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Two of 5 Missing Pakistani Rights Activists Return Home

Fatima Jinnah University professor Salman Haider was the first to disappear, followed by bloggers Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed and Ahmed Raza Naseer and anti-extremism activist Samar Abbas.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:January 29, 2017, 6:19 PM IST
Image for representation only
File Photo (Photo: Reuters)

Islamabad: Two of the five missing Pakistani activists, including a professor known for his critical views on fundamentalists and who had mysteriously vanished earlier this month from Islamabad, have safely returned home, police said on.

Salman Haider, a professor at the Fatima Jinnah University in Rawalpindi and a human rights activist, was among five activists and bloggers who had gone missing on January 6.

Police and family members of Haider confirmed he returned home on Friday night and was safe. Details about where he was after vanished was not immediately known.

Haider was the first to disappear, followed by bloggers Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed and Ahmed Raza Naseer and anti-extremism activist Samar Abbas within a week in the sensitive Muslim-majority nation.

Geo News quoted sources in Lahore police as saying that blogger Goraya has also returned home.

Some of them had been accused of promoting blasphemy, a criminal offense in Pakistan.

The fate of the other missing men is not known so far. It is believed that Haider ran a popular group 'Bhensa' on Facebook on which messages and videos were shared against fundamentalist religious groups as well as the Pakistan Army.

On January 6 evening, Haider was in Bani Gala with his friends and called up his wife to tell her he would return by 8 pm. When he did not, his wife called him back but the call went unanswered, his brother Zeeshan Haider has said.

Haider's wife later received a text message from his phone that asked her to pick his car from Coral Chowk, Zeeshan said. Police found the car from Coral Chowk but no information about him. A missing person's report for Haider was filed in Lohi Bher police station and an investigation was launched.

A United Nations human rights expert on January 12 called on the Pakistani authorities to make it a priority to locate and protect the disappeared human rights and social media campaigners, saying no government should tolerate attacks on its citizens.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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