Disappeared: Silencing Pakistan’s activists

Jan 23, 2017

By Asad Hashim

Islamabad, Pakistan – On the afternoon of January 7, Ahmed Raza Naseer was sitting with his brother at their shop in a small village just outside the central Pakistani town of Nankana Sahib, when a nondescript man holding a mobile phone to his ear walked in.

He spent some time looking at their wares – mobile phones, mostly – before asking the brothers their names. After they answered, he asked which of them used a particular mobile phone number.

When Ahmed replied that he did, he was told to stand up. The 27-year-old struggled to his feet – he has been afflicted with polio in his right leg since he was a boy.

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4 comments on “Disappeared: Silencing Pakistan’s activists

  • 1
    fadeordraw says:

    Note: this is an Al Jazeera English on-line article. When traveling in Turkey and African countries, we often go to Al Jazeera English t.v. to keep up with world events. We have found the reporting of a high quality.

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  • On a slightly more positive note:-


    Religious broadcaster Aamir Liaquat Hussain is a controversial figure in Pakistan

    Pakistan’s media regulator has banned a high-profile television host after accusing him of hate speech that could put lives at risk.
    Aamir Liaquat Hussain had accused five missing liberal activists and their supporters of blasphemy.

    Such allegations can incite murder in Pakistan where blasphemy is a crime that can result in the death penalty.

    The regulator’s decision to ban the controversial religious broadcaster takes place “with immediate effect”.

    Amir Liaquat, who describes his programme Aisay Nahi Chalega (This is Not Acceptable) as Pakistan’s leading TV show, publicly criticised the five liberal bloggers who mysteriously disappeared earlier this month.

    All had aired views critical of the military or militancy on social media. No group has said it is holding them.

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  • Also:- It seems some of the “disappeared”, went into hiding after blasphemy allegations.


    Pakistani blogger Salman Haider has returned home, more than 20 days after disappearing in the capital Islamabad.

    Salman Haider teaches at Fatima Jinnah Women’s University in Rawalpindi

    He was one of five liberal activists to have disappeared in recent weeks.

    Mr Haider’s brother said he was well, but did not disclose where the blogger had been.

    The men had aired views critical of the military or militancy on social media. No group has admitted holding them. The government has denied accusations that its secret agencies were involved.

    When the activists disappeared in early January, hundreds of people held protests across Pakistan to demand that the authorities trace them.

    Mr Haider, a well-known poet and university professor, was last seen in Islamabad on 6 January, two days after bloggers Waqas Goraya and his cousin Asim Saeed disappeared in Lahore.

    Another blogger, Ahmed Raza Naseer, who has polio, disappeared from his shop in Skeikhupura near Lahore on Saturday.

    A fifth activist, Samar Abbas, also disappeared a few days later.

    The whereabouts of the other four men are not known, but the AFP news agency on Saturday reported that one of them had been confirmed as safe by a family member. The relative asked AFP not to disclose his name.

    Pakistan’s government expressed concern and said they were investigating.

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