WION’s correspondent Anas Mallick was abducted by the Taliban, he faced physical assault and mental trauma. A day later, he was released but his team, a local producer and car driver, is still being held with the Taliban fighters.
On Friday (August 5) evening, Anas was safely returned to his home in Islamabad, Pakistan. Later he opened up about his distressing experience of being held for 21 hours.
He said, “The experience is yet to sink in to be very honest because I am still going through that mental trauma or the ordeal. Because it’s still not over.”
Recalling the exact moment he was forcibly taken away, he said, “A moment back I was on the phone, I got a location to be at another place, to be with a colleague to have lunch…just in seconds, in a snap, everything changed. You are intercepted, the driver is out of the car, and your phones are taken away.”
“It felt like a bad, bad dream to be very honest,” Anas said as he told the world, what he went through in those 21 hours. Anas was allowed to walk free but the local producer and our driver are still being held by the Taliban.
He said that he is still yet to fully get over the fact that this actually happened, the assault was this extreme. “I still have bruises on the back of my ear, on my back, on my hip, literally all over the body,” he said.
Anas is WION’s reporter based out in Pakistan’s capital. Anas has been reporting on Afghanistan developments for nearly five years for WION. he has done some exclusive, on-the-ground coverage when the Taliban took over Kabul last year.
He had arrived in Kabul on Wednesday evening and the next morning, approached Afghanistan’s ministry of foreign affairs to get the due permission. He also had completed the necessary formalities.
Expressing his anger, Anas said that it’s something you would never expect for an accredited journalist, for an international journalist for somebody who has been known to the Taliban as well.
He said, “We were the only Indian network in Kabul at the time of the fall of Kabul. And we were there three months post-takeover. I was literally at all the press conferences, at all the press briefings and despite all of this, it happened so it was a very bad dream.”
In the past week, 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 what did exactly anger the Taliban? Why our correspondent was detained and beaten up?
Shedding some light on that, Anas said that “this is more to do with the security fear for the Taliban of being shown or rather shown the side that they do not want to be projected.”
“When you go for accreditation, you are given a long lecture on don’ts and media ethics. In fact, I was given one such lecture yesterday as well during my interrogation I would say what are the ethics of media,” he said.
After touching down in Islamabad on Friday, Anas revealed that he and his team were handcuffed, blindfolded and physically assaulted after being picked up by the Taliban.
While speaking about his ordeal, he said, “I don’t know the reason I was picked up, if was to do with any footage then that matter was actually cleared within seconds. But, this must to do with fear that they think that they will be exposed if there is truly a free press if there is truly free reportage.”
Anas reminded the world that as journalists, we have the responsibility, to tell the truth. We have always advocated at WION that we have to tell the story. He said, “In my seven years, this, unfortunately, this is the first time that it is me who is the story, and that is something that is truly tragic at least on a personal note.”
Anas recounted when he was leaving Kabul. he said he was “very emotional”. “There was an Afghan family right next to me and they said we saw you on TV and we were reading about your reports that you were missing. I couldn’t hold back my tears at that point in time,” said Anas.
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