“I can never forget those seven days which I spent in a place which felt like a grave,” said Dr Hazratullah, a senior doctor at the National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, who was kidnapped for ransom and then freed without paying a paisa.
He was abducted on June 25 along with his friend Badrul Islam from Bannu where they had gone to recover Islam’s stolen car. They were kidnapped not by the carjackers but by people who had information that their car had gone missing from Bhara Kahu, taking advantage of which they abducted them for ransom, according to Dr Hazratullah.
When they reached Bannu, a car stopped near them. Three men with light beards and moustaches got out and asked for the original documents of the stolen car to verify them, after which they asked the doctor and his friend to accompany them.
“It was more than a half an hour journey, but it felt like our last. The gunmen snatched our cell phones, wallets and other valuables,” said Dr Hazratullah. “We recited Kalma-e-Shahadat, and thought of our families, thinking we were about to be gunned down.”
They were taken to an under-construction building and asked to jump into a manhole and then crawl into a 10-feet long tunnel. “We found ourselves in a windowless basement. It felt like a grave. There they chained us,” he said. “We were given three meals a day, fruit and medicines.” They said they would release us as soon as they got the ransom, he stated. “During those seven days we did not know when the sun rose or set.”
However on the seventh day, the kidnappers blindfolded them and took them away. “When we opened our eyes we saw ourselves in a school building surrounded by army personnel. It was a miracle that we reached home safe,” he said. The kidnappers did not ask for ransom and the car is still missing.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ