ISLAMABAD: The PTI released a dossier on Tuesday that details “massive human rights violations” allegedly meted out to the party and its allies by the present government over the past year.

The dossier seeks to compile all the alleged human rights violations from April 10 last year — when the former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan was ousted — to March 21. It accused the government of illegal arrests, detention, custodial torture and victimising political workers, suppressing media reporting, attacking freedom of expression, and violating the dignity and privacy of political opponents.

The PTI has said that the dossier would be shared with the diplomatic community and international organisations, and it would also try to get personalities in federal and Punjab governments declared as persona non grata, like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was denied international travel after the 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujrat.

The main opposition party has also announced that it would file cases against Punjab’s and Islamabad’s inspector generals of police out of the country and warned that Pakistan would again be placed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list, which warrants increased surveillance for terrorism financing. Pakistan was removed from the list in October last year after more than four years.

Says will make efforts to get personalities in federal, Punjab govts declared as persona non grata

The announcements were made by senior PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Dr Shireen Mazari during a press conference in Islamabad.

Dr Mazari, a former human rights minister, told reporters that the dossier contained all “human rights conventions ratified by the government of Pakistan” and “proof regarding custodial torture and other alleged atrocities on PTI workers”.

“Enforced disappearances and violation of human rights have become common in Pakistan,” she said, adding that unknown people had been openly picking up citizens.

She said the dossier had been published in English because the PTI wanted to reach out to the international community.

She claimed that it was just the beginning and a supplementary document would also be released soon.

Dr Mazari also stressed that the European Union might not extend its GSP+ preferential tariff scheme for Pakistan when negotiations begin in April “because of the way the government had been violating human rights”.

Fawad Chaudhry said that PTI activists Azhar Mashwani and Shahid Hussain were “abducted” on March 23. However, he said, Mr Hussain was released on Monday “because he is a British national,” but Mr Mashwani could not be released because he was not so lucky “being a Pakistani”.

“The same is the case with the [Imran Khan’s nephew and his legal adviser] Hassaan Niazi because he did not prefer to get British nationality,” Mr Chaudhry, a former information minister, said.

He said that as many as 29 cases had been recently registered against the PTI chief, of which 15 were registered in a single day. Overall, 143 cases had been registered against Mr Khan and the party’s senior leadership, he said.

He also announced that cases would also be filed against the Punjab cabinet and IGPs of Punjab and Islamabad at international level. “Just like America had declared Narendra Modi as persona non grata after Gujrat riots, these persons will also be declared persona non grata. Their visas will be cancelled and they will not be able to show their faces at international level,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2023

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