A journalist working with The Nation as staff reporter was picked up in wee hours of Sunday in a raid by unidentified people at his residence in Karachi’s Bar Association Society in the area of Sachal Police Station.

Staff reporter Abdullah Zafar was picked up by plain clothes men from his residence, his father told The Nation . “Over a dozen men in plain clothes – most of them wearing Shalwar Kameez - their faces covered - entered my home,” said Zafarullah.

He said the unidentified men had arrived in at least three vehicles, adding that they got to know of Zafar’s whereabouts from a relative. “They first raided Shah Faisal Colony and picked up my brother Ibratullah from his residence,” said Zafarullah.

Ibratullah said the men questioned him about a Rs50-million cheque, which, they claimed, had bounced. “They wanted to know whereabouts of my nephew (Zafar). And, after having confirmed the address, they blindfolded me and took me with them to Safora Chowrangi,” he added.

The men, after entering the reporter’s residence, had a two-minute talk with him and later took a blindfolded Zafar with them, said the father. He added that police have refused to cooperate with the family.

“I visited Sachal police station multiple times but they did not register my complaint,” said Zafarullah. “They just took my application during my third visit and even did not give me a receipt of the application.”

The mother of the kidnapped reporter said her son is a sinus patient. "I request the people who took my son with them to show mercy. He is suffering from sinuses and such incident would only affect his health," she added. 

Law enforcement agencies, including police and Rangers, have denied any involvement. "I have checked, he is not with the police," said Sindh Inspector General of Police Allah Dino Khawaja. Heads of Counter-Terrorism Department and Rangers also issued similar statements.

Sohail Anwar Sayal, the provincial home minister, took notice of the incident and directed DIG East for the journalist's recovery.

Many unions have condemned the abduction and demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah take notice of the incident.

"We strongly condemn Abdullah’s illegal detention and we demand his immediate release,” said Karachi Union of Journalist (KUJ) General Secretary Fahim Siddiqui.

"It is not a way to deal with any journalist. The law enforcers should approach the journalist body first if he was involved in any activity."

Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ) General Secretary Ayub Jan Sarhandi while condemning the incident urged authorities to recover the journalist as early as possible.