Missing activist Salman Haider reunited with family
Jan.29, Islamabad: One out of five disappeared Pakistani activists has been released and is back with his family, and another one has made contact with his relatives, Al Jazeera has learned, three weeks after the men first went missing.
Salman Haider and Ahmed Raza Naseer made contact via a telephone call earlier on Saturday, family members told Al Jazeera, without offering comment on their relatives' current whereabouts.
Later on Saturday, Zeeshan Haider, Salman's brother, confirmed his release.
"He's with the family, and we're happy that he's back," Zeeshan Haider told Al Jazeera. "He's in good condition [in terms of his health]."
The disappearances prompted a series of protests by rights groups across the country, calling for the government to locate the men, or for them to be produced in a court to face formal charges if they had been detained by the state's intelligence agencies.
Haider - a noted progressive activist, poet and university lecturer - was abducted while on his way home on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital Islamabad on January 6, family members told Al Jazeera earlier.
Naseer was abducted from his electronics shop in his native village just outside the town of Nankana Sahib in Punjab province on January 7, his family said.
The two men were among five activists who disappeared over the course of four days across Punjab province and from Islamabad.
There was no immediate word on the whereabouts of the other three men, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed and Samar Abbas, on Saturday.
"He is safe and has made contact with us on the telephone," said Tahir Raza Naseer, Ahmed's brother. "He did not say who had taken him."
Haider's family had also made a similar statement.
"He has been in contact with the family, and the police should be consulted for further details," said a close family member, on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the subject.
"We are still looking into these reports and will make a statement later," said Naeem Iqbal, a spokesperson for the Islamabad Police.
The Oslo Times International News Network