detained by “state agencies” while visiting Pakistan from Singapore, though he did not name which one. Pakistan’s government and Federal Investigation Agency have denied holding any of five liberal activists who went missing this month. The military and other state agencies have declined to officially comment. The army’s media wing did not reply to questions and phone calls on Sunday.

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Saeed’s recovery comes a day after poet and activist Salman Haider, who disappeared from the capital Islamabad on Jan. 6, was recovered, according to his family. Five liberal activists, some of whom have posted blogs criticising the political influence of the military and speaking for the rights of religious minorities, had each gone missing separately since Jan. 4.

Saeed, who is Singapore-based and works in the IT department of the German Merck Group, disappeared on Jan. 4 while visiting the eastern city of Lahore. “It was no one other than the state agencies who took him,” Aasim Saeed’s father, Ghulam Haider, told Reuters, referring to Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. He said Saeed was picked up over a social media post intelligence agencies deemed “objectionable.”

“My son is not against any agency, he is not against the military or government and he is not against Islam,” Haider said. “The fact that he was set free means that he has been cleared of all charges.”

“The only instruction Aasim got from the agencies was that he could not give any media interviews,” Haider added.

The military’s media wing did not return calls or text messages seeking comment. Haider said Aasim returned to his house briefly on Saturday but then left quickly, and messaged the family on Sunday morning to inform them that he was safe and would call soon.

Haider said Saeed had either returned to Singapore or was in Germany. It is not known how the five activists went missing, but some rights groups and newspapers have asked whether state or military agencies were in any way involved. The Interior Ministry has repeatedly said it was doing all it could to recover the missing men.

Shortly after the activists’ disappearances, blasphemy allegations against them appeared on social media and in a complaint to police. Friends, family and supporters of all five men deny they have blasphemed and have denounced the campaign to press that charge, which could endanger their lives were they to reappear. In Pakistan, conviction under the blasphemy laws can carry a death sentence.

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  1. A
    Aftab Hussain
    Jan 29, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    Really first you post that agencies behind missing on these persons and now they are out of country then why you guys spread false news before .
    Reply
  2. J
    JapanWali
    Jan 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm
    What? He's not dead, he returned safe to his home.
    Reply
  3. M
    Murthy
    Jan 29, 2017 at 2:20 pm
    He works for a German company. Killing him or even torturing him would have attracted World Media. His absence from work in Singapore would have been noticed. The ISI and your 'noble' Army know a thing or two about "maintaining their 'image'". Look what happenened to Salman Haider. His body was recovered. He is a stani, no where to go. They tortured and killed him as they did Shahzad, the journalist in Karachi.
    Reply
  4. R
    Raoul Magic
    Jan 29, 2017 at 8:48 pm
    If you feel SAFE just start to speak your mind free aan feerleas, miljoens of people around the world want to hear your opinion from your point of fiew, the world is with you, Aasim Saeed.
    Reply
  5. S
    sdas
    Jan 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm
    Please do not confront these people with facts - they will run away ! For them truth is the ultimate " blinder " and their soldiers, their eternal father.
    Reply
  6. M
    Maya
    Jan 29, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    C how the favourite country of presutes, Bollywood crooks treats its seculars and minorities? In India, these crooks live a jolly life at the expense of Hindus by making movies, mocking at Hindu beliefs and customs; endorsing jihadi actors etc and see how their favourite country is treating good hearted people there. Hope mad, fat , anti national journalists and anti social activists and authors goes missing one day and similarly leaves country for good!
    Reply
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