Baloch journalist Abid Mir went ‘missing’ in Islamabad on Wednesday after he reportedly left home for some bank-related work. Fellow journalists, rights groups, and Mir’s family immediately raised the alarm on social media, claiming he had been forcibly disappeared. Mir reappeared in a short video, claiming he was safe and staying with a friend in Gilgit Baltistan. Mir’s family, however, were not satisfied.
Abid Mir is a journalist, columnist, and political commentator originally hailing from Balochistan’s Jhal Magsi. Based in Quetta and Islamabad, Mir is known for his critical views which he expresses bluntly in his columns and on his social media accounts. He has reported on the issues in Balochistan that the mainstream media shies away from the issue of Baloch missing persons.
Mir’s brother, Khalid Mir, also registered a missing person’s report to the Islamabad Police and demanded an investigation into his disappearance.
Human rights groups, fellow journalists, and activists also raised concerns over Mir’s sudden disappearance. Lok Sujag, Mir’s affiliated journalist platform, expressed concern over his disappearance and urged the authorities to take notice of it and ensure his safe return.
Amnesty International expressed alarm over Mir’s disappearance, saying: “Abid is yet another Baloch person who has been taken outside the protection of the law and whose loved ones are unaware of his whereabouts and fate.” The group called on Pakistani authorities to disclose his whereabouts or if in their custody, bring him in front of a court.
Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), expressed concern over Abid Mir’s disappearance and asked the Islamabad Police to help in locating him.
Replying to RSF and Amnesty International, the Islamabad Police posted a 16-second video that shows Mir claiming that he is safe and secure in Gilgit and urging his family and friends to not ‘panic.’ Mir says in the video that he will soon reunite with his family. As per the reports, Mir is with Aziz Jamali, a seasoned bureaucrat presently serving in Gilgit Baltistan.
However, Mir’s family were not satisfied with the video. If anything, they are even more concerned. Mir’s brother, Khalid Mir, got into a public spat with Jamali on Twitter, saying he would consider his brother ‘missing’ until he safely returns home. He asked Jamali to give Abid Mir’s location so that his family could personally visit and ascertain his safety.
Khalid Mir subsequently uploaded a video on Twitter, saying he had personally contacted his brother on his cell and confirmed that he is safe and with Aziz Jamali. He said that Jamali had invited family members to personally visit Mir in Gilgit. He said that his brother would be returning in two days.