Kidnapped doctor returns home after 48 days

QUETTA: Dr Sheikh Ibrahim Khalil, the neurosurgeon who was kidnapped last month, returned home on Wednesday after 48 days in captivity.

He was abducted on Dec 13 near Shahbaz Town by armed men while returning home from his clinic.

Dr Khalil’s car was found abandoned at a railway crossing near Shahbaz Town.

Doctors in Quetta have been on strike in protest against his kidnapping since last month and OPDs are not functioning in most hospitals.

Dr Ibrahim told the media that the kidnappers used to torture him, tying his hands and feet with iron chains.

He did not reply to a question whether he was freed after payment of ransom.

“I’m mentally disturbed and not able to answer questions at the moment,” Dr Khalil said. However, he praised all and sundry who made efforts for his recovery.

However, Doctors Action Committee chief Zahir Mandokhail claimed that Ibrahim Khalil’s family had paid a ransom of Rs 50 million for his release. “Since the administration failed to recover the doctor, we will have to make arrangements for our security,” he advised doctors.

The family, too, has confirmed that it had paid Rs 50 million as ransom.

Zahir Mandokhail told reporters that the kidnappers had dropped off Dr Khalil somewhere in Karachi and gave him Rs 5000 as travel expenses.

However, his relatives said the doctor was released in Chaman. On the other hand, Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove had indicated a few days ago the kidnappers had taken Ibrahim Khalil to Afghanistan.

Quetta DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema met the neurosurgeon on Wednesday and expressed relief over his return.

“Police and other law enforcement agencies were in touch with Dr Khalil’s family since his kidnapping. The kidnappers will be brought to justice,” the DIG said.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2019