[ 9 Aug, 2006 1738hrs ISTIANS ]
KABUL: Pakistan has released an Afghan Sikh journalist who was arrested on the Pakistan-Afghan border and tortured on charges of being an Indian national, and also apologised over the ‘mistreatment’.
Spokesperson of the Radio and Television of Afghanistan, Anwar Wafadar Samandar, informed media persons in Kabul Wednesday that Pakistan had expressed its apology over the arrest of Dayal Singh Ganjana.
Ganjana was arrested by the Frontier Corps on the Pakistan-Afghan border at Spin Boldak while on his way to attend the International Conference on Pushto Literature in Quetta city of Pakistan. Samandar said Ganjana was handed over to the Pakistani intelligence agency. He was tortured. Their charge was that he was an Indian national.
“Pakistan must not have behaved in such a manner,” Samandar said.
Ganjana is a highly respected expert of the Pushto Service of the Afghan national broadcaster, Radio and Television of Afghanistan (RTA).
He was going to Quetta, capital of Balochistan, as a member of an Afghan delegation of journalists, poets and writers. The delegation had the official permission to attend the conference.
At the border post at Spin Boldak, a Pakistani officer allowed them to enter, but immediately on crossing in to Pakistan territory, their vehicles were seized and searched. The Pakistani militiamen behaved in an extremely rude and insulting manner.
The delegation protested and returned back to the Afghanistan side of the frontier check post. But, Ganjana was not allowed to go back by the Pakistani guards. He was handed over to the Pakistan intelligence agencies.
The National Radio and Television of Afghanistan had taken up the matter with the Afghan foreign ministry strongly. The Afghan Journalists Union had also protested.
Afghan Sikh scribe ‘detained’ by Pakistan
Posted by admin on 2006/8/8 1:22:34
Kabul, Aug 8 (IANS) An Afghan Sikh radio broadcaster was allegedly arrested in Quetta by Pakistani soldiers when he went there as part of his country’s delegation to a conference.
Dayal Singh Ganjana, an expert of the Pushto service of Afghanistan’s national broadcaster Radio and Television of Afghanistan, was arrested at the Spin Boldak border with Afghanistan.
Ganjana was on his way to the Balochistan capital as member of a delegation of journalists, poets and writers to attend a conference on the Pushto service.
A member of the delegation said a Pakistani officer allowed them to enter. But immediately their vehicles were seized and searched.
The delegation protested and returned back to the Afghanistan side of the frontier. But they found that the Pakistani authorities had detained Ganjana. They do not have any clue about his fate.
Demanding the immediate release of Ganjana, the delegation has also sought an apology from Pakistani authorities for their behaviour.
Afghanistan’s national broadcaster has urged its foreign ministry to take up the case strongly with Pakistan and get Ganjana released immediately.
The Afghan Journalists Union has taken strong exception to the Pakistani conduct.