Rights activists, media persons welcome return of abducted Pakistani woman journalist

"Tribal elders in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa played an important role in her recovery on Wednesday night from near the Pak-Af border", Iqbal was quoted as saying to BBC Urdu.

Shahzadi, who raised her voice for disappearance of victims, went missing in August 2015 while on the trail of an Indian citizen Hamid Ansari reported to have been caught by Pakistani agencies.

Also, he was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment by a military court on charges of illegally entering Pakistan and "spying".

"Zeenat Shahzadi today has been reunited with her family in Lahore and we are happy for her safe recovery".

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) had mentioned Shahzadi's case in its report on August 30, 2017 titled - "No more "missing persons": the criminalization of enforced disappearance in South Asia". Talking to TOI, Fauzia said Shahzadi was an angel because she worked on the case of her son despite huge odds. "I am thrilled that she is home safe". From his e-mail accounts, it was found he was in touch with a Pakistani girl. I later realised that someone was trying to get in touch with me on my phone.

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In March 2016, Zeenat Shahzadi's heart-broken brother Saddam also committed suicide at the abduction of her sister.

Ansari had been knocking at all doors to trace her son who had left home on November 4, 2012, claiming he was headed to Afghanistan in search of a job.

Traumatised mother and Mumbai-based professor Fauzia Ansari, 55, is elated that Pakistani journalist Zeenat Shehzaadi (24) has been freed from the clutches of her abductors.

Human rights activist Hina Jillani, in a 2016 interview with BBC Urdu, alleged that Shahzadi had once told her family that she had been "forcibly taken away by security agencies", detained for four hours and questioned about Hamid. "When she spoke to Ansari's mother she literally cried along with her and vowed to help".

She adds that in spite of staying in Lahore, Zeenat would travel for every hearing. "I told her that she was an answer to my prayers", recalls Ansari who teaches Hindi at a Mumbai college.