Serious Human Rights Violation in Pakistan: No Trace of Imran Riaz Khan after his Abduction, Journalists and Political Workers under Persecution
By Fazal Amin Beg
Although, this contribution focuses, mainly and especially revolves around the abduction case of Imran Riaz Khan, a highly revered and prominent anchorperson and journalist of Pakistan, it also provides an overall perspective on the current political crises of the country and highlights the serious difficulties faced by the journalists and other mediapersons such as Sami Ibrahim, Akaash Ram, and so on. It sheds light on the unbearable human right issues in the country when a particular and popular political party is brought under target in the name of terrorism and the majority of workers cum leaders in thousands are unlawfully imprisoned. This article also includes English translation of a detailed interview of Mian Ali Ashfaq, a prominent lawyer of Pakistan leading the abduction case of Imran Riaz khan who is missing and there is no trace of him so far in three weeks time. It comes to the end with the conclusive remarks based on the discussion in the article.
It is so shocking and appealing that by now, there is no news and trace of a highly valued and renowned anchorperson and journalist of Pakistan Imran Riaz Khan after his unlawful, organized and tactical abduction at the Sialkot international airport on May 11, 2023. Despite the fact Mr. Amir Bhatti, the honorable, helpless and poor Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, has been ordering the related law enforcing agencies time again to produce the detainee in the court of law but the deceitful statements of the personnel of the police department and secret agencies hamper upon the order and no progress has been shown so far in the last seven hearings.The family and lawyers of Imran Riaz Khan have been showing their utmost and panic concern over his missing time and again in the court. The journalists and all citizens of Pakistan have been protesting to produce him in the court of law and file the lawsuit against him if any charge or allegation is on him.
Unfortunately, the highest ranked personnel like the Inspector General (IG) of Punjab police and related secret agencies under them have been refusing to accept that Imran Riaz Khan is under their custody after his release from Sialkot prison at mid night on May 12, 2023 against the set protocol and jail regulations. It is undoubtedly an irony that the IG has ventured to openly mislead the court and the people that if a person chooses to go with someone on his own, what could we do? To explain, it means Imran Riaz Khan was not abducted from the Sialkot Jail after midnight by some unknown people. Instead, he tries to develop his nonsense and shameful argument that Imran Riaz was released from the Jail and he has gone with some people, perhaps his friends.
A well-known lawyer of Pakistan Azhar Sadeeq and his colleagues of the concerned law firm have been trying their level best to robustly take their tested course of actions in the court but it sounds infertile so far, though lots of hopes are connected there yet. One of the acclaimed and leading lawyers and a closed friend of Imran Riaz Khan, named Mian Ali Ashfaq has claimed that he has series of evidences in different contexts but he was in the Britain behind his academic and professional pursuance but monitoring the situation vigilantly and remotely. He and his colleagues are so optimistic that they have the knowledge regarding their client that where is he at present and under whose custody after his systematic abduction. However, the deteriorating situations and delaying tactics regarding recovery of Imran Riaz Khan compelled Ali Ashfaq to take a break from his professional commitments and reached Pakistan to follow the case robustly and realistically on the ground.
Although, there are series of information and legal points that have been brought to the limelight by different sources in the media, the recovery of Imran Riaz khan as a missing person is becoming mysterious and highly concerned day by day and week by week. The mainstream media in Pakistan is witnessed to abstain giving due coverage to the devised incidence under the dummy and despotic Government forged by the atrocious military establishment. The social media so far is open to an extent and provide information on different issues and challenges in the country despite the fact crackdown has also been started against them.
Will revert to the case of Imran Riaz Khan in a while but let me note and highlight here some other and related burning issues to get a broader picture on the subject atter and states of affairs in the country. The State and Government-led terror attacks and persecution continue across Pakistan with the political workers and leaders of Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI), the largest and most popular political party of the country. Dozens of innocent people of PTI were shot dead in face of the preplanned and organized drama of the Government and the secret agencies under establishment. This unfortunate incidence resulted due to a terroristic attack on Islambad High Court and abduction of Chairman Imran Khan on March 9, 2023 in order to incite and inflame the concerned party workers in particular and the whole public in general. More than 700 people were wounded and some of them even reportedly lost their legs and/or other organs in the hospitals. So heart-breaking and inhuman treatements are made with the women and teen-aged children arrested and imprisoned on account of setting on fire some of the military structures in Lahore and entering itne h General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, which is certainly so much unfortunate and seriously condemnable, indeed.But a highly valid question arises that are those buildings or structures more valuable than the precious human livs as peace demonstrators without any weapons who were shotdead by the security forces?
News of highest level of atrocities are being reported by the credible journalists on social media that molestation of many women in the prisoners and police stations have been made so far. No lawyers or family members are allowed to meet those poor and peaceful demonstrators in the prisons. It should be noted that more than ten thousand PTI workers and leaders of different cadres and levels have been arrested and imprisoned out of reportedly over 23,000 enlisted people. The atrocities on them have series of stories to be captured and dozens of books could be written about them.
Moreover, a number of journalists and social media operators have been arrested and brought under varius types of custodial torture in Pakistan. For instance, on May 24, 2023, Sami Ibrahim, another prominent, revered and senior anchorperson, journalist and President of Bol News channel was abducted at Islamabad in the evening by the law enforcement agencies when he was leaving his office and driving towards his house. He is missing, no hint is given about him by May 29, 2023 and no trace is provided before the court of la by the related personnel of the secret agencies. Similarly, the staff members of Bol News Channel of Pakistan is under serious threats and persecution because they provide facts to the audience about the continuous brutalities in Pakistan. Earlier than Sami Ibrahim, some of his other colleagues were kidnapped and there is no news about them. They include Malik, Zuber and Akash Ram, the managers of finance, planning and marketing respectively. Shuaid Sheikh, the Co-Chairman of Bol News Channel, was arrested under fake cases and he went through enormous custodial torture under the personnel of secret agencies. He and his family are also under serious insecurity as his houses in Karachi was openly and blatantly dismantled by the law enforcement agencies. Keeping in view the life insecurity, wife of Shuaikh ahmad Shaikh was leaving Pakistan but she was arrested at the airport.
Thanks God, in the face of such brutalities of the monstrous Government and military establishment, Imran Riaz Khan himself, at least, published a video of nine minutes on May 11, 2023 when he has gotten an opportunity during an interval of the first phase of his abduction named as arrest. He has clearly described who are behind the motives and his elimination. I had already translated the video in English and published it on FAZALAMIN.COM and those interested could get access to the related publications on the website here:
It is noteworthy that a couple of days earlier, referring their diplomatic sources, a claim emerged on the surface by the “Reporters without Borders” (an International forum of journalists) that Imran Riaz Khan has been brought under atrocious violence in the hands of law enforcement agencies and it is claimed that “he may have died” consequently. To what extent the information of the sources Reporters without Borders could be termed credible has risen series of questions. However, it is so vivid that the tragic news on an international rador of journalism has led to a high panic among the family members and all those concerned with Imran Riaz Khan in Pakistan and across the borders.
Though, a lot of speculations are made about Imran Riaz Khan and questions of his survival in the hands of the law enforcement agencies, there are still rays of hopes that he will be produced in the court on May 30, 2023 in the morning. In such a suffocating situation, interestingly Zain Ali, a journalist on his YouTube channel, has interviewed a fortune-teller or a mystic person named Haji Hassan Baig who predits through his spiritual knowledge that Imran Riaz Khan I alive and no harm to him. According to him, he has seen him in Lahore. He will soon be produced and will be with his family. Let us pray and hope for the best.
Moving ahead, Mian Ali Ashfaq (MAA) was is seen to have been proactive within the legal framework in the court of law and social media after his return from London on May 23, 2023. On this very day, he talks in a detailed interview in Urdu with Sohrab Barkat (SB) of a social media named Siyasat.pk. (a youtube channel). I entirely translated it in English for the international audience and am thus presenting the discussion here in their own words to maintain the natural flow and order for the readers. I therefore invite the readers to read the texts line by line to understand the abduction case and various types of atrocities in Pakistan in an effective manner after the so-called regime change operation in Pakistan.
SB: Greetings Viewers! This is Suhrab Barkat speaking. You are watching Siyasat.Pk. Mr. Mian Ali Ashfaq has reached Pakistan this norning. He is a friend of Imran Riaz han and also one of his lawyers. Mr. Mian, Salam!
MAA: Salam to you, too. How are yu doing?
SB: Thanks God! Ali brother, Kindly, tell us on top how is Anchor Imran Riaz doing? Is he safe and protected? Any news update from his side?
MAA: I have the updates available with me. I know a bit his whereabout. With the special blessings of God, he iw well.
SB: I watched one of your interviews in which you had said that after he was arrested from Sialkot, he was moved across the entire provinces of the country. In which province is he at present?
MAA: Between two cities, for multiples times, he was shifted. I have both the information and materials available with me. There are certainly many things. If the issue was not resolved as it should have been resolved primarily in administrative realm. Suhrab, I will briefly tell you a few things. The entire [people of the] country knows that for the last one or one and a half year, many organizations maintained their reservation with Imran Riaz Khan regarding his journalistic standpoitn, whatever it may be. He has a generalistic opinon or feeling, which he puts in the journalistic norm, values and means.He thus takes his principle stance, which is not liked by many. I can confirm it, as I had said it earlier, too, that a coordinated strategy was taken and I am going to provide you the evidence [in this regard].
Look! When Imran Riaz was not a watned person against any lawsuit in Pakistan, as a month agaon, he had gone to perform Umra (pilgrimage) and returned to Pakistan. Even then he was not arrested against any case. No one treid to arrest him against any FIR (First Information Report). What wa then the justifidation of stopping him at the airport? Who was the person file the case against Imran Riaz after eight hours of his detention? Purely based on a fake and blatant story (allegation) connected with a village named Dhana, it has been tried to make a legal basis for the arrest of him.On the fake allegation, the Sialkot police has written their recommendations and the detention order has been passed on. Later, from the Cantt. [Police Station], he has been admitted in the Sialkot jail. And here lies the most important point.
When a person is registered and put in a jail, it has a complete protocol and procedure. The picture of the prisoner is taken. The timing is noted down in the computerized format,the fingerprint is taken, the data is incorporated. The process thus involves 30 to 40 minutes. The video clips are made that who has handed him over there. At what time the prisoner was received in the jail and the like. Today, I am going to reveal and share a couple of important points with you as these aspects have not been brought to the public domain, despite the fact I knew them from the very first day. I reserved myself due to my professional strategy and had conveyed it to my other legal associates and partners that how to move ahead with a common strategy. The related police personnel have been playing through their forged and satanic tricks and provision of misstatements, and by misrepresenting the facts and misquoting the events are ironic but let them continue. We will have our grips over their dishonesty and cheating.
When Imran Riaz Khan was taken out of the police station, he was shifted in another city. I have all those video clips available with me in evidence. I communicated the concerned civilian organizations as they told me that the detention order of Imran , based on my consent at that time and the police assured me,they will release Imran. They said: “We don’t want to detain him and what we are supposed to have out of him.” They further asked me: “Kindly, advise Imran to give us a formal application, getting aside the debates of legality and illegality of the story we have made about him. We now have the intention, we now have the assurance and approval of withdrawing his detention. He need to write that neither he has involved in the alleged case and he has no such intention ahead. On my advice, through the third party, I communicated it to him. Imran thus wrote the application and the formality of document was completed. Immediately, Imran Riaz was taken out of the city. I then involved some independent people, from my friends and family, to track the movement [of Imran]for his security purpose as I was feeling the risk that those personnel [of the police/agencies]might take him to some other places.[If in case happened so], we should have the last track of him. We thus made the videos timely.
SB: Was he followed after out of the jail?
MAA: In the police office where he had gone after leaving out of the police station, he [Imran Riaz] was received and seated in a vehicle and taken to another city. Up to the last end, the videos are available with me. Though, was the issue of Internet going on in Pakistan at that time,after two or three hours [the videos continue], unles the concerned gentleman (who had made the video) reaches his house.there are two or three independent sources. Among them are sources of the family of Imran Riaz and my friends, who made the videos while following them and remaining at a distance. He was thus shifted to another city and the last video track is available with me.
I then asked the respective police who gave his statement that he [Imran riaz] was transferred in the jail, there is the evidence with me which is quite the opposite. You are cheating us. There is a distraction. You people have created a classical diversion. I was predicting that you people will cheat and therefore the videos have been made. Tell me honestly whether he is in the jail or somewhere else? You had promised me that you will end up the drama adn won’t proceed further with the matter and keep him within your jurisdiction. For this reason on administrative side, I was cooperating with you. Now, leave it right there. Tell me the truth. They gave me the assurance that the video was not genuine. Imran has been shifted in Sialkot Jail.
Now, the next drama begins here. When the police knew the videos have reached me and processed.The location has been identified and taken, they made a drama at night. At a place, where Imran had been taken, he was brought back from there to the prison. I was then told that we don’t have anything to do with him. We had withdrawn his detention order and handed over to the jail police.Now, my question is very important here.
When the detention order of Imran was withdrawn and he is a prisoner in the jail,how could the DCO (District Coordinating Officer) communicate it to the jail police? When did the police ask the DCO to order the withdrawal of the case? When did the DCO oder it and who issued the release order? How was it made? Whether it ws made by fax or through Messenger the release order of DCO reached to the jail police? When was it received and verified?
Let me share it with you and it is very important to bring in your notice. According to the jail manual (rules), after the sunset in the evening, no prisoner can be released. At midnight by 11:00 p.m, who did release Imran Riaz? The Jailer and Inspector General of Jail Police should sit with me an respond. On whose order, Imran Riaz was released at midnight by 11:20 p.m? This illustrates] it was a coordinated operation. All the agencies were [behind the] operation in a complete coordination. This is where the plan has been modified or altered. In such manner, they pushed the affairs ahead. When he wsa being released (at midnight), I was told,I requested ten to fifteen friends to be around the left, right and central direction of the jail to monitor the situation.
Some people are seen entered in the jail premises. Their faces were covered. Who order the jail personel to release Imranz Riaz at 11:20 p.m by violating the jail manual rules? Was it the Jail Superintendent?
Imran had no communication outside as a prisoner and had no communication line to conctact someone outside the prison. It should also be brought on record whether Imran Riaz was provided any facility of telephone inside the jail whereby he was abled to contact his family and they came there as the IG Punjab so unashamedly states: “How could we know, may be his friends have taken him along with them?”
O the shamless people! God’s curse will be upon you. You’ll see I have those evidenes with me and I will take them to the court of law. You people are the direct party in this case. You have your personal vendetta in the case.
SB: Who is the party? Whether the IG Punjab or the Punjab police?
MAA: I have been telling it for the last many days and I am in my full sense as I have the evidence and I will present it to the court. Against Imran Riaz Khan, the IG Punjab continues an inquiry in the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency). Please note down the date as I have the summon with me of March 17, 2023. I am going to establishment my argument around the summon in the court. I am so openly saying it that Imran Riaz Khanhad a twitted in March where the IG police was addressing the police at Mian Wali and order them that if someone of the public attacked the police, open fire on them directly with ten bullets and the like. There were such type of statements. Imran Riaz thus twitted and wrote that the IG police has given such orders to the police to shoot the citizens. This internal and official news break by Imran Riaz was taken up seriously by the IG Punjab.
Listen me now Dr. Usman Anwar, the IG Punjab! On the basis of this tweet, you opened an inquiry against Imran Riaz against the cyber crimein FIA as you have ben a director of this agency. You pressurized the current FIA Director and on March 17, 2023 two months earlier, Imran riaz receives a summoned of the Director as the subject states: Defamation of IG Punjab. It has been mentioned that Imran Riaz has defamed Dr. Usman Anwar. On your grievances, instruction, consent and approval, an inquiry and investigation was initiated.Here lies the motivation.
Such an IG, as a grieved person has ordered for the inquiry on his defamation agains Imran Riaz Khan. This very IG thus comes to court and lectures outside to the people by saying: “Well, I have the bonafide (good intention) for him. God protect him.”
Come on Mr. IG!Listen me carefully. You are not the only bureaucrat in Pakistan. There is no doubt that each police officer possesses a dream to reach to the highest professional position as IG.”
IG Punjab would feel aggrieved from the journalistic profession of Imran Riaz Khan. He therefore has his personal vendetta and animosity with him. In this connectionl he did play his central role to facilitate the concerned people to arrest Imran Riaz Khan so that to get a bit relief from his personal pain.
SB: Who did he facilitate?
MAA: I have the evidence where a summon was despatched to Imran Riazfor his inquiry. I don’t know the latest upates. There may have come up any change in the litigation. And, there may also be pending of The litigation on Imran by FIA. For this purpose, we are going to get the confirmation from the court about it. The IG Punjab has therefore his direct involvement in the case of Imran Riaz Khan as a party.
How could we trust or get satisfied on the case when a person considered as a member of the opposite party in the eyes of the law and I as a lawyer of Imran Riaz Khan? I therefore defend the ccase as I reached Pakistan last night. We will try to fix the date of case hearing on May 25, 2023 , though the vacation is also coming.I will present all evidences before the court.
Again and again, the IG tries to show himself as a bonafide person.The charge-sheet is now getting directed towards him. Just imagine! Standing before the court, he is stating and accusing the organizations of the national security. He is putting the liability and responsibility upon the shoulders of those organizations. Mr. IG: you are the central facilitator of the abduction case of Imran Riaz Khan.The IG prisons: listen me! You and IG Punjab are the centrally suspected characters.
SB: Ali Bhai, the last question please. Tell us in whose custody is Imran Riaz? The personal grouse (or grievance) of IG came on the surface. For who did the IG perform facilitative role? .
MAA: With a high responsibility I am telling you that there has been a coordinated operation of the civilian law enforcement agencies. However, the consent of other organizations is also with them (referring towards the secret agencies under the military).I do not dismiss their role. There was a strong apprehension in the beginning that for a little time, Imran Riaz was not in the civilian custody. However, subsequently, as I have been telling you again and again that Imran Riaz is under the custody of the civilian agencies. Possibly, the custody of Imran Riaz has been given to other organizations.
The IG possibly doesn’t hold that capacity at present in normal occasion. He therefore initially took the legal pathway by knocking the door of FIA and the latter issued summon. We then approached and got appointment from FIA. Consequuently, the FIA kept silence.
When the misfortunate incidence of May 9, 2023 occurred, when the public lost their sanity and the public organizations were attacked. The IG Punjab took a highest level of advantage out of this incidence. He opted for taking his personal revenge and animosity from Imran Riaz by facilitating and abusing his power in the given situation.At present, as I share it honestly with you, he is under the civilian custody. There is a sub-branch of Punjab policeadn I won’t describe the specific detail. Imran Riaz is however now under the direct control of IG Punjab.
It is so much unfortunate that the IG is now charging his sister agencies for the abduction and recommends to the Chief Justice to summon the Secretaries of Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense.In such manner, he is transferring the liability from his shoulder to the others. A head of a civilian organization (police department) is thus giving a chargesheet to the other state organizations and recommends in the court that those secretaries should be called and they can solve the issue as they do not cooperate with him. Imran Riaz is not under the police custody as he maintains.
In so many words, you are transferring the liability upon them. By implying that though the facilitation you have done in the case, the command is with those people. Though, I did perform my facilitative role in the abduction of Imran Riaz and the liability is coming upon my shoulder.
For the crime carried out by me with Imran Riaz and I am going to be convicted. From Based on the evidences, the family of Imran Riaz against the unknown people, we have written there in the FIR (First Information Report) that the police and jail police that they are the essential facilitators. In the summon of the FIA regarding the Defamation of IG and other public officials, this is tangible and enough to nominate the IG Punjab and IG Jails in the case.
Next, at present, I am holding the representatives of the Federal Government within the civil bureaucracy.Those peple are also directly involved and party in the case because Imran Riaz has conducted shows in the media against them [their unlawful practices]. Whenever necessary, they will also be nominated and summoned.
SB: Two short questions. I myself have interviewed Imran Riaz. He shared with me that messages had been communicated to him that next time when he will be arrested, he won’t be spared. Sir, Imran Riaz Khan is also considered as an anti-establishment journalist. The way he has been kidnapped and kept in an unknown place somewhere. Do you think there is also the role of Establishment in this regard?
MAA: Look! There is a bitter history behind, Suhrab. You know 23 cases were filed against him. When Imran Riaz was victimized last year and fake lawsuits were made against him, all those state and defense organizations involved were also seen as the patterns showed. [However], what I could understand they cannot go to such an extent to abduct Imran Riaz and keep him under torturing condition. Earlier I considered that may be those sensitive agencies had such kind of strategies and leading role based on the patterns. But in the current context, I consider IG Punjab responsible for it till today.It never means I am going to absorb someone. This time, the leading role seems to that of IG Punjab.Honestly speaking, as I am telling you, in this case, I am also finding the traces and tracks of other civilian bureaucrats.
You said that Imran Riaz is considered as an anti-establishment journalist.Which anti-establishment journalist we are talking about? In Pakistan, those among the journalist community that were considered anti-establishment would take it as a pride. This also holds true of the legal fraternity where it is asked whether you are anti-establishment or pro-establishment?I don’t think Imran has been anti-establishment. In this regard, the big, rude, hypocrite and double standard people feel a pride when they do such kind of job. But when other people do so, they blatantly become their servants. All those, who have remained to the left side have shifted to the right, and those who were on the right have got shifted to the left. Let me tell you clearly that Imran has been alleged to be a person, a mouth piece, of establishment. For the last 12 to 15 years, he has been accused that he has been a mouth piece of the state organizations. [To illustrate], he has been representing and defending the narratives and policies of the state organizations for being their mouth piece. At that time, there was such allegation on him. While at present, they allege him in the opposite domain. Those who have reasoning, need to measure their intellectual criteria and cure their mental stability.
SB: In the court, Advocate Azhar Sadeeq described that with an undertaking he was ready to state that Imran Riaz Khan is present in Lahore. What is the reality. You would have more information about it. Is he really present in Lahore?
MAA: Look whatever [Lawyer] Azhar describes, we do discuss it mutually and pass on the statements on the subject. There are two revelations and I don’t deny both. The incidence occurred through a well coordinated strategy. We do have mutual consultations and seldom we have our separate opinions. Keeping in view the involved sensitivities and the nature of the case, we do formulate present our statements. Honestly speaking, I have personally contacted and requested the related authorities, time and again, that we won’t like to take this issue further. Serius crimes have been committed. [Laws regarding] his integrity, his privacy, his career, his life [security] and his freedom have been breached up to the maximum level. After abduction, serious life threat and damage are given to him. You have committed a huge crime. If the court deliberates, the criminals could be given death sentence or life long imprisonment. The concerned police personnel should get lesson out of it. The adventure you had made in the Model Town incidence [in Lahore], five to seven senior police officers thus got gravely entrapped and exhausted in the courts of law. In the tragic murder incidence of late Benazir Bhutto, innumerable personnel of law enforcement agencies who were under inspection said that they are working on the issue with no output. But, what happened then? Finally, for over five years, they were punished and sent in the prisons. The days, time and situations pass on and nothing could be anticipated.
For God sake, remember you are not our enemies and we don’t have any personal rancor or anger with you. But in response to the previous media programs and tweets of Imran Riaz Khan against you, the timing that you have chosen to take your personal vendetta and malicious reactions and the motives behind [are so great]. Hats off to you. When the time and conditions will get changed, that time then don’t complain or make excuse that you are politically victimized.So better come in sense. The mission and the project that was before you, you have so competently delivered it. This much is sufficient now. Release him, now. Thanks God, he is in the custody of God. He is well and alive. Better release him and stop the mockery further. Finsih this drama. Seventeen or eighteen days for the drama with a human is more than enough. His family is under serious panic. For instance, if anyone from the IG Punjab or IG Prisons, or the Secretary Interior Pakistan is abducted or someone of their family is kidnapped so openly, it would then be seen to what extent their families could bear the pains, they would never celebrate jubilance over the disgusting crime.
Keep in mind if you consider Imran Riaz has breached the law or the constitution, I appreciate to charge him at any cost. I offer you this for being a friend and lawyer of Imran. Bring him in the legal framework. But don’t forget it the IG, you are never aboe the law of the country. Similarly, you are not above the law the IG Prisons. Likewise, the Secretary Interior Pakistan, you people are not above the law. All thoe who are responsible are not above the law.I live in a constitutional land. My country has the constitution.
When I talk of the law, and those blatant people who describe that Imran Riaz is anti-establishment, for them are the examples. You saw when 23 fake cases were filed against him [Imran Riaz], how did all those cases were dismissed from the courts in light of the verdicts. What does it mean?It means you had filed the fake litigations without any evidence. It means that Imran has never breached the laws and the constitution. If you feel aggrieved from his statements, you can sit together and settle the issues. Isn’t there any previous example where you have not sat together with the journalists and had mutual counselling? If you think you are the absolute and all times you are to be listened, it is then your misunderstanding.
The victimization you were supposed to do, that you have done. God forbid, as an example has been set like that of late Arshad sharif where the State Organizations deny the realities and free themselves from the murder, it would then be disastrous. Sohrab, I am going to share an important point with you here. There are the public statements of the State or defense organizations (agencies) at highest levels that they haven’t any concern or link with the murder of Shaheed Arshad Sharif. If they withdraw their involvement from the case of late Arshad Sharif, they would certainly dissociate themselves from the case of Imran Riaz. If there are such type of [unfortunate] responses from the highest levels, how could I accept or trust the IG Punjab where he does say that Imran Riaz is in the hands of the sister organizations or agencies?
Look, Imran Riaz was exactly at the airport and the IG states Imran Riaz was not wanted by them. On the other hand, the police of IG was engaged with the operation with him [Imran Riaz]. The IG then describes he didn’t know about it and then raises his finger and refers the case toards the sister agencies.
SB: Ali Bhai, who are the sister agencies?
MAA: Sister agencies in Pakistan are the civilian and military agencies. For instance, apart from the police, they include FIA (Federal Investigation Agency), ISI (InterServices Intellegence), MI (military Intellegence), IB (Intellegence Bureau), and other law enforcement agencies. So, the IG should explain and specify which sister agency is it to be summoned in the court who you have helped? Take their name. After confession of the crime, you are putting the liability on the shoulders of other agencies.
For God’s sake! As a professional lawyer of Imran Riaz Khan and on behalf of his family, I am stating that Imran Riaz doesn’t have any vendetta with any agencies of Pakistan whether ISI, MI, FIA or the police. Within his journalistic profession, if he criticizes the policies of the Government or policies of the State while remaining within the domain of the law, it is his fundamental right and he is entitled to do so. Who doesn’t do so? And why shouldn’t and how couldn’t one do so when the Constitution of Pakistan does allow? If you don’t buy his criticism, this is never the legal pathway to kidnap him. And then to maintain silently and say: “We don’t know about it and that where is he.” We do have the digital and other footprints available with us about you as evidences. Now, we are goig to nominate you in the case. We sufficiently showed our tolerance and restraint. Finally, we are giving you a chance again . For God’s sake, end up the drama here.
In the FIR of Imran Riaz, as one of our accused, we will not delay to nominate and prosecute you. The FIR which was registered in Sialkot, it was under the observation,consent and the spirit of proceeding before the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court. It was carried out for the purpose of fulfilling and bringing the case within the legal framework. It never means it will be treated like the ordinary litigations and the scope of the case will end.
SB: Many many thanks, Ali Bhai. You became highly emotional.
MAA: Well, he is my friend. His family is under serious pain. We all are in pain. This is something I am holding and I have all the evidences with me and will bring the case further to the limelight.
SB: Thanks, once again.
I hope the readers would have got many realistic and legal viewpoints out of the above detailed interview of Ali Ashfaq and the contributed article. What lessons we could derive out of such phenomena in Pakistan?
First and foremost, look how do the various forms and layers of mafia coordinate and collaborate with each other through their evil nexus and satanic forces. They include the rogue elements, usurpers and exploiters in the Government, establishment, bureaucracy, secret agencies within both the military and civilian realms, business sector, media and even the judiciary.
Though, there are specfulations and rumors about the existence of Imran Riaz Khan, his lawyers seem certain of his survival. It sounds that even they know the respective agencies involved in the case and that is why they have nominated the IG Punjab on top under whom the civilian secret intelligence services operate. Or may be due to the sensitivity of life risk of Imran Riaz, his lawyers are compelled to take a wise strategy not to charge the secret agencies at this point of development.
Imagine the level of oppression through the State functionaries and Government-led terror and terroristic attacks in different forms!How could the genral masses be termed safe and secure in Pakistan in the hands of oppressors when the prominent voices of the public and media against the injustices are suppressed and persecuted through atrocious strategies of the rulers? Look at the various forms of violation and suppression of the fundamental human rights , women rights and children rights. Unfortunately, in Pakistan those who championed the human rights are indifferent on such a massive level of suppression and oppression with the poor and marginalized people.
In conclusion, let us rise, join hands together, avow, chorus and orchestrate our strong and genuine voices against the injustices, oppression, and suppression continuing in Pakistan for the last one year, especially since May 9, 2023 when the public and military spaces and structures were unfortunately damaged by some violent protestors reportedly through organized stragegies of the Government itself (as the blame game reportedly reached to the Chief of Army Staff and it is between Military Intellegence (MI)and Intellegence Bureau (IB). Violence in any form could never be appreciated in any civilized society and it is strongly condemnable, indeed. However, it was this unfortunate day when dozens of people were murdered and they lost their precious lives. It is a pity and vocifersouly condemned that there is no value of those murdered people before the ignorant Government and the arrogant and insensitive military establishment.
Enough is enough! Let’s demand at national and international level that the Government and especially the military establishment, must release Imran Riaz Khan, Sami Ibrahim, all other journalists and mediapersons.
Enough is enough! Let’s call an pressurize the dummy Government under the military establishment that they must immediately release the innocent and poor PTI workers and leaders (women, children and men, who have been unlawfully imprisoned across Pakistan.
Enough is enough! Let’s stand with and submit our plea to the fair justices of the judiciary of Pakistan to robustly enforce their judgements and bring the monstrous culprits (whether within civilian or military domain) under the judicial sentences in a most effective manner. In the age of globalization and knowledge, The frequent and serious violators of the law and constitution of Pakistan are well known even to the general public, especially the educated youth, and get aside the law experts or lawyers or justices of the courts. In order to provide true and effective justice and lessons to others, it is imperative to bring the criminal public servans (both military and civilian)and corrupt political forces under Article 6 of the constitution on sedition suit.
Enough is enough!Let’s echo our strongest voices together and demand from the notorious Government and cabinet members to immediately resign from their positions and announce the election date for free and fair election.
Enough is enough, let’s demand and pressurize the few and notorious Generals in the military establishment and the secret agencies to immediately stop medlling in the politics from here onward and remain within their legal ambit in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan. Otherwise, the key and highest position-holders must resign from their positions for their misconduct who are genuinely liable for the suppression and violation of human rights in Pakistan under different articles and sections, especially Article 6 of mutiny and transgressing their legal limits.
God forbid, if the political instability in absence of pluralism as a process continues in such manner for the next couples of weeks and months, Pakistan could go under further and highest level of crises in different forms. The union and integration of the country may be compromised and split through different radical strategies. This seems to have been enabled first by internal factors as the known traitors and usupers. Second, the external factors like the international powers in the neighborhood and the Western allies led by the United States. It is therefore strongly advisable and better to come in sense and out of individual egotism , lust of power, greed, ignorance and insensitivity. Once, all stakeholders begin truly honoring and complying with the law of the land and constitution of Pakistan in its letter and spirit, the situations will spontaneously start ameliorating and the citizens will start building confidence over the sincere measurements taken by the key stakeholders. Let me finish this meagre contribution with the ever effective and logical phrase and stance of Chairman Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan: “The societal issues, conflicts and regression are robustly underpinned with the Rule of Law and the Justice System in Pakistan.” Above all, for the “Rule of Law”, the will and determination of individuals and groups have to drastically change their course of actions and opt for honesty and sincerity to be truthful, trustful, generous and pluralistic while remaining within the proscribed domains of the consitution.
In conclusion, I would earnestly request all stakeholders including the related agencies of United Nations, the international Human Rights bodies and entities, the global academia, the champions of democracy and peace, the powerfull and right-based states, the international forums for children, women and youth, to kindly raise your strongest voices for the immediate release of Imran Riaz Khan and Sami Ibrahim in addition to other colleagues of Bol News including Akaash Ram, Malik and Zubair. Last but never least, kindly demand robustly for the immediate release of over tten thousand innocent political workers and leaders including the women, youth and teen-aged children who are in grave conditions in the confinements and torture cells of the exhaustive prisons of Pakistan.
Note: I feel there could be typos and other errors related with the sentence structures or otherwise as I could not recognize them due to my visual disability that I lost after qualifying my PhD Coursework in Summer 2011. I however work effectively and efficiently with the help of an invaluable screen reading software called JAWS (Job Access With Speech). My sincere apologies for the inconvenience and I hope the texts are readers friendly.