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Pakistan and rival India take action to rescue journalist from Taliban custody

The Taliban in Afghanistan were embarrassed this week when Indian and Pakistani diplomats in Kabul almost simultaneously demanded the release of foreign journalists they had arrested on suspicion of violating regulations.

Pakistani reporter Anas Malik was allegedly assaulted and interrogated along with a local producer and driver after being detained by the Taliban on August 4, 2022. The Afghan comrades were released Saturday after more than 42 hours. Shortly after surfacing, diplomats from both Pakistan and India (the biggest rivals) approached the relevant Taliban authorities and demanded their safety and freedom. journalist.

Taliban sources blamed the delay in Malik's release on a series of calls from the Indian and Pakistani embassies asking for his release.

"We know he is Pakistani. Why do you say he is your man?" a Taliban official asked the Indian side, knowing the conversation. a source said. The turmoil ended when Indian officials explained that Malik was working for an India-based news channel. Meanwhile, sources said the Pakistani embassy called Taliban officials and asked the journalists continued to demand his release.

The Taliban have released Malik, who reports from Pakistan's capital Islamabad for his WION his TV in India, which is headquartered in New Delhi.

The journalist was reportedly asked to leave Afghanistan and reportedly posted news on his channel shortly after crossing to Pakistan, where he was killed by Taliban forces on his way back from a reporting trip to high-class Kabul. He said he was "dragged" out of the car. The area where the US killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri in a drone strike on Sunday.

The Taliban have ordered journalists to stay clear of residential areas where two Hellfire missiles fired from drones hit Zawahiri.

Taliban fighters drive a car on a street following the killing of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a U.S. strike, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 2, 2022.
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Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri during a US strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2, 2022.

After arriving in Kabul, they gave the relevant departments their press credentials and showed them "general footage" of when the Taliban intercepted them. was recording.

“We were moved from where we were intercepted to what we know to be Taliban intelligence units in Afghanistan. … Personal questions were also posed to us.”

Taliban officials have yet to respond to allegations that they detained the three men. Local and foreign journalists working in Afghanistan say Taliban officials refuse to comment on such detentions and use such tactics to discourage the media from making critical reports.

Taliban officials denied the accusations, saying they had outlined rules and regulations for the media teams to operate in the country and that violations would not be punished. rice field.

The Afghan capital and the Indian embassy in New Delhi have yet to comment on Malik's ordeal.

However, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an official statement on Thursday that it was in contact with Taliban officials regarding the reporter's early and safe return to Pakistan.

"I just had a brief phone call about a report about Pakistani journalist Anas Malik. He is safe in Kabul. The embassy will keep in touch with him," said a Pakistani man. Mansur Ahmad Khan said. Afghanistan's ambassador to Afghanistan later tweeted to confirm the reporter's release. It has been sharpened in recent years by the literal suspension of international engagement. Under the circumstances, it is very rare for Pakistani journalists to work for Indian media.

Pakistan and India routinely accuse each other of sponsoring acts of sabotage against their respective territories, using diplomatic missions in Afghanistan.

58} While Indian officials have long claimed that the Taliban are agents of Islamabad, Pakistani officials have accused New Delhi of funding anti-Pakistani militants operating inside Afghanistan, accused of supporting