US Assistant Secretary of State Alice G. Wells, who is also the in-charge of South Asia affairs at the US State Department, on Friday expressed concern over “reports of the continued harassment” of rights activist Gulalai Ismail’s family and her father’s alleged detention.
“We encourage Pakistan to uphold citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly, expression, and due process,” Wells said in a post shared on Twitter.
In a post shared on Twitter today, Ismail criticised the silence of the mainstream Pakistani media following her father’s alleged abduction from the premises of the PHC.
“I’ve run out of words to condemn the criminal silence of media; it has become an ally of [the] military in imposing unannounced martial law,” she said.
Pakistani women rights activist Gulalai Ismail, who is currently in the US, on Thursday said that her father was picked up by “men wearing militia dress” in
“My father has been picked up by men wearing Malitia dress from outside of Peshawar High Court an hour ago,” Ms Ismail had tweeted.
Ms Ismail termed the abduction of her father in Peshawar an attempt to terrorise the women of Pakistan and others who dare to use their “conditional rights”.
“Abduction of my father is an attempt to terrorise women of Pakistan who’ve got fathers’ backs; to stifle dissent, to terrorise people who dare use their conditional rights,” the women’s rights activist has said in another tweet.
Gulalai Ismail recently went into hiding, then surfaced last month in the U.S. seeking asylum.
Human rights activists in Pakistan are often arrested on suspicion of links with so-called anti-state elements.
Gulalai Ismail’s parents are facing charges of financing terrorism, which they deny. The family supports a rights movement critical of the army’s war on terror.