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Pakistan rejects claims of crackdown against dissidents abroad

10 اگست 2021
The FO spokesperson said there was no question of any threat being made to any national of any state. File photo
The FO spokesperson said there was no question of any threat being made to any national of any state. File photo

Pakistan on Tuesday rejected a report which accused Islamabad of cracking down against dissidents who are residing abroad, reported Dawn.

According to The Guardian on Saturday “Pakistani exiles living in London who have criticised the country’s powerful military have been warned that their lives are in danger.”

The foreign media report added that the threat had raised fresh concerns “over authoritarian regimes targeting foreign dissidents in the UK”.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry responded to the report and rubbished its claims. He was quoted in Dawn as saying “there was no question of any threat being made to any national of any state including Pakistan’s own nationals living anywhere on any pretext whatsoever.”

The Guardian story also talked about a man who charged with conspiring murder of Ahmad Waqass Goraya, an exiled Pakistani blogger and activist, in the Netherlands.

It also talked about Ayesha Siddiqa, a Pakistani political scientist and commentator based in London, saying she had also received a threat from Metropolitan police.

Quoting a former UK high commissioner to Pakistan, Mark Lyall Grant, the report said: “If there is illegal pressure, in particular on journalists in the UK, then I would expect the law enforcement agencies and the British government to take notice of that and to make an appropriate legal and/or diplomatic response.”

The report also accused Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government for suppressing press freedom and increasing “violent attacks on journalists”.

The FO spokesperson rejected the claim saying the allegations were “blatant on-going misinformation campaign” against Pakistan to malign the country and its state institutions.

Chaudhri said that the unsubstantiated allegations appeared to be part of the “blatant on-going misinformation campaign” against Pakistan to malign the country and its state institutions.