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

 Reuters International

Human rights activists hold a picture of Salman Haider, who is missing, during a protest to condemn the disappearances of social activists in Karachi, Pakistan January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro


By Mehreen Zahra-Malik

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – 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.

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.”



(Writing by Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Editing by Stephen Coates)


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