PTI UC chairman goes missing in Karachi

Published April 1, 2023
Mohammed Salman.—Photo tweeted by @QasimKhanSuri
Mohammed Salman.—Photo tweeted by @QasimKhanSuri

A PTI UC chairman has gone missing in Karachi after attending a party protest against enforced disappearances outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) yesterday evening, family and police said on Saturday.

Mohammed Salman, the general secretary of PTI Sindh’s social media wing and chairman-elect of Union Council-8 at Burnes Road has been missing since Friday evening, his brother Muhammad Rauf told Dawn.com.

Rauf said his brother had left their home in the New Chali neighbourhood of the city on March 31 at 4pm to attend the party protest at the Karachi Press Club, but when he phoned his brother for Iftar, his cell phone was off.

Rauf added that he spoke with Salman’s friends who confirmed that he attended the rally. He went missing in the evening and was allegedly taken away from the area, Rauf said.

He said he considered his brother’s “enforced disappearance” as part of the alleged crackdown on PTI activists, as “so far four other social media activists have been taken away from Karachi only”.

Salman’s brother said he visited the Artillery Maidan Police Station at 3am on Saturday (today) to lodge a first information report (FIR), but after much persuasion, the police received his application and gave a “chit” to him.

South Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Syed Asad Raza confirmed to Dawn.com that the family had submitted an application. He said the PTI held a rally outside the KPC on Friday evening but it was not known where he went missing. The SSP said he has asked the police to approach the family and get information from them about the incident.

Meanwhile, the brother told Dawn.com they are going to file a petition before the Sindh High Court against Salman’s alleged abduction.

Separately, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi also alleged on Twitter that four social media workers were “picked up”. “Our social media correspondents Arshad Siddiqui, Mudassar Rehman, Fahad Siddiqui and Salman Sahil were picked up from Karachi,” he said.

“Their only crime is to stand with the truth and raise their voice against oppression. You are spreading hatred against you for a whole generation, it is dangerous for Pakistan. Wake up!”

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said it was a “complete breakdown of law in the country”. Taking to Twitter, he said: “Rampant abductions of citizens happening on a daily basis. This is not happening in some report corner of the country but in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and other major cities of the country.”

Fellow party leader and former speaker Qasim Suri tweeted a photo of Salman, and said that “another member of PTI social media team has been illegally abducted”.

Salmans’ alleged disappearance comes after another PTI social media figure, Azhar Mashwani, went missing for eight days before he returned home safely. When Mashwani was picked up, party chief Imran Khan had said “enough is enough”.

“Police in Punjab and Islamabad are breaking all laws with impunity as they target PTI. Today Azhar Mashwani was abducted in the afternoon from Lahore and his whereabouts are unknown,” the former prime minister had said.

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