I feel utterly confused and dazed today. Column writing is not my forte. I also don’t feel very confident with my command over the rules of writing grammatically perfect language. Since joining the profession of journalism as a struggling reporter around three decades ago, I developed the habit of typing my pieces in one go. But on Tuesday evening, I kept struggling for more than 90 minutes to even punch the intro for this piece.

Matiullah Jan is an Islamabad-based journalist. With dogged dedication he created a niche by chasing challenging stories, both in print and electronic media. Most of the old school journalists do not like his style; they consider it emulating the rage-based activism, dominating the social media. But even the ardent critics of his approach to journalism feel upset when heard he had gone missing on Tuesday. The CCTV footage of the said incident inspired many to express sympathy with him by writing a flood of tweets.

Matiullah was expected to appear before the Supreme Court Wednesday noon; some of his tweets connected to a high profile case were perceived as committing contempt of court. But if you rely on CCTV footage, he had already been picked up outside the building of a school, his wife works for. Even the hyperactive reporters of Islamabad remained clueless about what exactly had happened to him until my writing of this column.

Baffled by the prevalent confusion regarding Matiullah, a group of journalists expressed their anxiety during a presser that the information minister, Shibli Faraz, had been holding to brief about the cabinet proceedings of Tuesday. The minister candidly stated that apparently Matiullah had been “kidnapped.” But he had no answer to the question “by whom?” He did try to assuage, however, by informing that he had established SOS contact with the interior minister. He and the city administration were diligently looking into the matter.

After the statement of Shibli Faraz, some vocal ministers of the Imran Government like Dr Shireen Mazari and Fawad Chaudhry took to the twitter to express concern regarding the same issue. Even a very powerful advisor to the Prime Minister, Shezad Akbar Mirza, also claimed by writing a tweet that he had directed the Inspector General Islamabad Police “for immediate action for retrieval (of Matiullah) and registration of FIR.”

The comments of ministers, written for social media, did furnish some assuaging hope. Yet the visible tone and tenor of their tweets had doubly puzzled the Islamabad-based journalists. One could only wish that they actively exercise their powers and influence to pacify our hearts.

With the same desire, the parliamentary reporters also decided to stay out of the press gallery. Ali Mohammad Khan, the state minister of parliamentary affairs, could not manage their return. To express sympathy, Syed Navid Qamar of the PPP took the lead to raise the matter through a point of order. Khawaja Asif of the PML-N also delivered a forceful speech to highlight the importance of ‘free media’ in a vibrant democracy. After his speech, the opposition staged the token walkout to express solidarity with anguish-stricken journalists. I sincerely hope that the accumulated momentum would eventually lead to confusion abating, ASAP. Until then, one would prefer to avoid judging by guts or passing acerbic comments.

Some PTI backbenchers from Karachi relished the opposition’s missing from the house. They vigorously utilised the privilege of speaking on a point of order to ruthlessly score points against Asif Ali Zardari and his political heir, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Alamgir Khan went on and on with extremely rude and accusatory language in this respect.

After returning to the house, the PPP benches pressed for their ‘right to reply.’ But Qasim Suri, the deputy speaker, turned stern. He rather provoked them more by repeatedly asserting that the PPP MNAs could not bully him by ceaseless shouting. He was determined to run the house, “by rules, come what may.” The PPP refused to budge. Raja Pervez Ashraf, a former prime minister, rose from its benches to persuade the deputy speaker to let Abdul Qadir Patel respond from their side. Suri kept refusing, firmly. That provoked more noise from the opposition benches. He was left with no choice but to announce a break for prayers.

After the break, Abdul Qadir Patel eventually managed to get the floor. Once again, he delivered a very lethal speech loaded with taunting stuff. Instead of getting even with PTI backbenchers, he also consumed more of his time to directly target the person of Imran Khan and “ATMs he had brought to his government from abroad.” The deputy speaker felt completely helpless to check his flight.

For another time, Murad Saeed, ‘the fighter minister’ from the treasury benches, took the floor to settle scores. To prevent his launch, the opposition walked out of the house. Agha Rafi of the PPP kept sitting on his seat; primarily, to point out the quorum. The house had to be adjourned for the lack of it.

Another day at parliament house was thus completely lost to mind-numbing confusion among reporters and frivolous point scoring both the government and the opposition remained hooked to while taking the floor of the national assembly of Pakistan.

(P.S: Late Tuesday night, Matiullah Jan was released by his unknown abductors on the outskirts of Islamabad).