PESHAWAR: Civil society activists, students and workers of political parties demonstrated here on Tuesday to condemn the disappearance of human rights activist Salman Haider and other bloggers. The protesters were holding placards and banners inscribed with demands for early recovery of the activists.
Addressing the protesters, ANP former MNA Jamia Gilani said that Pakistan was a democratic country and its constitution ensured full implementation of the universal charter of human rights, but even then freedom of expression was being curtailed in the country.
She said that no institution or law enforcement agency had the right to pick at their will political, social and human rights activists and writers. “The constitution gives citizens the right of assembly, freedom of speech, thought and opinion,” she said, pointing out that abduction of activists for being vocal for human rights was violation of the constitution and democratic norms.
Civil society activist Ms Sana Ejaz said disappearance of workers and writers in broad daylight was intolerable in a country where a democratic government existed. “We appeal to the judiciary, elected representatives and law enforcement agencies to ensure early recovery of Salman Haider and other bloggers. She said if cases were registered against the activists, the civil society would move courts.
A youth activist and university student, Pirzada Fawad-ur-Rehman, appealed to the international human rights organisations to take notice of disappearance of political, social and human rights activists in Pakistan.
Published in Dawn January 11th, 2017