Journalist escapes captors in Pakistan

May 11, 2009 5:41 PM ET

Khawar Shafiq, the Daily Waqt (Daily Time) correspondent in Faisalabad, told colleagues he managed to escape from abductors on April 11, 2009, four days three bearded men grabbed him by his home near Faisalabad and shoved him into a car. He said the men made him inhale fumes from a liquid that made him lose consciousness. 

Shafiq told reporters his kidnapping was linked to the opening of a Daniel Pearl Foundation in Faisalabad. Shafiq had separately helped establish a center for Interfaith Studies in Faislabad. He said that during his captivity, his captors asked for the addresses and details of Pakistani journalists who had been awarded fellowships by the Daniel Pearl Foundation based in the United States. Wall Street Journal reporter Pearl was kidnapped and killed in 2002.

According to the Pakistan Press Freedom Foundation, a media rights and support group, Shafiq said he escaped from his captors as he was being moved to a location near Liaquatpur, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Faisalabad when their car broke down at night. He was able to get on a bus and return to Faisalabad.

Shafiq is also chairman of the World Tolerance Organization, established to commemorate Pearl. The offices have come under attack several times in the past and Shafiq has been repeatedly threatened. 

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