Family reunion: Man returns home after 13 years in captivity

Published: August 6, 2011
"They kidnapped me when I was 16. A group of them gagged me and took me away at night. When I woke up I didn’t know where I was," Tanveer Ahmad.

"They kidnapped me when I was 16. A group of them gagged me and took me away at night. When I woke up I didn’t know where I was," Tanveer Ahmad.


A man was reunited with his family 13 years after he was kidnapped.

According to police officials, Tanveer Ahmad who was allegedly kidnapped 13 years ago at the age of 16 years returned to Toba Tek Singh on Thursday. Ahmed told police officials that he had managed to escape his kidnappers and ran away from a factory a few days ago.

Ahmed escaped from a shoe factory in Balochistan a few days ago and boarded a bus to Toba Tek Singh. He went to the district police officer’s (DPO) office and told the police about his ordeal. “I asked them to help me find my family. I no longer know where they are,” he added.

Ahmed was a resident of Chak No 294GB near Toba Sadar. “They kidnapped me when I was 16. A group of them gagged me and took me away at night. When I woke up I didn’t know where I was but there was a room full of strangers,” he told police officials. Ahmed said that some of the other victims were as young as seven or eight years old.

“They would take us to a factory every day and then return to pick us in the evening. We were closely monitored and later they would lock all 14 of us in a room all night,” Ahmed told the DPO Ahsan Younas.

Ahmed said that the group was fed very little and that they were beaten often.

“We worked making shoes in a factory. During the evening they always kept us in a dark room and we never really saw their faces. There were four men who locked us up,” he added.

Ahmed told reporters that he had been working in the factory for over 12 years. “The first year they moved us around a lot until we were all sent to the factory,” he said. “Ahmed said that a few days ago, he somehow found himself unmonitored. I knew that if I was ever going to escape then it had to be now so I ran,” he said.

“I don’t know who the others were and the people kept changing but it was a fairly large operation. There were at least 13-14 people locked with me in the room every evening,” he said. Ahmed said that the shoe factory was located in a remote location. “It was in the middle of a barren desert. The place was not approachable by travellers or government functionaries. Hardly anyone ever came there,” he said. “Even the kidnappers left at night,” he added.

The DPO ordered the Sadar Police Station SHO to help Ahmed locate his family and also inquired into the details of the factory set up. “We are trying to expose the operation but we will have to confirm his story,” he added.

Consequently, Sadar SHO Bahar Husain Bhatti traced out Tanveer’s uncle Shaukat Ali and few other relatives. Six of Ahmed’s family members came to take him home and Ahmed was reunited with his family outside the DPO office.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • False Dawn
    Aug 6, 2011 - 10:14AM

    There seems to be a cavalier tone to the article, a routine matter of incarceration and forced labour for 13 years is the impression that is being given? Given that this information is certainly in the publc interest, perhaps some more efficient way of stringing the narrative is required to capture the gravity…


  • Aug 6, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Human rights associations need to eradicate slavery from Pakistan.


  • Naz Ebr
    Aug 6, 2011 - 2:34PM

    This pretty much sounds like a story of the Hollywood desert-horror movie.


  • Hedgefunder
    Aug 6, 2011 - 5:30PM

    Some Humans Rights !! If any such perception even exists in Pakistan !!
    Why has such horrendous story not made headlines is actually beyond belief !!! Its not 12 days of abduction and slavery, but bloody 12 years of it for this young man!!!!
    Funny how the Pakistanis love talking about Human Rights and Abuse by others and yet conveniently turn blind eye to the actual goings on in their own back yard!!!!
    This is a very shameful story and need serious media exposure!!


  • faraz
    Aug 6, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Just shocking, cruel


  • Somebody
    Aug 6, 2011 - 11:22PM


    And sweatshops are non-existant in India? Recommend

  • Dee
    Aug 7, 2011 - 12:03AM

    Just sad. His soul must be tormented.


  • Hedgefunder
    Aug 7, 2011 - 12:31AM

    There is difference between sweatshops and bonded labour!! If you can not grasp the differance than you certainly need help as this particular case is shocking due to the length of time involved and the capivity too !! The sweatshios don’t hold their their workers in imprisonment, but simply do not pay the going rate!!!
    Can you see the difference???
    What is with you lot, why bring India into every story??
    No wonder you don’t progress further, as you are too bloody focused staring at your neighbour!! Very sad!!
    This is a Tragic story about a man who lost 12 years of life due to this incident, and you guys are not even concerned about it !!!


  • Hedgefunder
    Aug 7, 2011 - 12:36AM

    If that is the case , than Tell all your countrymen, who try to claim bogus asylum cases in europe, not to play Human Rights card as its rather expensive for local taxpayers as everything here, and is funded by the state!!!!
    Even when there is no legitimate case, all they are trying to do is extend their stay!!!


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