Monday, January 17, 2022

Third ‘missing’ Pakistan activist returns home

At least five activists and bloggers had vanished mysteriously within a week since January 4. Rights groups have been protesting and demanding that the government locate them.

By: PTI | Islamabad |
January 29, 2017 8:10:30 pm
Supporters of Awami Worker Party hold a demonstration to condemn the missing human rights activists, in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. International and local rights groups on Tuesday urged the Pakistani government to investigate the abductions last week of four anti-Taliban activists — disappearances that critics claim reflect a crackdown on secular dissent. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) A third Pakistani activist, who was among the five persons who had gone “missing” earlier this month, has returned home safely, a day after two others known for their critical views about the fundamentalists returned. (Representational Image)

A third Pakistani activist, who was among the five persons who had gone “missing” earlier this month, has returned home safely, a day after two others known for their critical views about the fundamentalists returned. At least five activists and bloggers had vanished mysteriously within a week since January 4. Rights groups have been protesting and demanding that the government locate them.

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Blogger Asim Saeed returned home over the weekend, police sources said but did not give any details of his whereabouts during the period he was said to be “missing”. Local media reports quoted a sister of Saeed as saying that he reached home “safely”.

Unconfirmed media reports here said he has left Pakistan but officials showed ignorance about those reports.

Saeed had been missing since January 4, along with another blogger Waqas Goraya, who reportedly returned home yesterday.

Another activist Salman Haider, a professor at the Fatima Jinnah University in Rawalpindi, too returned home yesterday.

The details about Haider’s whereabouts during the period was not known. It is believed that Haider ran a popular group ‘Bhensa’ on Facebook on which messages and videos were shared against fundamentalist groups as well as the Pakistan Army.

It was not known whether they were kidnapped or where they were kept. Activists have been blaming secret agencies for it but the government has vehemently denied any role of the state authorities.

A United Nations human rights expert on January 12 called on the Pakistani authorities to make it a priority to locate and protect the disappeared human rights and social media campaigners, saying no government should tolerate attacks on its citizens.

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