Expressing concern over the ‘detention’ of Pakistani women rights activist Gulalai Ismail’s father in Pakistan and continued harassment faced by her family, the US has urged Islamabad to uphold the rights of citizens.
“We are concerned by reports of the continued harassment of Gulalai Ismail’s family, and her father’s detention today. We encourage Pakistan to uphold citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly, expression, and due process,” Acting Assistant Secretary Alice Wells said, according to a tweet by Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
Retweeting the aforementioned tweet by Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Ismail wrote, “U.S State department is concerned about the detention of my father. By persecuting citizens for exercising their human rights Pakistan is damaging its own reputation.”
Pakistani women rights activist Gulalai Ismail, who is currently in the US on Thursday said that her father was picked up by “men wearing militia dress” in Peshwar.
“My father has been picked up by men wearing Malitia dress from outside of Peshawar High Court an hour ago,” Ismail had tweeted.
Ismail termed the abduction of her father in Peshawar an attempt to terrorise the women of Pakistan and others who dare to use their “conditional rights”.
“Abduction of my father is an attempt to terrorise women of Pakistan who’ve got fathers’ backs; to stifle dissent, to terrorise people who dare use their conditional rights,” the women rights activist has said in another tweet.
Ismail managed to escape Pakistan to seek political asylum in the United States in September after being accused of treason. She reached the US months after she was arrested and released for holding a protest demonstration outside the National Press Club in Islamabad.
“My father Professor Ismail was abducted militia
men from outside Peshawar High Court”: Gulalai
Activist Gulalai Ismail on Thursday called the abduction of her father in Peshawar an attempt to terrorise the women of Pakistan and others who dare to use their “conditional rights”.”Abduction of my father is an attempt to terrorise women of Pakistan who’ve got fathers’ backs; to stifle dissent, to terrorise people who dare use their conditional rights,” Ismail tweeted.
The activist was responding to a tweet by another human rights activist who said she is worried that Gulalai’s father would be tortured. Ismail, who has sought political asylum in the United States, has claimed that her father was picked up by “men wearing militia dress” from outside the Peshawar High Court on Thursday. She was accused of treason in Pakistan and later managed to escape the country in September.
During a chat with the media in New York last month, Ismail had voiced her concerns about her parents’ safety in Islamabad. “I am still worried about my parents back home and the underground network that secretly protected me when I escaped,” Gulalai said.
She has now become the new face of hope for the oppressed minorities in Pakistan who raise their voice against Islamabad’s atrocities on the roads of New York. Last month, Ismail was seen on the streets of the city, highlighting the plight and miseries that minorities are facing for decades in Pakistan and demanded that the Pakistani Army end human rights violations. “There’s a dictatorship in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by the Pakistani military establishment,” Ismail had said.
According to a report in Dawn, a non-bailable warrant was issued against her by a Pakistani court in a case pertaining to maligning national institutions. Ismail had deemed the non-bailable arrest warrant as an act of appeasement before the country’s intelligence agency ISI.
The order issued states that the court would initiate the process to declare her a “proclaimed offender” if the “suspect” does not appear before the court on October 21, the report had said.
Gulalai Ismail on Friday condemned the “criminal silence” of mainstream Pakistani media on the abduction of her father.”Around 19 hours ago my father was abducted from the premises of Peshawar High court, but there’s a pin drop silence on mainstream Pakistani media. I’ve run out of words to condemn the criminal silence of media; it has become an ally of military in imposing unannounced martial law,” she said in a tweet.
Gulalai Ismail, who is currently in the US on Thursday said that her father was picked up by “men wearing militia dress” in Peshawar.”My father has been picked up by men wearing Militia dress from outside of Peshawar High Court an hour ago,” Ismail had tweeted.