​​ KILLINGS

January 2022 – December 2022: ten journalists have been killed, independent investigation, family statements, and police report did not establish direct links between murders and reporting or journalistic responsibilities, but even so, they were all raising their voices and reporting on critical and dangerous issues.
1-Sadaf Naeem: privately-owned channel 5 reporter Sadaf Naeem was killed after former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan Container crushed her to death in Kamoke, the Punjab province. Imran Khan has started a long march to pressure the government for afresh election dates amid the political and economic meltdown of Pakistan. Evidence not collected: under extreme pressure from the provincial PTI government of Punjab, the Punjab police failed to follow the standard procedures. The vehicle involved in the accident was not inspected, witnesses were not interviewed, and the forensic samples were not collected from the accident spot. Husband swift compromise: within hours of the accident, Naeem's husband submitted to police that the death was just an accident. The Punjab government was quick to release five million to the bereaved family. Investigation demanded: many people alleged that Sadaf Naeem was unintentionally pushed while she was running to reach Imran Khan. She was seen running toward the vehicle of Imran Khan in video footage, but no one was seen pushing or interrupting her in the video. 2-Arshad Sharif: Nairobi police shot dead Arshad Sharif, a 49-year-old Pakistani journalist, and anchorperson formerly affiliated with the privately-owned ARY News channel. Mr. Sharif left Pakistan after his favored party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ousted from the government, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) implicated and arrested many political opponents, and his channel ARY News disassociated from him. After his killing in Kenya, PTI used the opportunity for garnering public support while ARY reclaimed him posthumously. The government of Pakistan formed the Joint Investigation Committees (JITs) and the Supreme Court of Pakistan intervened through suo moto. However, the investigation teams failed to conclude either Mr. Sharif's killing was an accident or murder. 3-Naresh Kumar: October 5, 2022: a truck hit the motorcycle of Journalist Naresh Kumar and killed him on the spot in Sukkur, Sindh province. The police seized the truck, but the driver escaped. Mr. Kumar was a witness in the murder case of Ajay Lalwani, who was killed on March 17, 2021. The Pakistan Union of Journalists (PFUJ) called the accident suspicious and an attempt to save the killers of Ajay Lalwani. Mr. Lalwani has also been killed in Sukkur. 4-Younis Nomi: The police arrested the suspects and informed the media that the murder was not related to Mr. Nomi reporting journalistic duties.​ 5-Iftikhar Ahmed: the police are investigating the motive of the murder. 6-Ishtiaq Sodharo: The murder was not related to Mr. Sodharo's journalistic work. 7-Zia-Ur-Rehman Farooqi: the motive of the murder is still under investigation.​ 8-Athar Mateen: killed while resisting a robbery. 9- Ghulam Murtaza Shar: According to the police, the killing was not related to the journalist's work.10- Hasnain Shah: The police investigation concluded that the death of Mr. Shah was not related to his journalistic work. SCROLL DOWN FOR A COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS.


  • October 30, 2022: privately-owned channel 5 reporter Sadaf Naeem was killed after former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan Container crushed her to death in Kamoke, the Punjab province. Imran Khan has started a long march to pressure the government for afresh election dates amid the political and economic meltdown of Pakistan. Evidence not collected: under extreme pressure from the provincial PTI government of Punjab, the Punjab police failed to follow the standard procedures. The vehicle involved in the accident was not inspected, witnesses were not interviewed, and the forensic samples were not collected from the accident spot. Husband swift compromise: within hours of the accident, Naeem's husband submitted to police that the death was just an accident. The Punjab government was quick to release five million to the bereaved family. Investigation demanded: many people alleged that Sadaf Naeem was unintentionally pushed while she was running to reach Imran Khan. She was seen running toward the vehicle of Imran Khan in video footage, but no one was seen pushing or interrupting her in the video.  


  • October 23, 2022: Nairobi police shot dead Arshad Sharif, a 49-year-old Pakistani journalist, and anchorperson formerly affiliated with the privately-owned ARY News channel. Arshad Sharif left Pakistan after the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) booked him with sedition charges. The police in Nairobi called the killing, a case of Mistaken Identity,' which ensued from the failure of the car to stop at a checkpoint. Pakistan has constituted a team to investigate the killing, while the Kenyan government has assured full support to Pakistan for their investigation in Kenya. Sharif's body has been brought back to Pakistan for burial.​​​​​October 31, 2022: following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's instructions, the government formed a three-member inquiry commission. The members included a former judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice, (retd) Abdul Shakoor, Additional IG Police Dr. Usman Anwar, and Deputy Director Intelligence Bureau (IB) Umar Shahid Hamid. Abdul Shakoor will lead the commission. October 31, 2022:ARY News and affiliated journalists reported that Arshad Sharif's mother rejected the judicial commission and asked for a more powerful or UN HR-led commission.  https://twitter.com/ARYNEWSOFFICIAL/status/1587133711799226370 November 2, 2022:ARSHAD SHARIF'S MOTHER ASKS CJP TO FORM HIGH POWERED JUDICIAL COMMISSION TO PROBE SON'S KILLING November 9, 2022:Kamran Shahid, an anchor affiliated with a private TV channel Dunya News and host of the TV show On the Front, shared some pictures of the body of Arshad Sharif. Seemingly, the pictures show the torture marks on Mr. Sharif's body. The other gruesome details emerged that Mr. Sharif was tortured three hours before his death and shot from a very close distance, his nails were pulled, and two of his fingers and ribs were broken. https://mobile.twitter.com/FrontlineKamran/status/1590383933996294146   https://twitter.com/HamidMirPAK/status/1590560862867435521 Journalist Shahid later deleted the video containing torture pics. He said, ‘deleted video of my show that shows the pics of the hands of late Arshad Shareef in the respect of the family — intention is only to pressurise this Govt to tell the truth about his brutal murder— issue the post mortem report and find the killers !’https://mobile.twitter.com/FrontlineKamran/status/1590472784790302720 November 10, 2022: Kenyan investigative journalist Brian Obuya refuted the torture allegations, shared autopsy excerpt and Tweeted, ‘Reports allege that #ArshadSharif was tortured for three hours. While an autopsy can reveal torture, it cannot tell "Duration of the torture," such an attempt makes it unbelievable. Part of Sharif's finger nails were retained during first autopsy for DNA. As shown in the excerpt.https://twitter.com/ItsBrianObuya/status/1590773039582810112 December 6, 2022: The Supreme Court of Pakistan announced that the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial ‘has taken Suo Moto notice of the brutal killing of journalist, Mr. Arshad Sharif.’ December 7, 2022: Pakistani fact-finding team said the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif was a ‘planned murder.’ The team found discrepancies in the statements of the accused and complaint about the lack of assistance from the Kenyan authorities in Nairobi. 


  • October 5, 2022: a truck hit the motorcycle of Journalist Naresh Kumar and killed him on the spot in Sukkur, Sindh province. The police seized the truck, but the driver escaped. Mr. Kumar was a witness in the murder case of Ajay Lalwani, who was killed on March 17, 2021. The Pakistan Union of Journalists (PFUJ) called the accident suspicious and an attempt to save the killers of Ajay Lalwani. Mr. Lalwani has also been killed in Sukkur.


  • August 28, 2022: unidentified attackers ambushed and killed the President of Shorkot Press Club and reporter Younis Nomi, affiliated with the Daily Express in Shorkot, the Punjab province. The police arrested the suspects and informed the media that the murder was not related to Mr. Nomi reporting journalistic duties.​


  • July 2, 2022: unidentified attackers killed Journalist Iftikhar Ahmed in Charsadda district, part of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Mr. Iftikhar was going home after Isha's (night) prayers. The deceased journalist was affiliated with the privately-owned  Express News channel and Daily Express newspaper. A police report has been filed, and the police are investigating the motive of the murder.


  • July 1, 2022: unidentified attackers killed Journalist Ishtiaq Sodharo in Khairpur, the Sindh province. Mr. ​​​​​​​Sodharo was affiliated with a Sindhi weekly Chinag and a member of Ranipur Press Club. His family alleged and named a police officer in Ranipur police station who ordered the killing. Police had arrested the three suspects, but the main suspect was at large till documenting this report. The local police have made some arrests. The murder is not related to Mr. Sodharo's journalistic work. 


  • April 28, 2022, the alleged members of land mafias attacked the car carrying a media crew and injured journalist Zia-Ur-Rehman Farooqi, a reporter for a privately-owned 7 News channel in Khanewal, part of the ​ Punjab province. One bullet hit Zia-Ur-Rehman in the head while other riders in the car managed to escape. Zia-Ur-Rehman succumbed to his injuries four days after the attack and died on April 28, 2022. Zia-Ur-Rehman was reporting the activities of the influential land grabbers in the area. The police had registered a case. However, no arrests were made, and the motive of the murder is still under investigation.​


  • February 18, 2022: Unidentified robbers killed privately-owned SAMAA TV channel senior news producer Athar Mateen in crime-clad Karachi. Producer Mateen was returning home after dropping off his kids at school when he saw robbers robbing people at gunpoint. He tried to hit the robbers with his car, but one of the robbers shot him dead in North Nazimabad, Karachi. Karachi has turned into an epicenter of violent street crimes, and the provincial ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is distracted to form the government in the center.  February 25, 2022: Saeed Ghani, Senator and the Sindh province Minister for Information and Labour used his Twitter feed to announce the arrest of one of the alleged killers of Athar Mateen. March 1, 2022: the police claimed to kill the second suspect of Athar Mateen in an alleged encounter in Qambar, a remote part of the Sindh province. http://www.freedomtalk.net/ take: The alleged encounter raised many questions about whether the police acted too hastily and under extreme pressure to avoid the criticism and rising movements after the killing of Athar Mateen. The journalist's bodies and the Press Freedom activists had taken to the streets and issued a deadline for the arrest of the killers. There are many instances in Pakistan where police committed extrajudicial killings, and arrests were meant to appease the protests, release the pressure, and even protect the criminals. 

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  • January 30, 2022: Two pillion riders shot dead journalist Ghulam Murtaza Shar in Jhol town, Sanghar, Sindh province. The journalist was affiliated with the daily Ummat. The police have claimed the arrests and informed the media that the suspects confessed to the killings. According to the police, the killing was not related to the journalist's work.


  • January 24, 2022: unidentified pillion riders shot dead journalist Hasnain Shah, a crime reporter for the Urdu Language, privately-owned channel, Capital TV. Mr. Shah was killed in broad daylight in front of the Lahore Press Club. He was also a council member of the press club. According to the initial investigations, the killers chased the car Mr. Shah was riding and fired at least ten bullets. Mr. Shah was hit by multiple bullets. The police were working to find the motive of the murder. The police investigation concluded that the death of Mr. Shah was not related to his journalistic work


  • November 2021: Two unidentified attackers shot dead social media, political activist, and netizen Muhammad Zada Agra in Sakhakot city, in the Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) province. Mr. Agra was exposing corruption, drug dealings, and the government official involvements in the crimes in his area on his Facebook page Citizen Journalist PK and YouTube channel. Mr. Agra was the former president of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf student wing, the Insaf Students Federation. The police are investigating the murder.


  • October 10, 2021, a roadside explosion killed privately-owned news channel Metro 1 News reporter Shahid Zehri in Hub, part of the Balochistan province. Mr. Zehri was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to the injuries. Some sources claimed that the attack was planned, and the remote-controlled bomb planted in the journalist’s car while the police termed it a “grenade attack.” The 35-year-old journalist had escaped two life attempts in 2014 and 2020. Police are also investigating the personal enmity of the journalist with his clan’s influence.  The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has been waging an armed struggle for the freedom of Balochistan from Pakistan. The BLA used social media to claim responsibility for the attack and alleged the reporter was an informer.


  • August 2021, unidentified killers attacked the house of the journalist Kashif Mahmood (Hussain) Ansari and stabbed him to death in Vanike Tarar, a remote town in the Punjab province. The journalist was affiliated with Daily Khabrain and Daily Qomi Akhbar. The motive for the killing was not asserted. However, the family has filed a case against a known criminal.  


  • April 2021: armed robbers shot dead journalist Abdul Wahid Raisani, a sub-editor for Daily Azadi, in Quetta. Mr. Raisani was going home after work when the robbers intercepted him and tried to snatch his motorcycle, upon resistance, the robbers shot him dead.


  • April 2021: local police arrested a man Haq Nawaz, on allegations of killing his son, journalist Waseem Alam. Mr. Alam was an editor of the newspaper, Sada-e-lawaghir in Karak, part of the Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) province. According to the police, suspect Mr. Nawaz has confessed to the killing. However, the motive for the killing was not asserted. 


  • ​​​March 17, 2021: unidentified shooters killed Royal News TV and Daily Puchano journalist Ajay Kumar Laalwani in Sukkur, part of the Sindh province. Mr. Laalwani belonged to the minority Hindu community and voiced his concerns over forced marriages, conversions, and rights. He was killed in a barbershop. The police are investigating the motive of the killing.  According to LAL MALHI, a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and the Parliamentary Secretary for Human Rights, “the legal heirs did not approach the police station for lodging the police report, a committee of the senior police officers has been formed for conducting an impartial investigation.” The official notification shared by Mr. Malhi on his verified Twitter account has the names of the police officers included.​ DEVELOPMENT:  On March 28, 2021, the police in Sukkur city announced the arrest of the prime suspect and two of his accomplices. The police claimed to recover the murder weapon. However, the lawyer representing the deceased journalist said the police are hesitant to arrest the real suspect. April 3, 2021: Upon request of Mr. Dileep Kumar, the father of Mr. Lalwani, the provincial administration of Sindh changed the Investigation Officer (IO) for henceforth investigation. October 5, 2022: a truck hit the motorcycle of Journalist Naresh Kumar and killed him instantaneously on the spot in Sukkur, Sindh province. The police seized the truck, but the driver escaped. Mr. Kumar was a witness in the murder case of Ajay Lalwani. 


DEVELOPMENT


  • ​July 2022: a local Sessions Judge sent the killers of the senior journalist Anwar Jan Khetran to life imprisonment and fined Rs.200000 in Barkhan district, Balochistan province. One of the killers is in custody, while the second one is on the run. Journalist Anwar Jan Khetran was working for the daily Naweed-e-Pakistan in Barkhan at the time of his murder on July 23rd, 2020. At the time of the murder, the prime suspect was the powerful Balochistan Provincial Minister for Food and Population Welfare Sardar Abdul Rehman Khan Khetran, and his guards; hence the law enforcement agencies were hesitant to take befitting action. The motive of the murder is not determined.  


POLITICAL TURF WARS AND COUNTERATTACKS

Political parties and leaders engaged in bitter fights with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), The National Accountability Bureau, law enforcement agencies (LEAs), and the Armed Forces for political gains and to intimidate opponents. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, backed by the State Institutions, arrested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaning journalists Imran Riaz Khan and BOL TV news anchor Jameel Farooqui. On August 10, 2022, police raided the houses of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaning privately-owned channel ARY News staff and arrested the head of the news Ammad Yousaf and booked founder and CEO Salman Iqbal, anchorperson Arshad Sharif, Islamabad bureau chief Khawar Ghumman, and producer Adeel Raja after a police report (FIR) filed with a police station in Malir, Karachi. The media persons face the charges under sections 121, 506, 505, 153, 153-A, 131, 124-A, 120, 109, and 34. Section 124-A applies for sedition and 131 for abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a member of the armed forces from duty.  

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) used everything it can to regain power. PTI leader and ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan instigated PTI supporters against the judiciary, military, political opponents, journalists, social media activists, and media for otherwise opinions. In May 2022, following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) long march call, the PTI supporters attacked and injured journalists and media workers and damaged the equipment of several media outlets in different cities of Pakistan.  PTI activists were infuriated over losing the government in a no-confidence motion in the parliament and protesting across the country. Karachi: PTI activist attacked and injured Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer Asif Hassan. Hassan was hit in the head and treated in the hospital. His condition was not life-threatening. Rioters attacked and injured privately-owned SAMAA TV reporters Zamzam Saeed, Yasir Hussain, and cameraperson Imran in Karachi. The attackers damaged the recording equipment and DSNG van. Islamabad: PTI local leaders and supporters attacked the offices of Geo News and Jang group office and injured media workers; the attackers smashed the office windows and damaged the DSNG van. Privately-owned Aaj News, Hum News, and Neo News reported the attackers damaged DSNG vans. PTI activists targeted Saba Bajeer, a female reporter working for a privately-owned 24 News HD, with character assassination and obscenities recorded her unconsented, doctored video and disseminated it on social media. Saba Bajeer was adjusting her recording equipment at D-Chowk to cover the long march. Rawalpindi: According to SAMAA TV, its media crew was also attacked in Rawalpindi. Lahore: rioters attacked and damaged a Privately-owned Aaj News DSNG van.
 


ASSAULTS | ARRESTS | HARASSMENT 


January 2022 – December 2022: http://www.freedomtalk.net/home.html documented 68 occurrences of assaults, Arrests, and harassment related to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, and Minorities. Throughout the year, political parties’ leaderships, political activists, angry mobs, individuals, the government, law enforcement agencies (LEAs), and unidentified attackers assaulted, arrested, trolled, and accused the journalists and activists for doing their job, activism, and freedom of expression. Many Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaning journalists and anchors left Pakistan fearing arrests after being implicated by the government with allegations as serious as terrorism and sedition. SCROLL DOWN FOR A COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS.   


  • December 30, 2022: police arrested journalist ObaidUllah and his three sons in Gwadar, Balochistan. After a fierce backlash on social media, the police released Mr. ObaidUllah’s sons. 


  • December 24, 2022: a reporter Muhammad Rasool Dawar affiliated with Geo News Peshawar, claimed that Muhammad Iqbal Wazir, provincial Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister For Relief, Rehabilitation, and Settlement, made a WhatsApp call and told Mr. Dawar that ‘now I will kill you, you cannot survive' and cursed I and Geo News. Mr. Dawar shared several threatening screenshots allegedly from Minister’s supporters. Mr. Dawar was asking questions about the Minister’s involvement in a kidnapping. Minister Wazir belongs to Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). https://twitter.com/TahirJourno/status/1606584260332113921/photo/2


  • December 2022: HUM News anchor-person Shiffa Z. Yousafzai informed media that two armed and masked men entered the room of her male domestic worker and asked about the family members, assaulted and locked him up in the dog room. The worker cut the window gratings and saw the intruders were trying to open the main gate from inside but did not get it open and jumped out of the door. Ms. Yousafzai and her family were not home. The police are investigating the motive of the incidenthttps://twitter.com/humnewspakistan/status/1605468109997068289   https://twitter.com/Shiffa_ZY/status/1606196541441671169


  • December 16, 2022: unknown assailants attacked and injured daily Sada e Watan Bureau Chief Naseer Ghumman in Sialkot, the Punjab province. The doctors amputated Mr. Ghumman’s leg to prevent further damage to his body. Mr. Ghumman told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that he was critical of the alleged corruption of the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) Sialkot. Mr. Ghumman was on his way to meet a TMA inspector who invited Mr. Ghumman after his articles on corruption in TMA. A police report has been filed against unknown attackers. Source PPF


  • November 26, 2022: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) stopped Mohsin Dawar, a lawmaker, Central Chairman National Democratic Movement, and the Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of Pakistan from flying to Tajikistan to attend Herat Security Dialogue. Mr. Dawar shared a letter issued by the Ministry of Interior written on October 17, 2022, allowing him the freedom of movement to go abroad for the next sixty dayshttps://twitter.com/mjdawar/status/1596690391365033986 . Mr. Dawar addressed the conference via video link. Mr. Dawar has been facing intermittent bans over the years. June 2020: Pakistani state-owned television (PTV) ends airing the Parliamentary Speech of the parliamentarian Mohsin Dawar, for criticizing Taliban resurgence, killing of his party Pashtun Thaffuz Movement (PTM) activist Arif Wazir, and Pakistan’s foreign policy.


  • November 26, 2022: the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Khan Swati over allegations of tweeting and speaking against institutions and the armed forces of Pakistan. That is the second time in two months that Mr. Swati has been arrested over the same allegations. Mr. Swati and his party leaders have alleged the authorities for brutal torture, sexual assault, and stripping during his first arrest.https://twitter.com/ZubairAlikhanUN/status/1596634391777787906 December 9, 2022: The Balochistan High Court (BHC) ordered the quashing of all the cases registered against Senator Azam Khan Swati.


  • November 26, 2022: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Gulbagh Muhammad Arif Orakzai assaulted reporter Esar ul Haq Qasmi and damaged his camera. Orakzai was seen kicking Mr. Qasmi in viral videos. Mr. Qasmi has asked about the number of protesters in one of many PTI protests. According to Esar ul Haq Qasmi, the police refused to register a police report and asked the journalist for a medical exam.


  • November 2022: Sahil Jogi, a reporter affiliated with private-Channel SAMAA News, reported via his Twitter account that ‘an intimidator Sahno Khoso briefly kidnapped cameraman Muzaffar Mangi and tortured another cameraman Ghulam Shabbir in a crowded area in Sukkur, the Sindh province. Khoso tortured and kidnapped the cameramen in the police presence.’https://twitter.com/SahilJogi10/status/1592789024535891968


  • November 2022: a local court issued arrest warrants for a You tuber Asad Ali Toor and journalist Ali Imran Junior for their reporting on Bol News Channel. The complainant is an employee of the infamous Axact company that reaps millions of dollars by selling fake degrees. The Axact chief executive, Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, was convicted of the crime. Mr. Shaikh owns Bol News and gives away prizes worth millions of rupees in illogical TV shows. Mr. Shaikh and his accomplices were sentenced to seven years over the fake degree scandal spread in many countries in 2015. A week later, a court granted bail to journalist Ali Imran Junior.


  • November 2022: journalists and rights activists staged protests against the Medical Superintendent of the District Headquarters Hospital over allegations of assaulting journalist Zahid Jan and damaging his phone in Bajaur, part of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Mr. Jan was reporting the protest organized by the family and community against the delay in the post-mortem of the bodies of the two people shot dead two days ago. Mr. Jan reported no injuries.    


  • November 6, 2022: ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan alleged journalists Waqar Satti, Murtaza Solangi, Hamid Mir, and private channels Geo News and Samaa News for a purported gun attack on his long march to restore his government on November 3, 2022, in Wazirabad, Punjab province. Imran Khan alleged the journalists and media houses branded him a blasphemer; he referred to the social media activity of the journalists and channels. Talking to the US channel CNN’s Becky Anderson, Khan mentioned Waqar Satti for making a video and branded him a blasphemer. The lone attacker confessed to the attack on Khan for blasphemy. However, many experts and journalists raised doubts about the attack that left one man dead and seven injured. Khan’s injury, traveling too far to his hospital for treatment after being shot four times, swift confession of the shooter, and many questions made the attack suspicious and a distraction from the journalist Sadaf Naeem’s death, who crushed under Khan’s container in the line of duty on October 30, 2022.


  • November 3, 2022: unidentified kidnappers blindfolded, roughed up, and kidnapped senior journalist Irfan Raza, affiliated with daily DAWN, from the G-11 sector, Islamabad. Mr. Raza was traced hours later from an area at least 50 kilometers away from where he was kidnapped. The family registered a police report for unknown kidnappers. The police were investigating the motive of the kidnapping.


  • November 1, 2022: police booked a social media activist Yousuf Ali on allegations of posting derogatory remarks targeting the Pakistan Army Chief, military and military spy agency ISI in Chalt, Nagar, Gilgit-Baltistan.  Mr. Yousuf was charged under sections 504, 500, and 124-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).


  • October 2022: Journalist Waqar Satti, affiliated with Geo News, shared a video on his verified Twitter account showing the Punjab police beating the journalists covering PTI long march in Kamoke, the Punjab province. According to the details published in the daily Express Tribune, the police assaulted the journalists and damaged the camera of a private TV channel cameraman. The disagreements between police and the journalists started after the police asked the channels to remove vehicles and DSNG vans ‘before the arrival of PTI’s long march caravan.’ The Punjab government suspended the officers involved in assaults. https://twitter.com/waqarsatti/status/1586998333402390529No injuries have been reported. PTI has been protesting for the restoration of power and new elections after being ousted from power through a no-confidence vote in April 2022.


  • October 2022: Journalist Rana Abrar alleged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) intimidated and had him fired from two of his jobs. Mr. Abrar uncovered the Toshakhana (treasure-house) scam against former Prime Minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan. The journalists said, 'when PTI was in power, they sent people to his home who threatened, and PTI activists followed him around.' Rana obtained Toshakhana's gift information through a court order. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified Imran Khan from holding public office for selling and keeping the expensive gifts given to him by the dignitaries violating the rules. Journalist Abrar was talking to anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada on Geo TV show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath (today with Shahzeb Khanzada).


  • October 2022: authorities detained Steven Butler, a Journalist and Senior Program Consultant affiliated with The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), for over eight hours after he landed at the Lahore Airport to participate in Asma Jahangir Conference. Mr. Butler has a valid visa and all the required paperwork. Pakistani authorities had also denied entry to Steven Butler in 2019 over his column in the Washington Post criticizing the then-ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for unprecedented assaults on press freedom and journalists in Pakistan. 


  • October 2022: police arrested Senator Azam Khan Swati, who has also been the Federal Minister intermittently, for criticizing Pakistan military Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, using his verified Twitter account. He is affiliated with the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). PTI alleged authorities for torturing and stripping Swati in detention. Mr. Swati tweeted, ‘Mr Bajwa congratulations to you and few with you . Your plan is really working and all criminals are getting free at cost of this country . With these thugs getting free You have legitimise corruption . How you predict now the future of this country ?’ https://twitter.com/AzamKhanSwatiPk/status/1580196735288107010 October 21, 2022: a local court granted bail to Mr. Sawati.


  • October 2, 2022: a Court in Karachi issued non-bail-able arrest orders for Salman Iqbal, ARY News owner, and Arshad Sharif, an anchorperson affiliated with ARY News, for not attending the court in a case for running a malicious campaign against Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Editor-in-Chief of Jang and Geo Group, Mir Shakil ur Rahman spent more than 200 days behind bars in a politically motivated and retaliatory case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted him bail on November 9, 2020. 


  • September 2022: privately-owned SAAMA TV fired journalist Yasir Feroz Silat for asking a flood-related question to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto. People and media strongly criticized Bilawal Bhutto and his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for not creating infrastructure to minimize the colossal damages in rains in Sindh province. PPP has been ruling the Sindh province for decades and has an intermittent rule in the center. 


  • September 2022: a group of unidentified and armed people assaulted Mian Munawar Iqbal, Bureau Chief affiliated with 7 News HD at Sattiana Road, the Punjab province. The attackers fired bullets in the air, at Mr. Munawwar's car and recorded the video of the attack. Mr. Muwwar did not report any serious injuries. The police were investigating the motive of the attack. October 2022: the police arrested seven suspects from Faisalabad. A senior police officer said that a police station in charge (SHO), Qalab-i-Abbas was behind the attack. However, the motive of the attack is not clear.  


  • September 2022: street criminals robbed journalist Tanveer Behlim and deprived him of his expensive gadgets including a camera, mobile phone, and wallet in crime-clad Karachi. Behlim has worked for mainstream media and currently working as a content creator. Economist Intelligence (EIU) has ranked Karachi amongst the least liveable cities. After years of negligence, Karachi's crime numbers have sharply increased. Within the first nine months of 2022, in Karachi, part of the Sindh province, police data reported 60580 street crimes; robbers killed 367 citizens. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been ruling Sindh province for decades. https://twitter.com/TOKCityOfLights/status/1574338714934939648


  • September 2022: police arrested reporter Nasrullah Gadani, affiliated with the daily Awami Awaz, for reporting evictions of minority Hindu families’ from makeshift tent housing in Ghotki, Sindh province. The police had accused the people living in the tents as beggars. Mr. Gadani aired the evictions via a live blog. The police released Gadani on bail after spending hours in custody. Hundreds and thousands of Pakistanis are forced to live in temporary housing after record-breaking floods in the country.


  • September 2022: The alleged killers of the news anchor Mureed Abbas sent a bullet with a letter to his wife, Zaara Khan, and demanded to withdraw from the murder case of Mureed Abbas. Zaara Khan, a host, and anchorperson of different privately-owned TV channels currently affiliated with digital news channel City21 shared the picture of the bullet and threatening letter LAST WARNING on her verified Twitter account. The alleged killers continue threatening Zaara Khan and her family after killing Mr. Abbas in 2019. The motive for the killing was a business deal.   https://twitter.com/iam_zaarakhan/status/1567823061843419139


  • September 19, 2022: an unmarked vehicle hit the car of the Pakistan Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem. Rana Azeem did not report injuries, but the car was slightly damaged. The PFUJ alleged the attack was targeted to silence Rana Azeem's criticism against incumbents. Mr. Azeem filed a police report of the occurrence.


  • September 2022: political opponents and trolls targeted opposing Journalists, critics, and social media activists with character assassination, accusations, and threats. Opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) targeted Ansar Abbasi, a senior investigative journalist affiliated with the daily The News, for doing his job; supporters of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) targeted PTI social media activist Shehr Bano for criticizing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and some defectors fiercely targeted Reema Omer, legal Advisor (South Asia), International Commission of Jurists, and TV analyst with extreme profanities and sexist remarks for her views on the prevailing situation of Pakistan.


  • September 2022, authorities started the probe after Nighat Dad, lawyer, digital rights and women activist, founder of the Digital Rights Foundation, and the recipient of many national and international awards targeted online. According to her verified Tweets, “  I am no stranger to online attacks, however, I have been bearing the brunt of a sustained targeted gendered disinformation campaign by an individual for over two years now because of my work. I have been subjected to cyber stalking, doxxing, gendered abuse and threats.https://twitter.com/nighatdad/status/1570041278100025344 , After much restraint, due to recent events that have sparked genuine fears for my physical safety, I have finally decided to take legal action, which is well within my legal rights. As result of my complaint, another malicious campaign has been launched against me.https://twitter.com/nighatdad/status/1570041280297828352 .My safety and that of other women activists, human rights defenders and female journalists is the responsibility of the state of Pakistan, and I hope appropriate and timely action is taken. https://twitter.com/nighatdad/status/1570041282365652993."


  • September 2022: an unknown man attacked journalist Imdad Soomro (Sehwani), Investigative Correspondent of the daily The News, in front of the Karachi Press Club. Mr. Soomro avoided life-threatening injuries, and the attacker was arrested. The police are investigating the motive of the attack. https://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1570020453359521795


  • August 27, 2022: the provincial Punjab police filed a police report (known as the first information report – FIR) for alleged blasphemy against journalist Waqar Satti, a senior political correspondent affiliated with Geo News. The complainant, Chaudhry Nasir Qayyum, works as a public relations officer for Muhammad Bashrat Raja, a PTI lawmaker in the provincial assembly of Punjab. The investigation ensued from a Tweet of Satti's verified account on August 26, 2022, in which, he expressed his views on some of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's Tweets related to Islam, which were not correct. According to Satti and those reports, the complainant alleged Satti for linking disrespectful and inaccurate statements about Islam to PTI leader Imran Khan. Mr. Satti immediately deleted the tweet. Pakistani political parties engaged in a game of accusations and filing cases against political opponents, media, and journalists on allegations of blasphemy, sedition, terrorism, and branding each other Indian and Israeli agents.  


  • August 2022, police arrested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaning You-tuber and privately-owned Bol News anchorperson Jameel Farooqui over allegations of spreading fake news and falsely accusing the law enforcement agencies of sexual and physical torture to Shahbaz Gill, a close aide to former Prime Minister Imran Khan, in police custody. The police dismissed the allegations of torture and sexual assault on Mr. Gill and sent video clips of Mr. Shahbaz from the police station to deny the claims. After spending more than ten days in jail, a local court granted bail to Mr. Farooqui.


  • August 2022, Azam Chaudhry, President of Lahore Press Club, claimed to find a bullet on his work desk after he arrived in his office. Mr. Chaudhry did not say whether the incident related to his journalistic work.


  • August 2022, two unknown vehicles hit another sedan carrying the family members of daily Minute Mirror Editor-in-Chief Ali Sajjad. The family and eyewitness said, “two unregistered vehicles followed our car from a distance and immediately disappeared." The family did not report any injuries, but the car windscreen smashed. Family and some journalist organizations claimed the car was hit intentionally. The police have started the investigation. The motive of the attack is unknown. 


  • August 2022, Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) reported an alleged drug dealer and his accomplices attacked the car showroom owned by journalist Shakil Saadi in Khanewal, the Punjab province. The attackers burnt 11 cars amounting to an estimated Rs.15 million and “shot at the showroom manager Zeeshan.” Mr. Saadi claimed the attackers were infuriated over his reporting on drug dealing in the area.


  • August 2022, police arrested a reporter and the president of the Bandar Press Club, Ilyas Samoo, over allegations of possessing an illegal firearm in Thatta, Sindh province. Mr. Samoo is affiliated with the Sindhi newspaper Awami Awaz. The family claimed the arrest was linked to Mr. Samoo’s reporting on record-breaking monsoon rains that left much of rural Sindh under waters. Iqbal Mallah, the editor of Awami Awaz, told the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that the unknown number sent Mr. Samoo a text message and called to stop him from reporting the damages caused by the rains in Thatta and adjoining areas. A local court granted bail to Mr. Samoo after three days.


  • August 2022, in retaliation for the cases against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan, his party leaders, and PTI-leaning journalists, the PTI-led provincial Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government filed cases against rival ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). PML-N leaders named in the police report (FIR) are party leader Nawaz Sharif, his brother and current Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz, leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah, Atta Tarar, Ayaz Sadiq, Pervaiz Rashid, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) head Maulana Fazlur Rehman. PML-N leaders were booked under sections 196 (offenses against the state), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 108-A (abetment in Pakistan of offenses outside it), and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).


  • August 2022, Ali Javed, a Magistrate, filed a police case (known as (the first information report - FIR) against deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan for threatening the judiciary and a female additional session judge of the federal capital, Zeba Chaudhry. The FIR also contains terrorism charges. Imran Khan was addressing a live broadcast PTI rally in Islamabad to protest the arrest of his close aide, Shahbaz Gill. Mr. Gill is facing treason charges for his outburst in a live broadcast (scroll down for the details of Mr. Gill’s arrest and circumstances). Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) immediately responded and banned the live speeches and allowed only the edited speeches, of Mr. Khan. Two days later, PEMRA also blocked and disrupted YouTube to censor another rally of Mr. Khan in Rawalpindi.


  • August 2022, activists and supporters of opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) resumed a character assassination and vicious campaign on social media with profanities laden tags against a senior female journalist and privately-owned channel NewsOne anchorperson, Gharida Farooqi. PTI supporters have been targeting Gharida Farooqi for criticizing PTI’s policies in question. April 2022, female journalists and host 'G For Gharidah' on News One channel Gharidah Farooqi filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers for exhibiting placards with obscenities and threats. In October 2021: Far-right social media activists started a character assassination and vicious campaign against a senior female journalist and privately-owned channel NewsOne anchorperson, Gharida Farooqi. In widely-circulated footage on social media, one of the opposition leader’s doppelgangers shares racy moments with an unknown female with similarities to the watch and outfits Ms. Gharidah may have sported sometime. Ms. Gharidah is a principled journalist and critic of the government.


  • August 10, 2022, police raided the houses of privately-owned channel ARY News staff and arrested the head of the news Ammad Yousaf and booked founder and CEO Salman Iqbal, anchorperson Arshad Sharif, Islamabad bureau chief Khawar Ghumman, and producer Adeel Raja after a police report (FIR) filed with a police station in Malir, Karachi. The media persons face the charges under sections 121, 506, 505, 153, 153-A, 131, 124-A, 120, 109, and 34. Section 124-A applies for sedition and 131 for abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a member of the armed forces from duty. The police action ensued after the arrest and alleged "hateful remarks" of Shahbaz Gill against the military in a bulletin aired on ARY News on August 8, 2022. Two days after Shabaz Gill's arrest, police arrested the relatives, including a woman, of Mr. Gill’s staff member identified as "Izhar." Arshad Sharif and Khawar Ghumman joined the bulletin as analysts. After Gill’s remarks on August 8, 2022, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) sent a show-cause notice to ARY News, and the channel was taken off-air in many parts of the country. However, the Sindh High Court ordered the restoration of ARY News on August 10, 2022.  Shahbaz Gill is a close aide to former Prime Minister Imran Khan and served as Special Assistant to former PM Khan, and now serving as Khan’s Chief of Staff. He is known for his obnoxious remarks and character assassination campaigns on social media and TV shows targeting political rivals and dissents. The wife of Ammad Yousaf told the media that at least 20 plainclothes and uniformed officers entered and ransacked the house before taking Mr. Yousaf into custody. She alleged the officers for confiscating licensed weapons and CCTV recorders. It is a developing story. August 10, 2022: Senior journalist Gharidah Farooqi https://twitter.com/GFarooqi/status/1557379177778937856 and Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) reported the departure of anchorperson Arshad Sharif from Pakistan after clampdowns on ARY News. August 11, 2022, a local court in Karachi ordered the release of the head of ARY News, Ammad Yousuf, and nullified all the charges against him. August 12, 2022: the Ministry of Interior withdrew ARY News security clearance. Subsequently, the Pakistan Elec­tronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) canceled the operating license of the channel. According to the Interior Ministry’s notification: “The NOC issued in favor of M/S ARY Communications Pvt Limited (ARY News) is canceled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies.” August 13, 2022: The Sindh High Court overrides ADVERSE REPORTS FROM AGENCIES, and restores ARY News NOC within 24 hours. September 2, 2022, authorities restored Ary News transmission following a court order and ARY's formal disassociation from anchors Sabir Shakir and Arshad SharifSeptember 15, 2022: Shahbaz gill was released on bail.


  • August 4, 2022: the Taliban abducted and brutally tortured Pakistani journalist Anas Mallick, an Afghan media producer, and their driver in Kabul, Afghanistan. Anas Mallick was freed after 20 hours, and the other abductees after almost 40 hours. Anas Mallick is the Bureau Chief for WIONews in Pakistan; he had reached Kabul to cover the first anniversary of the US withdrawal and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.  


  • August 2022, photojournalist Faisal Khan, affiliated with Daily Ausaf was injured while covering a teacher’s protest in Rawalpindi, the Punjab province. The police used batons against the protesters, and the journalist was caught in the middle. Faisal Khan informed the media that his injuries were not life-threatening.


  • July 2022, a privately owned TV channel ARY News reporter Hassan Hafeez alleged a high-ranking police officer Bilal Siddiqui verbally abused and threatened him during the coverage of by-elections in Lahore, the Punjab province. Mr. Hafeez said, "he was questioning the police's inability to control the riots during elections." 


  • July 2022, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) cybercrime wing served a notice to Salman Ahmad, a guitarist and former Prime Minister Imran Khan's focal person on culture, for an unspecified cybercrime. Referring number of sections and clauses, Mr. Salman’s counsel asked the FIA to explain in writing the specifics of the allegations. Mr. Salman, a staunch supporter of PM Khan,  alleged that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and his henchmen are threatening him. In a  Tweet https://twitter.com/sufisal/status/1547947878496096257 on Jul 15, 2022, he alleged that “Rana Sanaullah & his cowards are trying to muzzle my free speech with threats.”


  • July 2022, police arrested the privately owned channel Dunya News correspondent Pir Muhammad Khan Kakar, following his corruption allegation on Facebook against area Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ateeq Ur Rehman, in Loralai district, part of the Balochistan province. The DC has filed the defamation case against Mr. Kakar, denied the allegations, and the court had asked Mr. Kakar to respond within three days. The court did not receive the journalist’s response. However, Mr. Kakar denied receiving any notice from the court. Mr. Kakar has been granted bail after spending almost a week in prison. 


  • Amid growing counterattacks against journalists dissenting from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), authorities intensified intimidation and filed police cases against opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaning journalists. July 15, 2022: authorities barred Express News anchor, You Tuber, an avid supporter of opposition PTI and a bitter critic of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Imran Riaz Khan, from flying to Dubai for medical tests. Mr. Khan alleged that something was harmful in the food given to him during his detention. He had a return ticket to Pakistan. The journalist is on bail in several cases. July 5, 2022: provincial Punjab police arrested Imran Riaz Khan from Islamabad Toll Plaza. His arrest violated his pre-arrest bail by the court. More than a dozen police reports (FIRs) have been filed against Mr. Riaz across the country with charges from sedition to insulting the state institutions and inciting violence. Mr. Khan was released after the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted bail on July 9, 2022. Journalist Khan has been reporting intermittent police built-ups and drone surveillance around his house. October 18, 2022: DAWN news reported https://www.dawn.com/news/1715601 that the FIR filed at Jhang Saddar police station against anchor Imran Riaz Khan was discharged.


  • July 2022, unidentified attackers assaulted senior journalist Ayaz Amir in Lahore, the Punjab province. Mr. Amir was going home after recording his TV show with privately-owned TV channel Dunya News when the masked attackers obstructed his car, pulled him out of the vehicle, assaulted him, and got away on a busy road. Ayaz Amir sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Just a day before, Ayaz Amir had sharply criticized and accused the former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, military and land mafia of collusion in a seminar titled ‘Regime Change and its Fallout on Pakistan’. The driver of Mr. Amir has filed a police report (FIR). Ayaz Amir is affiliated with Dunya News as a senior analyst.


  • June 2022, unidentified armed assailants attacked and brutally injured journalist Ahmer Shaheen in Lahore, the Punjab province. Mr. Shaheen circulated the photos after the attack; the blood was gushing out of his head. His injuries are not life-threatening. The attackers fired gunshots and got away with the laptop, which contained information and reports related to his investigative reporting. Mr. Shaheen told freedomTalk.net that “the attack may be premediated. His car was hit just a day before the attack, and the attackers knew the exact placement of his laptop, which is always kept hidden in the car. Though the Lahore rescue 15 was swift to act, and the police admitted the attack was an outcome of my investigative reporting, but later backtracked and made the case look like an attempted robbery. I have an idea; about the attackers but do not want to name any individual or institution without solid evidence. One of the attackers’ motorbikes has been caught in the surveillance camera, and a fair investigation would identify the attackers.” That is the second attack on journalist Ahmer Shaheen. He was also brutally attacked in 2019 by law enforcement agencies (LEAs), but the attackers were arrested, and the LEAs told Mr. Shaheen that the attack ensued from “mistaken identity.” Journalist Ahmer Shaheen has worked with Pakistani mainstream media. Currently, he is the Chief Editor of Inewslive and the founder of Inqalabi.com. Local and international journalistic organizations have condemned the attack and demanded a fair investigation.


  • June 2022, Pakistan Rangers (paramilitary forces), operating in the Sindh province, kidnapped journalist and social media activist Arsalan Khan, known by his Twitter name @AK_Forty7, in Clifton, Karachi. After a fierce public backlash against law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and a massive social media campaign for the recovery of Arsalan Khan, the Rangers admitted the arrest and released the journalist. Ayesha, the wife of Arsalan Khan, informed the media about the raid and alleged the local police station had refused to register the kidnapping case for Khan while the police refuted the claim. Arsalan Khan has worked with privately-owned mainstream TV channels Geo News and Abb Tak. Shortly afterward, Rangers issued a press release and alleged khan links with a terror group, and his kidnapping was based on intelligence reports. According to the statement, Arsalan Khan admitted the links and taking financial support from an alleged terror group; Arsalan khan was released after ensuring cooperation in the future investigation and obliging the summons, and his white-collar case has been sent to the concerned agencies. The Rangers are meant to protect the borders of Pakistan. However, they operate with arbitrary powers across the country. A few days after the ordeal, Arsalan Khan announced a hunger strike and barricaded in his apartment for what he called a protest for the justice and safety of his family. He called off his hunger strike shortly after.


  • June 2022, Nafees Naeem, an assignment editor associate with the privately-owned Aaj TV channel, disappeared from his neighborhood in Nazimabad, Karachi. A community surveillance camera footage showed unidentified men and police vans had picked up Nafees Naeem. However, the family had filed a kidnapping case against unknown persons. Within hours, Aaj TV director news tweeted the safe return of Nafees Naeem. The motive of the short-term kidnapping remained unknown.


  • June 2022, veterans of the Pakistani armed forces held a press conference outside the Islamabad Press Club in solidarity with former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The emotionally charged ex-servicemen targeted journalists with obscenities and unfounded accusations during the unruly presser.  Former Secretary Defence, Lieutenant General Retired, Asif Yasin Malik, caught on camera threatening senior journalist Azaz Syed. Annoyed by the questions from journalist Syed, Malik said, “yaar tum apne janaze ka bandobast karo (pal arrange for your funeral).”


  • May 2022, after a fierce backlash from the religious fundamentalists and fearing the collapse of her government, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb fired State-owned Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) anchor Ahmed Quraishi for visiting Israel. Mr. Quraishi was part of the interfaith and peace delegation consisting of Pakistani and Pakistani-Americans. However, the organizer of the trip, a Pakistani-American Anila Ali, informed the media that the former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan permitted the trip to Israel and thanked him for the permission. Pakistan has never established diplomatic relations, and the Pakistani citizens are not allowed to travel to Israel, and the Pakistani passport is not valid to visit Israel. Succeeding governments in Pakistan have been using antisemitism to gain the support of the Jihadists and religious parties like Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Though the former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan vehemently opposed accepting Israel, his former wife raised his two sons was a Jew. Imran Khan told the anti-graft court that his current opulent residence of Banigala was a gift from his same wife. Imran Khan's Government granted permission to Fishel Benkhald, the only known Jew holding a Pakistani passport, to visit Israel in 2019.


  • May 2022, following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) long march call, the PTI supporters attacked and injured journalists and media workers and damaged the equipment of several media outlets in the different cities of Pakistan.  PTI activists were infuriated over losing the government in a no-confidence motion in the parliament and protesting across the country. Karachi: PTI activist attacked and injured Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer Asif Hassan. Hassan was hit in the head and treated in the hospital. His condition was not life-threatening. Rioters attacked and injured privately-owned SAMAA TV reporters Zamzam Saeed, Yasir Hussain, and cameraperson Imran in Karachi. The attackers damaged the recording equipment and DSNG van. Islamabad: PTI local leaders and supporters attacked the offices of Geo News and Jang group office and injured media workers; the attackers smashed the office windows and damaged the DSNG van. Privately-owned Aaj News, Hum News, and Neo News reported the attackers damaged DSNG vans. PTI activists targeted Saba Bajeer, a female reporter working for a privately-owned 24 News HD, with character assassination and obscenities recorded her unconsented, doctored video and disseminated it on social media. Saba Bajeer was adjusting her recording equipment at D-Chowk to cover the long march. Rawalpindi: According to SAMAA TV, its media crew was also attacked in Rawalpindi. Lahore: rioters attacked and damaged a Privately-owned Aaj News DSNG van.


  • May 2020, The Islamabad High Court granted pre-arrest bail to a lawyer, an avid activist for the recovery of the Baloch missing person and daughter of the former minister Shireen Mazari, Imaan Zainab Mazari, in a case of defaming the armed forces. In widely-circulated footage on social media, Imaan Mazari had accused and uttered derogatory remarks targeting General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Chief of the Army Staff, for the brief arrest of her mother, Shireen Mazari. Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) claimed the arrest was part of an old land dispute, while Shireen Mazari insisted that the arrest was a kidnapping attempt. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) called in at 11:40 pm to bail Shireen Mazari out.   


  • May 2022, authorities booked BOL TV’s anchorperson Sami Ibrahim, ARY News Arshad Sharif and Sabir Shakir, and Express-News host Imran Riaz Khan with criminal cases including sedition for allegedly criticizing the state and institutions on social media networks. All the journalists are strong critics of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and staunch supporters of the ousted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).


  • May 2022, the police counter-terrorism wing kidnapped a journalist and the former president of Bara Press Club in Khyber tribal district, Khadim Khan Afridi, on allegations of murdering a policeman in 2013. After days of protests and struggle, Mr. Afridi was found locked up in the Peshawar Central Prison. Afridi's defense lawyers and journalists had maintained the innocence of the accused and said the arrest of Khadim Afridi was an identity mistake. A criminal had sold the bike used in the crime to a person named Khadim, while police believed that the journalist Khadim Afridi was the owner of the bike. An anti-terrorism court granted bail to Mr. Afridi in Peshawar.


  •  May 2022, authorities booked and briefly detained leaders and thousands of the activists and party workers of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Authorities booked prominent leaders of PTI, including the former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan, former federal ministers Fawad Chaudhry, Ali Zaidi, Asad Umer, Shaikh Rashid, Shah Mehmood Qurashi, Zartaj Gul, Faisal Javaid, Saifullah Niazi, Ali Amin Gandapur, Pervaiz Khatak, Imran Ismail, Shireen Mazari, Shafqat Mehmood, and PTI parliamentarian Alamgir Khan. The charges ranged from sedition, damaging and attacking government and public properties, terrorism, attempted murders, defaming state institutions, abetting mutiny, arson and violation of section 144, possession of illegal firearms, and attacking uniformed law enforcers. The former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan has called for protest and wheedled his supporters to take to the streets against his ouster after a dramatic no-confidence motion in the parliament.


  • May 2022, the police attacked and briefly detained at least four women, including academic Nida Kirmani, for protesting against the growing enforced disappearances of Baloch activists, including women. The disappearances and arrests of the Baloch community members escalated sharply after a female Baloch killed three Chinese teachers at the University of Karachi's Confucius Institute in a suicide attack. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an armed group struggling for the Independence of the Balochistan province from Pakistan, claimed the responsibility for the attacks. In 2021, BLA had claimed an attack on a bus with Chinese engineers on board working to build a hydro-power plant; 13 people, including 9 Chinese engineers, were killed in the attack. In 2020, the BLA took the responsibility for an attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi that resulted in five deaths. China plays a significant role in Pakistan's economy, stability, and defense. 


  • May 2022, unidentified kidnappers kidnapped journalist Zahid Abbas Malik, affiliated with the Lahore editorial and the Daily Dunya in Lahore, a city in the Punjab province. The family of the kidnapped journalist filed a police report with the local police station and alleged the involvement of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the kidnapping. 


  • May 2022, journalists, civil society members, and press freedom advocates protested over the police cases against reporters Rifqatullah Razarwal and Alif Khan Sherpao in Charsadda, the Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) province. The police report was filed against the journalists for their reporting on the death of a child who allegedly died due to the negligence of the hospital staff, in a local hospital. 


  • April 2022, female journalists and host 'G For Gharidah' on News One channel Gharidah Farooqi filed a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers for exhibiting placards with obscenities and threats. In October 2021: Far-right social media activists started a character assassination and vicious campaign against a senior female journalist and privately-owned channel NewsOne anchorperson, Gharida Farooqi. In widely-circulated footage on social media, one of the opposition leader’s doppelganger shares racy moments with an unknown female with similarities to the watch and outfits Ms. Gharidah may have sported sometime. Ms. Gharidah is a principled journalist and critic to the government.


  • April 2022, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activists harassed and hurled obscenities at SAMAA TV reporter Zamzam Saeed, cameraman Shahid Baloch, NeoNews journalist Nasrullah Malik; crew members of Geo News and 24 News HD while covering PTI anti-government protests. PTI activists are infuriated over losing the government in a no-confidence motion in the parliament and protesting across the country for defeat.


  • April 2022, state-owned Pakistan Television (PTV) suspended the Manager of Lahore PTV, the coordinator for VVIP coverage, and senior news editors for not covering Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's Lahore visit. The employees were unable to cover the PM due to faulty laptops. The PTV reinstated the employees within a few days.   


  • April 2022, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activists attacked and injured at least seven media workers affiliated with DAWN news and Broadcast journalists Khawar Mughal, affiliated with 92 News channel, for doing their job. PTI activists are infuriated over losing the government in a no-confidence motion in the parliament and protesting across the country for defeat. 


  • April 2022: Immediately after the formation of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaning journalists and hosts Arshad Sharif, host of ARY channel Power Play; Sabir Shakir, host of ARY channel The Reporters; Moeed Pirzada, CEO & Editor Global Village Space, claims to be a news web portal that aims to provide a platform to all to promote dialogue and understanding; Irshad Bhatti, senior journalist and Maleeha Hashmey, host of YouTube-based public TV news were harassed online and their TV shows disrupted. However, Athar Minallah, chief justice at the Islamabad High Court, ordered the LEAs to stop harassing Arshad Sharif.


  • April 2022: Immediately after the formation of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) reported that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore wing raided the house of Dr. Arsalan Khalid, the focal person of the former Prime Minister Imran Khan on digital media, and seized mobile phones and laptops. Dr. Khalid was not home at the time of the wee-hours raid.  


  • March 2022, police arrested reporter Zahid Jamro, working for the privately-owned channel KTN news, in Gambhat, Part of the province Sindh. The police also implicated Jamro in a liquor possession case. The police action ensued from a report Jamro had filed for KTN over the illegal hunting collusion between Middle Eastern hunters and police. After severe social media backlash on social media and protests from the journalist's bodies, the police released Jamro on bail.


  • March 2022, a group of violent attackers brutally tortured journalist Zahid Shareef Rana, affiliated with the newspaper Daily Ausaf in the jurisdiction of Kullur Kot police station, part of the Punjab province. In disturbing footage, the attackers kicked, punched, and used batons and whips and left journalist Rana unconscious in the pool of blood. The attackers throw tar into his eyes and ears to disable him from writing. Rana was treated at the hospital, his condition is out of danger, but his hearing has deteriorated. The attackers threatened Rana with his life and severe consequences. Mr. Rana alleged the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Ameer Muhammad Khan and his accomplices were behind the attacks and filed a police report. In the police report 104/22, available to freedomtalk.net, Mr. Rana claimed that the attack ensued from his Facebook postings about a cockfight at the property of the accused nominated in the police report (FIR). Under extreme pressure and fearing his life, Rana removed the Facebook post.   


  • March 2022, Islamabad riot police assaulted students and human rights activists outside the National Press Club. After reports of clashes between the police and the protesters, the police booked lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir and at least 200 protesters for the charges, including sedition. However, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) barred police from arresting lawyer Mazari-Hazir and others. The protesters, most of whom are Baloch students, are protesting the disappearance of student Hafeez Baloch, who had disappeared from Khuzdar, Balochistan. However, the human rights council of Balochistan reported 90 forcibly disappeared, 38 were killed in January 2022. Mohsin Dawar, Member National Assembly, former Senator Afrasiab Khattak, and former Member of the Parliament Bushra Gohar also visited the camp to show solidarity with the students.


  • February 2022, Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided the house of Mohsin Baig, owner, and editor-in-chief of news outlet Online and the Urdu-language Daily Jinnah newspaper in Islamabad. Mr. Baig, a former affiliate of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was seen resisting the arrest, assaulting an officer, and discharging his firearm in the air in several footages. Mr. Baig said, "he thought his house was being robbed, and he started shooting in self-defense as many plainclothes officers were part of the raid." Mr. Baig had recently criticized Murad Saeed, Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services, who had filed a complaint against Mr. Baig for derogatory remarks in a TV show, targeting the Minister. Mohsin Baig was released after spending three weeks in jail. 


  • February 2022, Pakistan premium civilian Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers assaulted and held hostage privately-owned, government leaning, ARY News sting-operation team and anchorman, Iqrar-ul-Hassan in Karachi. Mr. Hassan was seen with a bloodied torso and face and shredded clothing. He was taken to a hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. He was on the premises of IB uncovering bribe allegations against IB personnel for his TV show Sare Aam. After enormous public condemnation and Prime Minister Imran Khan's attention, IB suspended five officers. Past Attacks: December 2020, attackers injured investigative TV show SareAam host Iqrar ul Hassan in Lahore. The police made arrests, but the host pardoned the suspects. The motive of the attack remained unknown. TV show SareAam aired on privately-owned TV channel ARY News, and Mr. Hassan TV show SareAam is controversially known for undercover operations exposing social malpractices. It is the second attack on Mr. Hassan within a year. In July 2020, Mr. Hassan had also pardoned the policemen who attacked him during his covert operation in the police station.


  • December 2021, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) booked the country's largest Jang and Geo TV Network Media Group senior journalist Ansar Abbasi, editor Aamir Ghauri, and publisher Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman for doing their job and revealing the judiciary's political inference, favoritism, and partisanship. They all face contempt of the judiciary charges for a verified story. In November 2021, journalist Abbasi had published an article detailing conspiracies involving Rana Shamim, the former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Pakistans' former chief justice, Mian Saqib Nisar, pre-planned bail denial to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership. EX-CJ GB CLAIMS IN SIGNED AFFIDAVIT: ‘SAQIB NISAR DIRECTED NOT TO RELEASE NAWAZ, MARYAM BEFORE 2018 ELECTIONS’


  • December 2021, Waqas A Alam, a journalist working for the Urdu-language Daily Jang, tweeted to his followers that “Rangers, assaulted and hurled expletives at him while he was going to work because he did not see the roadblocks meant for the Director General Rangers. Rangers pulled him off the road for forty minutes.” Mr. Alam later removed his Tweets. However, the Rangers did not issue any statement either.


  • December 2021, students assaulted and snatched the cell phones of the privately-owned channel's reporters Atif Pervez, working for Dunya News, and Ummay Farwa, working for Geo News at the Punjab University. The reporters were covering the confrontations of the rival student groups. Also documented for "FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION UNDER ATTACK ON CAMPUSES."


  • December 2021: Assailants threw acid on a policeman-turned-journalist, Arain, associated with Urdu Daily newspaper “Karnama,” while he was sitting in his office. Mr. Arain was stable and treated in a local hospital. According to Mr. Arain, the attack was a result of personal enmity and related to his journalistic work.


  • December 2021: A contractor and his workers assaulted and held up two privately-owned channel reporters, Asif Shehzad and Taimoor Athar, at Taunsa Barrage toll plaza, in Muzaffargarh, Punjab. The reporters were released after the intervention of the local press club. The motive of the assault was undetermined. 


  • November 2021, unidentified assailants attacked senior journalist Ambreen Fatima's car with metal rods, broke the windscreen, and hurled threats before fleeing the scene in Lahore, Punjab. Ms. Fatima was accompanying her daughter and sister at the time of the attack. Ms. Ftima is the wife of journalist Ahmed Noorani. A few days ago, Mr. Noorani, working for a news site called Fact Focus, published a controversial story criticizing former Supreme Court Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. In 2020, Mr. Noorani faced threats and fierce backlash from the government-leaning segments over his article about retired Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa, the former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Imran Khan on Information and Broadcasting over not disclosing overseas wealth. A privately-owned news channel instigated violence and declared the journalist a traitor for doing his job. Mr. Noorani lives in the United States.


  • November 2021: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) official and social media activists targeted senior female journalist, anchor, and columnist Aaliya Shah, with serious threats, harassment, and foul language for criticizing collusion between PTI and the religious fundamentalists in an article. Journalist Aaliya Shah also confirmed receiving threats and intimidating phone calls from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency. Over the years, Pakistan has been surrendering to the demands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan's (TLP), a party of violent religious fundamentalists, overt supporters of blasphemy laws, and anti-minority Shia and Ahmadiyya after they seized the streets of large cities in the country and killed several on-duty policemen. The TLP has killed and injured several civilians, law enforcement officers, destroyed federal and public properties with billions of rupees, and brought the country to a halt in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In November 2021, fearing the seizure of the capital city of Islamabad and the parliament, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees including those who were charged for the killings of the civilians, and at least 12 policemen. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had banned the coverage of TLP occupation and attacks to hide the killings and destruction.   


  • October 2021: Far-right social media activists started a character assassination and vicious campaign against a senior female journalist and privately-owned channel NewsOne anchorperson, Gharida Farooqi. In widely-circulated footage on social media, one of the opposition leader’s doppelganger shares racy moments with an unknown female with similarities to the watch and outfits Ms. Gharidah may have sported sometime. Ms. Gharidah is a principled journalist and critical to the government.


  • October 2021: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ministers, Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPM) started a malicious campaign of online harassment and character disdain against a senior female journalist, Asma Shirazi, for her article mirroring many failures, economic plunders, and record-breaking poverty due to record price-hike in Pakistan. The Supreme Court Bar association (SCBA), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), senior journalists, and press freedom strongly condemned PTI for disseminating hate and establishing a culture of trolling and threats against critics and dissents. 


  • September 2021, banned Tehr­eek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issued a stern warning to Pakistani media and journalists to stop using “terrorist outfit” with TTP. In case of non-compliance, the TTP will treat the media and the journalists as “enemies.” The government did not take any notice or announce security plans following the threats.


  • September 2021: Unidentified individuals, pretending as healthcare professionals, abducted senior journalist Nadir Shah Adil, on the pretext of COVID 19 treatment in Layari, Karachi. According to Mr. Adil, the captors asked him political questions and released him after 18 days. Mr. Adil was uncertain about the captors. Lyari, consisting mainly of underprivileged dwellers, has been a hotbed of political activities and gang wars.


  • August 2021, the Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) cybercrime wing arrested senior journalists/ vloggers Amir Mir and Imran Shafqat over allegations of mocking judges, military, and women. Mr. Mir and Shafqat run YouTube channels Tellings and Googly. The journalists were arrested in Lahore and released after several hours on bail. The police booked the journalists under sections 11, 13, 20, 24, 469, 500, 505 & 509. The charges carry long prison times and hefty fines. The FIA also checked journalist’s phones, laptops and asked about the passwords.  


  • August 2021, a politically well-connected landlord Kamal Uddin Shar and his sons attacked and seriously injured journalist Ghulam Qadir Shar in Sanghar, located in Sindh province. Mr. Shar works for the local dailies, Time News, and Daily Panhanji Akhbar and recently reported about a Jirga (Illegal court) headed by the attacker Kamal Uddin Shar who is also affiliated with the provincial ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The police had claimed the arrest of one suspect.


  • July 2021, the Counter-Terrorism Wing of Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) summoned the privately-owned TV channel SAMAA president and anchorperson Nadeem Malik under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In his flagship TV current affair TV show, “Nadeem Malik Live,” aired on April 28, 2021, Mr. Malik claimed to have information about influence over judge Arshad Malik. However, Mr. Malik disregarded the summon by calling it “illegal.” Judge Arshad Malik convicted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges in 2018. Later, a video scandal cast doubts on judge Arshad Malik’s verdict, and Nawaz Sharif supporters claimed the judge was blackmailed with video to convict Mr. Sharif. Judge Malik passed away in 2020.  


  • July 2021, local journalists in a remote town of Bhong alleged police for torturing the president of the Bhong Press Club, Asghar Jaffery, and planting a case against him. The journalists alleged that the police had warned Mr. Jaffery for writing against a local politician affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and a police officer. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemned the incident. Bhong is a small town of Rahim Yar Khan District in the Punjab province of Pakistan.


  • July 2021, senior photojournalist Sultan Bashir injured while covering the student's protest at the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad. According to Mr. Bashir, the peaceful protest turned violent when students started hurling stones at the police, and one of the stones hit Mr. Bashir near his ear. Pakistani students are demanding the cancellation of exams and in-person classes during COVID-19.


  • June 2021, Pakistani ultra-conservatives started a fierce and smear campaign against Malala Yousufzai, Journalists Asma Shirazi and Hamid Mir with threats, vilification, branded them traitors, and approached the courts asking to book them for blasphemy and sedition. Ms. Malala is a Pakistani activist for girls' education and the youngest Noble laureate and targeted after she appeared on the British Vogue cover and offer her views on marriage and relationships in an interview. Ms. Asma and Mr. Mir were targeted for standing up against growing attacks, kidnapping, and targeting journalists, social media, and human rights activists. 


  • May 2021, Pakistan’s largest Jang and Geo TV Network Media Group, pulled a senior journalist and host of famous “Capital Talk,” Hamid Mir, off-air. Mr. Mir had strongly criticized the powerful military in a protest, held to show solidarity with journalists injured in recent and growing attacks, booked, kidnapped, or implicated as traitors. Though Mr. Mir did not directly mention the names of the individuals or the institutions, it is widely believed that the country’s powerful establishment behind the attacks. The majority of the attacks have taken place in the heavily-guarded capital city of Islamabad. However, Pakistan spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) claimed “totally disassociated” from the attack on Asad Ali Toor, a vlogger and social media activists and termed the allegations as “the fifth generation war under an organized conspiracy,” neither the journalists have proven their allegations against ISI in the courts, nor ISI has ever arrested the attackers or kidnappers of the journalists, social media and human rights activists in Pakistan. Later, Mr. Mir offered an apology.

           Statement by Jang/Geo Group over Mr. Mir removal from Capital Talk’: “The Editorial Committee and lawyers will check for violation of policy and law. Meanwhile,              ‘Capital Talk’ will be hosted by a temporary host. “We would like to remind our viewers and readers that Geo and Jang Group were shut down, our journalists                    were beaten up as they faced hundreds of fake allegations of corruption, blasphemy, and traitorhood shot at, financially strangulated more than any other                        media organisation in the country. The organization has lost more than Rs10 billion to keep viewers and readers informed.
            However, it becomes difficult for the Group and its editors to take ownership of the content that is delivered outside the purview, input, and guidance of its                        editors, and which are not fact-checked and approved by the editorial teams.”

            Full Statement: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/842977-statement-by-jang-geo-group  The ban on journalist Hamid Mir was lifted in March 2022.


  • May 2021, unidentified assailants attacked and injured privately-owned news channel Dunya News reporter Aman Ullah Marwat in Tank, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP). The motive of the attack remained unknown.


  • May 2021, unidentified assailants attacked and injured Mansehra Union of journalists president Ishtiaq Khan Tanoli. Mansehra is located in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP). The motive of the attack remained unknown.


  • May 2021, unidentified attackers assaulted and injured journalist and vlogger Asad Ali Toor outside his home in Islamabad. Mr. Toor has been criticizing the government policies and claiming to break inside stories in his YouTube channel. The attack drew wide condemnations from journalists, media, human rights activists, and politicians. The government has formed a team to investigate and arrest the attackers. In September 2020, authorities booked journalist Asad Ali Toor under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) for criticizing the military and state intuitions. 


  • May 2021, local police in Karachi manhandled Syed Wasim, a reporter working for a privately-owned news channel in the suburbs of Saudabad, for covering the pandemic lockdown. The provincial Sindh government removed the responsible police officers from the police station. 


  • May 2021, owners and staff of Super Shinwari restaurant attacked crew members of a privately-owned news channel, ARY News. The attackers injured crew members including reporter Afzal Pervez and damaged equipment. The news channel was reporting on pandemic violations in the restaurant.


  • May 2021, local police in Karachi manhandled Fareed Khan, a photojournalist, in the suburbs of Federal B area (FB area) for covering the pandemic lockdown. The police ignored Mr. Khan Identifications proving him a journalist, on the job, and stopped him from the coverage.


  • May 2021, three native rural journalists Latif Veesar, Barkat Mirani, and Khalid Veesar, alleged that the police tortured them for reporting “private torture cells,” of police in the remote city of Mirpur Mathello, located in the Sindh province. The injured journalists were treated in a local hospital. After a protest by the local journalists, the responsible policemen were arrested.   


  • April 20, 2021, an unidentified bike rider shot a senior journalist and ex-chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Absar Alam, in the stomach. Mr. Alam was walking in a park close to his home in Islamabad, the heavily guarded capital city of Pakistan. Mr. Alam’s injury was not life-threatening and he released a video message shortly after the attack with some details of the shooting. A case has been registered against an unknown attacker and the government has also condemned the attack.


  • April 2021, activists of Pakistan’s religion-based political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) seized the major intersections and highways in the major cities of Pakistan. TLP activists attacked different media workers and destroyed the recording equipment. The violent protesters attacked a privately-owned ARY News DSNG van and smashed the windscreen. At least three policemen were killed and 85 injured during the protests. The TLP's major demand is to expel the French ambassador from Pakistan after French solidarity with the victims of Charlie Hebdo and President Emmanuel Macron ensuing statement “Islam as a religion in crisis,” in October 2020. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had also protested over President Macron's statement. Pakistan has been surrendering to the demands of TLP in the past. During TLP protests in 2017, current Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that his party willing to join TLP sit-ins. The armed forces mediated the TLP 2017 impasse by handing out money to the protesters for going back home and accepting TLP conditions. UPDATES: Under extreme pressure from across the world and within, Pakistan banned TLP, but In the middle of the Islamic uprising, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the world leaders to equate blasphemy to Holocaust. Encouraged by Prime Minister's ill-timed demand, the religious fanatics regrouped and attacked police and paramilitary forces in a police station and kidnapped at least eleven and injured several policemen in Lahore. Periodically, Pakistan has been surrendering to the Islamic uprising & religious fanatics, collusion with militants such as Ehsanullah Ehsan (operative of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and prime suspect of the Army Public School attack that killed 150 people including 134 students in 2014), and leniencies to the prime accused in The Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl beheading in 2002 in Pakistan. April 20, 2021: TLP religious fundamentalists succeeded in bringing Pakistan to its knees over blasphemy and forced the Islamists leaning The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to call an urgent session of the National Assembly of Pakistan to debate over the resolution for the removal of the French Ambassador. As the session begins, PTI lawmaker Amjid Ali Khan presented a resolution condemning reprint of controversial cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical weekly magazine, and French President Emmanuel Macron.


  • April 2021, following the orders of the court, the police booked Islamabad’s organizers and partakers of the Aurat (women) march for blasphemy. However, the orders of charges were issued by a court in Peshawar, part of the ultra-conservative province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Images and videos widely shared on social media claiming the march participants have committed blasphemy against sacred personalities of Islam, but the fact-checks and forensic proved the blasphemous claims were fake, photo-shopped, and part of a campaign to malign Aurat March. Fanatics and patriarchal have been terming Aurat March or women empowerment against the norms of Pakistani culture and Islam.  


  • April 2021, police arrested journalist Alla Khan for covering the beleaguered Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) in the Tribal belt of Wana, South Waziristan. The journalist owns local media outlet Zhagh news. Journalists from the Wana Press Club protested for the release of Mr. Khan. According to the local police, Mr. Khan has been arrested for violating COVID-19 SOPs. 


  • April 2021, Karachi Bachao Tehreek reported the arrests of its activists Khurram Ali, Erum Baji, Zara, Israr, and others in Kausar Niazi Colony. Karachi Bachao Tehreek is a movement campaigning to end the demolition of working-class Karachi settlements and markets in the name of urban development.


  • March 2021, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) claimed that Rana Muhammad Azeem, secretary-general of PFUJ has received life threats from a gangster after exposing mafias in a TV talk-show aired on a privately-owned channel 92 News. Just a few weeks ago, a court notice was published in the leading newspaper “Jang,” Karachi edition accusing Mr. Azeem of criminalities. However, Mr. Azeem did not name the person who threatened him or how did he communicate his threat? PFUJ termed the cases against Mr. Azeem as baseless.


  • March 2021, the provincial Sindh police booked journalists, Sindhi nationalists, and rights activists belonging to Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Jeay Sindh Mahaz, and other groups representing the rural population of Sindh under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The protesters gathered in front of the Sukkur police chief office over the extrajudicial killing of Mr. Irfan Jatoi, a student of the Sindh University. Some of the individuals facing terrorism charges; bureau chief of Samma TV Sahil Jogi, bureau chief of Abtak TV Imdad Phulpoto, Rustam Indhar of daily Puchano, journalist Adam Shanbani, writer Ustad Khalid Chandio, Dr. Niaz Kalani of JSQM, Riaz Chandio of JSM, Ghulam Nabi and Sajid Jatoi, brothers of deceased student Irfan Jatoi. The police alleged the deceased was a wanted criminal.  


  • March 2021, the police registered a case against journalist Ghulam Akbar Marwat over allegations of blackmailing, interference in the government’s functioning, and misleading the public in Lakki Marwat, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Mr. Marwat termed the case retaliatory and linked to his report exposing the corruption of the Food Department in flour distribution. Mr. Marwat is also the president of the Lakki Marwat Press Club.


  • February 2021, Sindhi nationalist protesters attacked Pakistan's largest privately-owned media house Geo and Jang Media Group's head office in Karachi. The attackers ransacked and damaged the property and physically assaulted the employees. Geo News Managing Director Azhar Abbas confirmed via his verified Twitter account (@AzharAbbas3) that the attacking mob, “beat our Cameraman and staff.” The protesters were angered over journalist Irshad Bhatti mimicking Sindhis in the comedy TV show Khabarnaak. According to Sindhi nationalists, Mr. Bhatti has been targeting them from time to time. Mr. Bhatti offered an apology for what he believed was offensive to Sindhi nationalists. The attack was surprising because the provincial Sindh government had banned rallies, protests, and all sorts of public assemblies just a few days ago. However, the police did not stop the mob from attacking. The provincial management is predominantly Sindhis. Provincial statics show the 95 percent of the government jobs are held by the rural Sindhi while urbanites known as Muhajirs or Urdu speaking deprived of government jobs through a quota system. Nevertheless, much of the provincial mainstream media has a large concentration of Muhajirs. The succeeding governments keep the urban-rural rift intact for political gains. Political sarcasm and comedy shows are fast disappearing in Pakistan because of nationalists and religious fundamentalists. Artists and journalists face risks of lives, attacks, arrests, bans, job losses, blasphemy charges, and trolls. Geo and its staff have been targeted intermittently. Editor-in-Chief of Jang and Geo Group, Mir Shakil ur Rahman spent more than 200 days behind bars in a politically motivated and retaliatory case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted him bail on November 9, 2020.


  • February 2021, the Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to act against individuals running YouTube channels and tighten the surveillance over electronic media targeting the judiciary. There is a growing concern about selective justice and government-friendly judiciary in Pakistan. The Supreme Court of Pakistan and sub-ordinate courts have dissimilar rulings in dealing with the cases of legal similarities such as foreign funding, dual nationalities for holding public office, property beyond means, and encroachments; The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) gets relief from the courts while the political opponents and critics are penalized.  


  • February 2021, The Peshawar High Court (PHC) authorized the trial of rights activist and civilian Idris Khattak to the military court, field general court-martial (FGCM). Though Mr. Khatttak has never served in the military nor associated in any capacity, the court referred to the Official Secret Act, 1923 (The Act of 1923).” Last year, the same court had ordered the release of the prisoners convicted by the military courts, citing the lack of justice and forced confessional statements. BRIEF TIMELINEJune 2020, Pakistan’s Defense Ministry informed the country’s commission on enforced disappearances that human rights activist Idris Khattak, disappeared in November 2019, in the custody of the Military Intelligence (MI). November 2019, unknown armed persons, wearing police uniforms and riding government vehicles, kidnapped Idris Khattak, a senior political activist and former General Secretary of the "National Party Pakhtunkhwa," from Swabi, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


  • February 2020, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) revoked the bail of Muhammad Ismail, the father of the Pashtun rights activist, Gulalai Ismail. According to Ms. Ismail’s tweets, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Mr. Ismail was later brought back to their house located in the village Swabi Marghuz, and the CTD officers planted fabricated papers/receipts to generate fake evidence against the family. Ms. Ismail further tweeted that the police refused access to medication and clothing to Mr. Ismail when her mother wanted to give it to Mr. Ismail in the police station and told her, “He is not in the police station.” Ms. Ismail also reported the raids on her relatives’ houses in her village. In September 2020, Pakistani authorities had added new terrorism charges against 66-year-old human rights activist and a retired university professor Mohammad Ismail, his wife Uzlifat Ismail, and daughter Gulalai Ismail. The court had already acquitted the persecuted family two years ago. The retrial alleged the donations for Ms. Gulalai Ismail charity Aware Girls, spent on the cars used in the deadly suicide attacks in 2013 and 2015. The whole family denied the allegations and maintained that the cases are apparent attempts to pressurize Ms. Gulalai Ismail from raising her voice against State’s highhandedness aimed at Pashtuns. Ms. Gulalai Ismail services have been recognized internationally and she has received many awards including, the Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy, International Humanist of the Year Award by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and the joint winner, with murdered journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, of the Anna Politkovskaya Award. In 2016, her organization Aware Girls was awarded the Fondation Chirac Peace Prize for the Prevention of Conflict. She has now self-exiled to the United States. On February 15, 2021, an anti-terrorism court in Peshawar denied bail to ailing and elderly professor Mohammad Ismail.


  • February 2021, authorities sealed the office of MQM (Pakistan) and seized sound-system over songs honoring banned and Self-exiled founder Altaf Hussain. Mr. Hussain remained kingmaker for three decades, and his party Muhajir Qumi Movement (MQM) ruled the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi; however, his party abused the public support and profit from racketeering, extortion, and brutally killed party turncoats and opponents. He challenged the status quo and sent the middle-class into the parliament; however, he changed his party from Muhajir Movement to Muttahida (united) movement. During his heydays, political leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif sought Mr. Hussain's help to form the Federal Government and succeeded. Mr. Hussain now faces sedition charges and media black-out in Pakistan. In 1992, the para-military forces attacked MQM, killed the activists in extra-judicial killings, thousands were thrown in jails, and offices bulldozed. According to MQM, more than 18,000 workers were killed extra-judicially. Mr. Hussain and his followers are the descendants of the migrants who immigrated to Pakistan in 1947 after the British retreat from India and Pakistan.     


  • January 2021, reporter Malik Ehtisham and cameraman Munawar Abbasi working for a local newspaper, Qaumi Lalkar daily claimed unidentified armed men briefly kidnapped them for carrying copies of the newspaper containing land mafia activities in Islamabad.   


  • ​​January 2021, Public News fired anchor Adnan Haider. Senior journalists and media insights believed that the action was taken after a show participant Imran Riaz Khan’s allegation leveled against Army Chief and land-mafia links in Pakistan. Public news and the military have not yet commented. Later, the pro-government leaning Imran Riaz Khan backtracked his grave allegations of the Army Chief's relative links with the land-grabbers, however, Mr. Haider has not been reinstated.


  • January 2021, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) activists attacked and injured the privately-owned channel ARY News crew during the coverage of PDM public meetings in Malakand, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. In the video clip released by the ARY News, the crew is taking cover in the DSNG van. The PDM is the coalition of the opposition parties asking for the premature resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The ARY News is a pro-government channel. 


  • January 21, defense lawyers with three men Raja Arshad, Noman Khokhar, and Raja Hashim,  indicted for the murder of Barrister Fahad Malik, attacked and brutally injured privately-owned Geo News cameraman Nasir Mughal. Mr. Mughal was attacked in the presence of police while filming the accused departure from the court.


  • January 2021, resident editor of Pakistan Press International (PPI) Imad Zafar reported via tweeter his kidnapping, assault, torture, and police refusal to register a report on the pretext of no physical marks. The police did not comment on the allegations. 


  • January 2021, authorities in Balochistan province stopped Pashtun rights activist and member of beleaguered Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) Sanna Ejaz (سیاله) from the inauguration of a girl’s library and forced her out of the area of Zhob. Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) claims the representation of the rights of those affected by the war against militancy and what PTM believes oppressions of the armed forces in the tribal areas. 


DEVELOPMENT


  • September 19, 2022: the Islamabad High Court expunged the charges filed under anti-terrorism law against former PM Imran Khan.




  • September 2021, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reprimanded the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and ordered action against the officers over the arrest of two senior journalists, Amir Mir and Imran Shafqat, in Lahore. The Supreme Court of Pakistan had taken suo motu action and constituted a bench for the matter.


PLIGHT OF MEDIA AND WORKERS 


January 2022 – December 2022: http://www.freedomtalk.net/home.html documented nine occurrences of attacks, infighting, inaccurate, and delaying wages to the media workers. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS.   







  • July 2022: a female journalist Maira Hashmi, working for a privately owned Neo TV Media Network, assaulted a teenage boy during her live, outdoor interview. The unapologetic journalist defended her violent action by saying that the boy was bothering a family. 


  • May 2022: privately-owned BOL TV withheld the pay for at least two months and counting of its workers while funding the protests of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) long march call.


  • May 2022: privately-owned Dunya News fired eleven DSNG workers for asking for a pay raise. For many years, the monthly payment rate of Dunya News DSNG engineers and technicians was 21,000 rupees (approx. 106 USD). Pakistan is in the middle of a historical economic meltdown, and 21,000 rupees are not enough to put a balanced meal on the table for a family of two.


  • February 2022: one of the National Press Club (NPC) members, Abdul Waheed Dogar, assaulted the club’s President and senior journalist, Anwar Raza, within the premises of the NPC. Mr. Dogar was seen slapping Mr. Raza in widely circulated footage on social media. Mr. Dogar now faces a life ban to enter the National Press Club. The NPC management has filed a police report against Mr. Dogar, and his accomplices, who, the NPC alleged are not the Press Club members. The rival factions of the journalists have been locking horns to control Press Club.


​​ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES 


In Pakistan, Journalists, political workers, Baloch activists, social media activists, bloggers, Sindhi nationalists, Pashtuns, Urdu-speaking activists, minorities, lawyers, and civilians are susceptible to Enforced Disappearances. In October 2022: Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) alleged Balochistan Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) for killing three missing persons in a “fake encounter” in Kharan, Balochistan province. VBMB spokesperson called the killings staged encounters and identified the victims as Salaal Ahmed, Shukrallah, Waseem Sajjad (Tabish), and Fareed; the missing persons picked up in the last few months. However, the CTD rebutted VBMP allegations and called the dead persons terrorists who belonged to the banned Balochistan Liberation Army group who attacked CTD; the CTD claimed to recover a cache of weapons from the murdered individuals. In an earlier alleged encounter in October, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) killed six men. In August 2022: law enforcement agencies (LEAs) kidnapped Lala Faheem Baloch, a publisher, from Karachi. Friends and eyewitnesses informed the media that several uniformed and plainclothes men picked up Mr. Baloch from his bookshop, Ilm-u-Adab Publishers, located in Urdu Bazaar, one of the oldest book markets in Karachi. Mr. Baloch is the publisher of Sada-i-Balochistan magazine and a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). According to Mr. Baloch’s family and friends, the provincial police refused his custody and a kidnapping report. However, the police denied the claims. On November 20, 2022: Lala Faheem Baloch returned. No further details on his enforced disappearance are available. ​ August 2022, Manzoor Pashteen, founder and Head of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a social movement for Pashtun rights in Pakistan, reported the disappearances of seven Pashtun men from different parts of Pakistan in the last week of July 2022. Mr. Pashteen called the disappearances “Enforced Disappearances.”  

Tortured bodies of missing persons
 
In September 2022, within 24 hours, the dead bodies of three Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) were found in different parts of the Sindh province. The family and friends of the deceased Waseem Akhtar, Abid Abbasi, and Irfan Basarat Siddiqui alleged the security forces for their enforced disappearances a few years ago. The activists were affiliated with the banned faction of the MQM, led by self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain. The dead bodies have visible torture marks, and the victims of extrajudicial killing followed by kidnappings. Two decomposed corpses were found in Turbat and Quetta, in Balochistan province. The Baloch rights activists for the Enforced Disappearances believed the corpses could be of the missing Baloch persons and demanded the government start the procedure for identifying the bodies. In August 2022, the dead body of a Sindhi nationalist, Aqib Chandio found two months after his alleged enforced disappearance. Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have picked up Mr. Chandio twice in the past. That is an obvious case of extrajudicial killing. In June 2022, a decomposed dead body of the Baloch missing person Yasin Bugti was found near Chaman Bypass, province of Balochistan. Yasin Bugti was abducted from Quetta city in 2016. The family and friends told the media that all the people killed in the alleged encounters had been picked up by LEAs in the past. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS. 


  • January 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least fifteen Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan in December 2022. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Hakim S/O Dad Bukhs, Abdulla Baloch, Mehboob Baloch, Ghulam S/O Nazar Muhammad, Bozo Khan S/O Muhammad Hassan, Syed Jan, Shehzad, Jehan Zeb, Mirza S/O Barkat, Billal S/O Abdul Aziz, Abdul Razzaq S/O Muhammad Jan, Muhammad Hanif S/O Ghulam Jan, Nadil Hussain,  Siraj Noor, and Arif Hamal. Short-term kidnappings; Rehan Baloch (student) S/O Muhammad Jan, Badeer Habib (student), andTariq Bashir (student).

 

  • December 29, 2022: a bullet-riddled dead body has been found in Bazdad, Balochistan. Family and friends identified the body of a kidnapped man named Imran (Amir) Babo. Mr. Babo was kidnapped on December 23, 2022. Family, friends Baloch rights groups alleged the security forces for the kidnapping and killing of Mr. Babo.


  • December 1, 2022: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least fifteen Baloch men and women from different parts of Pakistan in November 2022. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Ayaz S/O Mubarak, Mughal S/O Muhammad, Ummed S/O Char Shambe, Rustam S/O Nazar, Qambar, Waheed, Rahmatullah, and Murad Jan. Two men Sarfraz and mannan who disappeared in October 2022, found in the custody of the law enforcement agencies LEAs, in November 2022. Missing and released in November 2022: A woman Dilbakhat with her kids named Darbakht, Noor Bakht, and Aisha. A woman Mariam, with sons Kaleem Ullah and Samehda, Mariam's husband, has been missing for over four years. Kambar, Rahmatullah and murad jan Also kidnapped and released in November.​

 


  • November 1, 2022: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least eighteen Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan in October 2022. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Yahya Zahid s/o Abdul Hameed Mosiani, Hayat S/o Aslam, Abdul Sattar S/O Rahim Bux, Qambar S/O Ummeed, Aziz S/O Mula Bux, Assad S/O Musa, Anas S/O Mulla Barkat, Saud Naz, Kamran Noor, brothers Yousuf Badini and Pervaiz Badini, Gul Shad Baloch (returned/ released), Jabir S/O Pazir Ahmad, Najeeb Ullah S/O Muhammad Hussain,  Shafqat S/O Abdul Rahim, Chakar, Faisal S/O Muhammad Ramzan, Siraj Baloch, and Rajesh Kumar.


  • October 2022: Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) alleged Balochistan Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) for killing three missing persons in a “fake encounter” in Kharan, Balochistan province. VBMB spokesperson called the killings staged encounters and identified the victims as Salaal Ahmed, Shukrallah, Waseem Sajjad (Tabish), and Fareed; the missing persons picked up in the last few months. However, the CTD rebutted VBMP allegations and called the dead individuals terrorists who belonged to the banned Balochistan Liberation Army group who attacked CTD; the CTD claimed to recover a cache of weapons from the murdered individuals. In an earlier alleged encounter in October, the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) killed six individuals, Mushtaq S/O Abdul Rasheed, Ali Ahmad S/O Taj Muhammad, Habib-ur-Rehman S/O Abdul Samad, Ubaid Ullah, Dawood S/O Sher Muhammad, and Niaz S/O Abdul Bari. The family and friends told the media that all the people killed in the alleged encounters had been picked up by LEAs in the past.


  • Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least fifteen Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan in September 2022. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Syed Ullah, Sher Mohammed, and his sons Khair Mohammad, Dad Karim, Maqsood, Ameen, Abdul Nabi, Sher Gul Baloch, Farid S/O Abdul Ghaffar, Barkat S/O Muhammad Arif, Hafiz Muhammad Yasir, Siraj Ahmad S/O Behram, Siraj S/O Asghar, Salman S/O Zahoor Ahmad, and Ghulam Nabi S/O Ghulam Ali.


  • September 2022: two decomposed corpses were found in Turbat and Quetta, in Balochistan province. The Baloch rights activists for the Enforced Disappearances believed the corpses could be of the missing Baloch persons and demanded the government start the procedure for identifying the bodies.


  • Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least sixteen Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan in August 2022. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Mohammad Rafique Bugti, Khuda Bux, Abdul Wahab Kurd, Shaikh Ayaz, Sahil Amin, Sameer Hamza, Balaj Haji Suleman, Muzammil, Kachkol, Ali Juma, Ehsan Faqir Mohammad, Professor Saleh Muhammad, brothers Salman and Salah Uddin, Brothers Noor Ullah Shahwani, Kaleem Ullah Shahwani.


  • August 2022, the dead body of a Sindhi nationalist, Aqib Chandio found two months after his alleged enforced disappearance. Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have picked up Mr. Chandio twice in the past. That is an obvious case of extrajudicial killing.


  • August 2022: law enforcement agencies (LEAs) kidnapped Lala Faheem Baloch, a publisher, from Karachi. Friends and eyewitnesses informed the media that several uniformed and plainclothes men picked up Mr. Baloch from his bookshop, Ilm-u-Adab Publishers, located in Urdu Bazaar, one of the oldest book markets in Karachi. Mr. Baloch is the publisher of Sada-i-Balochistan magazine and a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). According to Mr. Baloch’s family and friends, the provincial police refused his custody and a kidnapping report. However, the police denied the claims. November 20, 2022: Lala Faheem Baloch returned. No further details on his enforced disappearance are available. ​ 


  • August 2022, Manzoor Pashteen, founder and Head of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a social movement for Pashtun rights in Pakistan, reported the disappearances of seven Pashtun men from different parts of Pakistan in the last week of July 2022. Mr. Pashteen termed the disappearance of Tanveer, Musa, Nadir, Raheem Jan, Syed Amin, Hassan Gul, and Zakir Khan “EnforcedDisappearances.”   


  • July 2022, The Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered police to present Abdul Rehman Khan before the court. Mr. Khan, a university student, was allegedly kidnapped by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) from his home in Karachi on June 3, 2022. This is the second abduction of Abdul Rehman this year. His first abduction happened in January 2022 and was released after a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC).


  • July 2022, Baloch missing person activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of four students including two brothers Jahanzaib Alahi, Abdul Nabi Alahi, Rahmat Ullah, and Talha Baloch from Mastung, Part of Balochistan province. 


  • June 2022, Sindh police attacked the peaceful protesters protesting for the recovery of the Baloch students and the missing persons in front of the Sindh Assembly in Karachi. The police dragged the Baloch women on the streets and flung them in the police vans. Police briefly detained at least thirty protesters, including Amna Baloch, Organizer Baloch Yakjehti Committee (Karachi);  Khurram Ali, General Secretary AWP Karachi, and social media activist, FawadHazan. The Baloch anguish grew after two Karachi University students, Doda Baloch and Ghamshad Baloch, disappeared in Karachi. The families, friends, and the Baloch activists alleged the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and termed the disappearance as an abduction. After fierce social media condemnations, the Sindh government released all the detainees. Doda Baloch and Ghamshad Baloch returned home after a week but did not disclose the details of their disappearance. Journalists, political workers, Baloch activists, social media activists, bloggers, Sindhi nationalists, Pashtuns, Urdu-speaking activists, social media activists, minorities, lawyers, and civilians continue to disappear and are kidnapped. Sometimes missing persons are found dead or in the custody of the law enforcement agencies (LEAs), while thousands remained untraced. According to Amina Masood Janjua, a human rights activist and chairperson of Defence of Human Rights Pakistan, a not-for-profit organization working against forced disappearance, there are more than 5,000 reported cases of forced disappearance in Pakistan while many remain underreported. 


  • June 11, 2022: unidentified armed men kidnapped Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist Moiz from Hyderabad, province of Sindh. The family alleged paramilitary forces and Mr. Moiz's affiliation to MQM (Altaf) for kidnapping.


  • June 2022, Baloch missing person activists reported the disappearances of two students Shehzad Baloch, Atique Baloch, physiotherapist Mukhtar Baloch, and Ahmed Baloch. 


  • June 2022, a decomposed dead body of the Baloch missing person Yasin Bugti was found near Chaman Bypass, province of Balochistan. Yasin Bugti was abducted from Quetta city in 2016. The Baloch activists for the enforced disappearance had alleged the law enforcement agencies for the abduction.  In March 2021, just ten days apart, tortured dead bodies of two missing persons were found in Pakistan. The body of the Awami National Party (ANP) Balochistan spokesperson Asad Khan Achakzai recovered from Noshar, Quetta. Mr. Achakzai was reported missing in September 2020. Construction workers found the dead body of another missing person Muhammad Salam in North Waziristan, part of the North Waziristan (KP) province. Unidentified persons had kidnapped Mr. Salam in 2007. 


  • June 2022, Baloch activists and organizations against enforced disappearances in Pakistan reported the abduction of Baloch student Kaleem Ullah Noor from Balochistan province. Feroz Baloch and Saeed Umar's alleged kidnappings were reported in April and May 2022. Baloch activists and organizations alleged security forces for the kidnappings.


  • May 2022, the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) reported the kidnapping of four Baloch men, Dost Mohammad Khan Marri, Mohammad Ismail, Mangal Marri, and Gulzar Marri, from the different parts of the restive province of Balochistan. 


  • March 2022, Pakistani paramilitary forces forced minority Shia protesters from holding a press conference. The Shia community was protesting over the disappearances of the Shia persons. Over the years, an estimated 725 Shia persons have gone missing in Pakistan. 




  • February 22, 2022, unidentified armed men kidnapped Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activist Mohammad Sami Uddin from his home in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi, Sindh province. The wife of Sami Uddin and neighbors alleged paramilitary forces and Sami Uddin's affiliation to MQM (Altaf) for kidnapping.


  • January 2022, the Human Rights Council of Balochistan reported the killing of 37 people at least 63 enforced disappearances just in December 2021 in the province of Balochistan. Human Rights Council of Balochistan alleged security forced behind killings and disappearances while the forces claim to disrupt the terrorist’s cells or self-defense. The security forces have also lost many soldiers and members of the law enforcement agencies.


  • January 2022, Baloch and Human rights activists reported a surge of enforced disappearances of Baloch individuals with no exceptions to youths and seniors. Recently reported missing person’s names: Fayaz Ali, Abdul Hameed Zehri, Ghulam Muhammad. Family and friends alleged law enforcement agencies for the enforced abductions and disappearances.



  • December 2021, a military court in Pakistan sentenced human rights and political activist Idris Khattak to 14 years of “rigorous imprisonment” for espionage and passing sensitive information to a foreign spy agency. In February 2021, The Peshawar High Court (PHC) authorized the trial of rights activist and civilian Idris Khattak to the military court, field general court-martial (FGCM). Though Mr. Khatttak has never served in the military nor associated in any capacity, the court referred to the Official Secret Act, 1923 (The Act of 1923).” Last year, the same court had ordered the release of the prisoners convicted by the military courts, citing the lack of justice and forced confessional statements. BRIEF TIMELINE: June 2020, Pakistan’s Defense Ministry informed the country’s commission on enforced disappearances that human rights activist Idris Khattak, disappeared in November 2019, in the custody of the Military Intelligence (MI). November 2019, unknown armed persons, wearing police uniforms and riding government vehicles, kidnapped Idris Khattak, a senior political activist and former General Secretary of the "National Party Pakhtunkhwa," from Swabi, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


  • September 2021, unidentified kidnappers kidnapped Journalist Waris Raza from his house and released him after several hours of captivity. Mr. Raza informed the media that he was blindfolded during the kidnapping, and the kidnappers alleged him for writing against State and Pakistan’s Hybrid Regime** in his columns and on social media. Mr. Raza has chronicled the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) 70-year struggle for press freedom in Pakistan and is associated with the daily Express. Family and friends alleged the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) behind the kidnapping and claimed the kidnappers used LEAs vehicles for kidnapping. **The term Hybrid Regime refers to the governing setup in Pakistan and the notion that the military has installed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Government.  


  • September 2021, Baloch activists affiliated with the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) reported the abduction of at least seven Baloch men from Kali Qambrani, part of the restive province of Balochistan. Family and friends alleged the security forces for the abduction during a search operation. 


  • August 2021, Baloch activists reported the abduction of Mudassar Baloch and Zakir Baloch. Baloch activists alleged law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for the abduction and claimed the missing youths were not involved in crimes.


  • August 2021, unidentified persons kidnapped a Baloch man Najeeb Jameel from Awaran, located in the troubled province of Balochistan. Mr. Jameel has come to Pakistan on vacation from the Middle East.  His father Jameel Baloch has also been kidnapped in 2013 by unidentified persons. Friends and family alleged the kidnappings as enforced disappearances and hold Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies responsible for the kidnappings. 


  • August 2021, unidentified persons kidnapped Zakir Sahito, an activist of the Sindhi nationalist group, “Jeay Sindh Students Federation Azad,” from Karachi, Sindh province. Family, friends, and party workers allege law enforcement agencies for Mr. Sahito’s kidnapping.


  • June 2021, unidentified kidnappers kidnapped Awami Workers Party (AWP) National Committee member of Sindh province, Seengar Noonari, from Naseerabad, Sindh. Mr. Noorani was instrumental against the illegal seizure of the lands belonging to the native people of Sindh province by a well-connected and one of the wealthiest real-estate tycoons in Pakistan. A few weeks ago, a charged crowd of protesters had attacked and set ablaze the main gate of Bahria Town, owned by the same real-estate tycoon. The wife and friends of Mr. Noorani alleged the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) were behind the kidnapping. The local police were hesitant to register the case of Mr. Noorani's kidnapping.



  • March 2021, internet-based The Balochistan Post reported the enforced disappearances of four Baloch men from the different parts of the turbulent Balochistan province. The website alleged the security forces behind the kidnappings of Ayaz Bangulzai, Jan Beg Rind, Sultan Rind, and Ghulam Mustafa. 


  • March 2021, Baloch and rights activists reported the kidnapping of a Baloch student, Naveed Qadeer from Quetta, the provincial capital of turbulent Balochistan. According to the reports, Mr. Qadeer is a final-year student of the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Mining Engineering at the University of the Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore campus.


  • March 2021, just ten days apart, tortured dead bodies of two missing persons were found in Pakistan. The body of the Awami National Party (ANP) Balochistan spokesperson Asad Khan Achakzai recovered from Noshar, Quetta. Mr. Achakzai was reported missing in September 2020. Construction workers found the dead body of another missing person Muhammad Salam in North Waziristan, part of the North Waziristan (KP) province. Unidentified persons kidnapped Mr. Salam in 2007.  


  • January 2021: a group of unknown individuals kidnapped advocate Hammad Saeed Dar from his house in Tarnol, Punjab. Mr. Dar recovered after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) sent notices to high-ranking police officers and Interior Ministry officials. Mr. Dar informed the judge that kidnappers seized his communication devices, blindfolded him, and kept him in the room. The motive of the kidnapping remained unknown.  


DEVELOPMENT


  • December 1, 2022: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the return of four men, Abdul Nabi, Yousuf, and Jaffar S/O Faiz Muhammad, Lala Faheem Baloch, after being subjected to long-term and short-term disappearances.


  • November 1, 2022: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the return of nine men, Arif S/O Safar Baloch, Dr. Jameel Baloch, Dr. Aqeeq Mangal, Ali Bux, Mehar Ullah, Abdullah Khan S/O Habib Ullah, Basit, Faisal, Nasir S/O Isa, after being subjected to the long-term and short-term disappearances in October 2022.




  • September 2022: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the return of three men, Shahid S/O Haji Shareef, Allah Rakkha, and Muhammad Rahim S/O Muhammad Hussain, after being disappeared over the years.


  • August 2022: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the return of five men, Kifayat Ullah Lango, Qasim Baloch, Hissam Baloch, Ghulam Jilani Hussain Zai, Aslam Mangal, after being disappeared over the years.


  • June 2022: the Pakistani counter Terrorism Depart (CTD) kidnapped Baloch student Hafeez Baloch in February 2022 and admitted the kidnapping after almost two months. A local court acquitted Hafeez Baloch on June 30, 2022. 



MINORITIES | BLASPHEMY 


January 2022 – December 2022: http://www.freedomtalk.net/home.html documented 77 occurrences of forced marriages, forced conversions, and Blasphemy against Muslims and non-Muslim minorities.


Each year, as many as 700 Hindu and Christian girls, mostly minors, are kidnapped in Pakistan, while many cases remain underreported. The court rulings often side with the kidnappers as police collude with the criminals. The majority of the victims belong to underprivileged families. The rapists use marriage and forced conversion to Islam as a convenient method to get away with rape charges of minority underage girls. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) banned marriages below 18, which carries a penalty of up to Rs200,000 and three years and rigorous jail time for the facilitators. However, the kidnappers have been filing fake evidence of the victim's age, and the courts have been accepting the paper admissible despite the objections and alternative proofs of age from the kidnapped girl's parents. POLITICAL MEDDLING: Sindh province is ruled by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), predominantly consisting of wealthy landowners with political inheritance. PPP vehemently protects the Bhutto family and the vested interests of its members while people continue to beg for clean water, medical, transportation, jobs, security, and cleanliness. Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as "Mian Mitthu," is the ringleader of forced marriages and forced conversions of underage minority girls in the Sindh province also belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).  

Human and religious Rights advocates reported the forced conversion and marriages of Hindu and Christian teenage girls and women throughout the year. The correct number of victims remains undermined due to the conflicting reports and verification hurdles. However, independent sources put the number of victims over 100.  
 

Over the years, Pakistan has been surrendering to the demands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a party of violent religious fundamentalists, overt supporters of blasphemy laws, and anti-minority Shia and Ahmadiyya after they seized the streets of large cities in the country and killed several on-duty policemen. The TLP has killed and injured several civilians, and law enforcement officers destroyed federal and public properties with billions of rupees and brought the country to a halt in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In November 2021, fearing the seizure of the capital city of Islamabad and the parliament, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees including those who were charged with the killings of civilians and at least 12 policemen. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the coverage of TLP occupation and attacks to hide the massacre and destruction. The succeeding governments and the stakeholders continue to surrender to the religious fundamentalists at the cost of the minorities’ religious freedom and rights. Within a few weeks of December 2022, the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) arrested at least 62 people over blasphemy allegations; nine of them serving capital punishment, while two were on death row. The accused included a woman arrested over accusations of desecrating Islamic values, literature, and noted personalities of Islam on social media or WhatsApp groups. Some vigilantes, radical and even proscribed religious groups have gathered momentum to follow up blasphemy cases. In many cases, the plaintiffs use blasphemy to settle personal enmity and disputes. The political parties insulted, manipulated, and pushed minorities to the wall to capitalize on religious votes.

On October 13, 2022, the provincial government of Punjab made an affidavit mandatory for marriage that the newlyweds believe in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The announcement has been made on the verified Twitter account of the Punjab government.  The lawmakers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) work together for the resolution to disconnect persecuted Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community from social assimilation. https://twitter.com/GovtofPunjabPK/status/1580813342004105219 In September 2022, Muhammad Naeem Chattha Qadri, a cleric affiliated with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), ordered his supporters to attack the pregnant women, belonging to the persecuted Muslim minority Ahmadiyya community. He repeatedly urged his followers to kill Ahmadis in his speech.  He asked his supporters to make sure “no Ahmadis are born and kill the newborn babies.” He also warned police that TLP is unstoppable. In September 2022: the Chief Minister (CM) of Pakistan’s largest province Punjab, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, promised to build a mosque with a ban on Muslim-minority Ahmadiyya community entrance. He also warned the Christians, Hindus, and Muslim minorities to accept the repressive status quo or leave the country. September 2022, in the middle of the worst political crisis and biblical floods in Pakistan, Mian Javed Latif, a lawmaker and the vice president of the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), alleged opposition leader and ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan for blasphemy. In his speech, he also disdained the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community. Targeting minorities for political gains is an established mindset in Pakistan.https://twitter.com/i/status/1569953908373569536 SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS. 
 
TARGETING TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY

Pakistani transgender community continued its struggle towards recognition, equal rights, and social justice. Violent attacks and segregation grew leaps and bound against the Pakistani transgender community after Senate Human Rights Committee debated to amend the Transgender Protection of Rights Act 2018. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, affiliated with the religious conservative Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP), asked to establish a medical board to examine the claims of being transgender. Senator Khan told the media that more than thirty thousand individuals have wrongly identified themselves as transgender since 2018. Nayyab Ali, a transgender rights activist, transgender protection Unit Support officer, and human rights activists opposed Senator Khan asking the government for medical tests if the Trans laws are broken. The medical test requirement is a violation of human dignity. According to Federal Ministry of Health figures in 2015, there are an estimated 1.5 million members of the Transgender community in the country. The Transgender rights groups working in Pakistan say at least 100 Transgender have been killed, and over 2000 police reports have been filed for crimes targeting the Transgender community in Pakistan since 2015. September 26, 2022: another bill was introduced in Senate; the Bill reads, Amendment of Section 2, Act XIII of 2018; (II) for Clause (n), the following shall be substituted namely:-  “(n) “transgender person” is a person who is hermaphrodite, with or without both male and female organs, or keeps one hole for urination.”
https://twitter.com/nayyabalipk/status/1577260067308863490

In June 2022, a uniformed police constable started shooting at the Islamabad Capital Territory Police Transgender protection Unit Support officer and LGBTQ rights activist Nayyab Ali within the premises of the Ramna Police Station, Islamabad. The ensuing commotion made Nayyab Ali hostage for hours. After media backlash and the transgender community protested outside the police station, Nayyab Ali safely exited the police station. The accused police officer has been arrested for prejudice against the LGBTQ community. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS. 


  • January 1, 2023: families and minorities, and human rights activists reported a Hindu girl Gaini Bheel abducted, gang-raped, and tortured for four months in Kunri. Ms. Bheel escaped from captivity https://twitter.com/voice_minority/status/1598548125500727300 , a 12-year-old Hindu boy Lakhan, has been abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Sanghar, and a Hindu woman Patahani Bheel told a judge in Umer Kot that she wants to reunite with her kids and not willing to stay with her kidnappers. All three violations were documented in Sindh province. SUMMARY: Each year, as many as 700 Hindu and Christian girls, mostly minors, are kidnapped in Pakistan, while many cases remain underreported. The court rulings often side with the kidnappers as police collude with the criminals. The majority of the victims belong to underprivileged families. The rapists use marriage and forced conversion to Islam as a convenient method to get away with rape charges of minority underage girls. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) banned marriages below 18, which carries a penalty of up to Rs200,000 and three years and rigorous jail time for the facilitators. However, the kidnappers have been filing fake evidence of the victim's age, and the courts have been accepting the paper admissible despite the objections and alternative proofs of age from the kidnapped girl's parents. POLITICAL MEDDLING: Sindh province is ruled by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), predominantly consisting of wealthy landowners with political inheritance. PPP vehemently protects the Bhutto family and the vested interests of its members while people continue to beg for clean water, medical, transportation, jobs, security, and cleanliness. Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as "Mian Mitthu," is the ringleader of forced marriages and forced conversions of underage minority girls in the Sindh province also belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). 

 

  • December 2022: the police arrested a teenage Hindu, Love Kumar, over blasphemy allegations in Mithi, Sindh province. Mr. Kumar used the “Moula” word in one of his social media posts. The majority of Muslims linked the Moula word to Hazrat Ali, a Muslim caliphate and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH).


  • December 7, 2022: local authorities surrendered to the demands of the religious fundamentalists and demolished the minaret of a mosque belonging to the Muslim-minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Baghbanpura, the Punjab province. National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) announced suo moto proceedings against the demolishers. https://mobile.twitter.com/nchrofficial/status/1602242933381529602The Sunni majority makes up 76-80% of the total population of Pakistan and vehemently refuses to call Ahmadis (Ahmadiyya or Qadyani) Muslims. The Sunni forced Ahmadis not to bury their dead bodies in the Sunni cemeteries. The Ahmadis are subjected to prolonged persecution in Pakistan. A former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, declared Ahmadiyya or Qadyani “non-Muslim,” in 1974. Since then, hundreds of the members of the Ahmadiyya community have been killed, thrown in jails, and deprived of employment opportunities. Tens of thousands have left Pakistan. Since the declaration, the Ahmadiyya community has been subjected to continuous persecution and discrimination by the succeeding governments and vigilantes. Ahmadiyya community is not allowed to call their worship place a masjid (mosque) like the rest of the Muslims. It is also a punishable offense for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslim or refer to their faith as Islam or use references from Muslim books. Under Sections 298-B & C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)." Section 298-C of the PPC prohibits the Ahmadiyya community to identify themselves as Muslims.


  • December 2022: Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) arrested at least 62 people over blasphemy allegations within a few weeks; nine of them serving capital punishment, while two of them were on death row. The accused included a woman arrested over allegations of desecrating Islamic values, literature, and noted personalities of Islam on social media or WhatsApp groups. Some vigilantes, radical and even proscribed religious groups have gathered momentum to follow up blasphemy cases. In many cases, the plaintiffs use blasphemy to settle personal enmity and disputes. 


 

  • December 1, 2022: minorities and human rights activists reported the abductions of at least three Hindu females from different parts of the Sindh province. An 11-year-old girl Nisha Kolhi from Tando Ghulam Ali, Badin, Anusha from Karampur, and Marvi Bheel from Mithi Tharparkar, were subjected to abductions reportedly for forced conversions and forced marriages in November 2022. 


  • November 22, 2022: religious fanatics desecrated the graves belonging to the Muslim-minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community and put derisive words on the tombstones in HafizAbad, the Punjab province. http://www.freedomtalk.net/ has documented at least six incidents of the desecration or digging up the Ahmadiyya graves and throwing the dead bodies out of the graves just in 2022. September 2022: the grave of a seven-month-old Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) child was desecrated in the walled graveyard of Chak 203-RB Mananwala, Faisalabad District in the Punjab province. The desecration is an evident hate crime. In August, sixteen Ahmadi graves have desecrated in the same graveyard. An estimated 185 Amadi graves have been desecrated since the start of 2022. August 2022: the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya (JA) revealed the desecration of 16 graves of the members of the persecuted Ahmadiyya community in Chak 203-RB Mananwala, Faisalabad District in the Punjab province. The desecration is an evident hate crime. July 2022: local police and religious fundamentalists desecrated 53 graves of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya community in Gujranwala, the Punjab province of Pakistan.May 2022: religious fanatics dug the grave of a Muslim-minority Ahmadi man, Ishfaq Ahmad, and threw the remains in the village of Sangu, Peshawar. The Sunni majority makes up 76-80% of the total population of Pakistan and vehemently refuses to call Ahmadis (Ahmadiya or Qadyani) Muslims. The Sunni forced Ahmadis not to bury their dead bodies in the Sunni cemeteries. February 2022: at least 50 graves of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community were destroyed in Hafizabad, the Punjab province. The Ahmadiyya community alleged the local police of desecration, and an anonymous police source admitted doing so while talking to the Voice of America (VoA). According to another source, “the police asked the Ahmadiyya community to remove Islamic verses from the gravestones under Sections 298-B & C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)." Section 298-C of the PPC prohibits the Ahmadiyya community to identify themselves as Muslims. After a fierce backlash on social media, the police backtracked and denied the involvement The Sunni majority makes up 76-80% of the total population of Pakistan and vehemently refuses to call Ahmadis (Ahmadiya or Qadyani) Muslims. The Sunni forced Ahmadis not to bury their dead bodies in the Sunni cemeteries. The Ahmadis are subjected to prolonged persecution in Pakistan. A former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, declared Ahmadiyya or Qadyani “non-Muslim,” in 1974. Since then, hundreds of the members of the Ahmadiyya community have been killed, thrown in jails, and deprived of employment opportunities. Tens of thousands have left Pakistan. Since the declaration, the Ahmadiyya community has been subjected to continuous persecution and discrimination by the succeeding governments and vigilantes. Ahmadiyya community is not allowed to call their worship place a masjid (mosque) like the rest of the Muslims. It is also a punishable offense for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslim or refer to their faith as Islam or use references from Muslim books.


  • November 21, 2022: police booked a lawyer belonging to the Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) faith for using his family name Syed, under blasphemy sections 298-B/ C and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) in Karachi, Sindh province. Source: Journalist and Rights activist Wajahat Masood https://twitter.com/wajahatmasood/status/1594972803547238400 A large segment of Muslims believe SYED is the progenitor of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and hence it is sacred. 


  •  November 3, 2022: at least 35 houses of impoverished Hindu Meghwar community have been burnt down in a suspicious fire in Islamkot, Tharparkar, part of Sindh province. Members of the Hindu community believed the fire was an intentional act of arson triggered by the religious hate and asked the police for an investigation. The police investigation was pending at the time of filing this report on December 2, 2022.


  • November 1, 2022: minorities and human rights activists reported the abductions of at least six Hindu females; a 14-year-old girl Jamsi Meghwar from Tharparkar, Hina D/O Ramji Kolhi from Tando Ghulam Ali, Sheela Meghwar from Naukot, Waal Bai, Shanti Meghwar from Tando Mohammad Khan, Salma Meghwar from Gharo subjected to the abductions forced conversions and forced marriages in October 2022. 


  • October 2022: an enraged mob attacked, injured, and attempted to burn a woman alive over an allegation of the desecration of the Muslim Holy Book in Bilal Colony, Karachi. The police dispersed the mob and arrested the woman for blasphemy under Section 295-B. A large crowd gathered outside the police station and demanded the police hand them over to the accused woman; the police shifted the woman to an undisclosed location for safety. The police recovered the desecrated Holy Book. In a video, the woman said, ‘she desecrated the Holy Book because she is a Jew, and the Muslims do not like Jews.’


  • October 2022: a local court granted the custody of a 15-year-old Hindu girl, Chanda Maharaj, to her kidnappers in Karachi. The family and friends claimed a Muslim man named Shaman Magsi had kidnapped Maharaj on August 12, 2022, gang-raped, forcibly converted, and married her in Hyderabad, Sindh province. The rights activists were enraged over the selective and biased justice system; just a few months ago, a Muslim teenage girl was ordered to stay in a shelter home while her alleged kidnapper was arrested. After a medical exam, a judge sent Chanda Maharaj to Darul-Aman (shelter) and set a new trial dateSUMMARY: Each year, as many as 700 Hindu and Christian girls, mostly minors, are kidnapped in Pakistan, while many cases remain underreported. The court rulings often side with the kidnappers as police collude with the criminals. The majority of the victims belong to underprivileged families. The rapists use marriage and forced conversion to Islam as a convenient method to get away with rape charges of minority underage girls. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) banned marriages below 18, which carries a penalty of up to Rs200,000 and three years and rigorous jail time for the facilitators. However, the kidnappers have been filing fake evidence of the victim's age, and the courts have been accepting the paper admissible despite the objections and alternative proofs of age from the kidnapped girl's parents. POLITICAL MEDDLING: Sindh province is ruled by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), predominantly consisting of wealthy landowners with political inheritance. PPP vehemently protects the Bhutto family and the vested interests of its members while people continue to beg for clean water, medical, transportation, jobs, security, and cleanliness. Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as "Mian Mitthu," is the ringleader of forced marriages and forced conversions of underage minority girls in the Sindh province also belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). 


  • Minorities and human rights activists reported the abductions of at least three Hindu females; a 13-year-old girl Nuzki from Kirundi, a minor girl Rekha Kohli in Kunri, and a married woman Gudi from Mirpurkhas subjected to the abductions forced conversions, and forced marriages in September 2022. The rights activists believe the number of victims may have been more than reported and alleged the involvement of the Muslim men and local administration in the crime. In many cases, police resist registering a police case, or the poor victims have no resources to access the law. http://www.freedomtalk.net/ only documents the occurrences that happen due to religious affiliations NOT based on random acts or personal enmities. 


  • October 2022: unidentified assailants attacked and injured a transgender person named Baby in Islamabad. Baby was hit in the head, and blood was seen seeping from her wounds in the pictures shared on social media. The police rescued the injured Baby and registered a case against the attackers.


  • October 2022: an armed man shot dead Shia scholar Naveed Ashiq BA in a congregation in Sialkot, the Punjab province. Mr. Ashiq was taken to the hospital but did not survive. The suspect has been arrested on the spot. The accused Zeeshan alias Ismail confessed to the killing and told police that he killed Mr. Ashiq after listening to the hate speeches inciting violence against the Shias of a local leader. The police booked the accused under Terrorism Section 7 ATA and Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.


  • October 13, 2022: the provincial government of Punjab made an affidavit mandatory for marriage that the newlyweds believe in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The announcement has been made on the verified Twitter account of the Punjab government.  The lawmakers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) work together for the resolution to disconnect persecuted Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community from social assimilation. https://twitter.com/GovtofPunjabPK/status/1580813342004105219


  • October 2022: hundreds of Hindu community members protested the alleged desecration of the remains of a Hindu woman in a crematorium in Kalat, a town in Balochistan province. The Hindu leaders told the media that the gate of the crematorium was stolen, and the unidentified suspects entered the crematorium, desecrated it, and threw away the remains. The protest ended peacefully after the police promised action and started the investigation. The Muslim religious leaders joined the protest in solidarity.


  • October 2022: a man, identified as Hassan, immolated a differently abled person Abbas Kalwar over blasphemy allegations in Mirpur Mathilo, Sindh province. Hassan doused Mr. Kalwar with petrol and set him on fire; Kalwar jumped into a pond, but Hassan followed him and drowned him to death. Hassan confessed to the killing in widely-circulated video clips on social media and accused the Kalwar of committing blasphemy.


  • September 2022: armed assailants attacked and injured three transgender persons Amjid, Zahoor, Shayan, and the car driver in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The injured were treated in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The unhurt rider in the car Maheen Mohammad identified the attackers and said a dispute was the reason for the attack. A police case has been filed.


  • September 2022: religious fundamentalists harassed and stopped Muslim-minority Shia pilgrims from reciting mourning verses in the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi. Police briefly detained some Shia pilgrims and released them without filing the charges. 


  • September 2022: unknown attackers attacked and killed Wafa, a transgender person in Sawabi, part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Violent attacks and segregation grew leaps and bound against the Pakistani transgender community after Senate Human Rights Committee debated to amend the Transgender Protection of Rights Act 2018. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, affiliated with the religious conservative Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP), asked to establish a medical board to examine the claims of being transgender. Senator Khan told the media that more than thirty thousand individuals have wrongly identified themselves as transgender since 2018. Nayyab Ali, a transgender rights activist, transgender protection Unit Support officer, and human rights activists opposed Senator Khan asking the government for medical tests if the Trans laws are broken. The medical test requirement is a violation of human dignity. According to Federal Ministry of Health figures in 2015, there are an estimated 1.5 million members of the Transgender community in the country. The Transgender rights groups working in Pakistan say at least 100 Transgender have been killed, and over 2000 police reports have been filed for crimes targeting the Transgender community in Pakistan since 2015. September 26, 2022: another bill was introduced in Senate; the Bill reads, Amendment of Section 2, Act XIII of 2018; (II) for Clause (n), the following shall be substituted namely:-  “(n) “transgender person” is a person who is hermaphrodite, with or without both male and female organs, or keeps one hole for urination.”https://twitter.com/nayyabalipk/status/1577260067308863490


  • September 2022, Muhammad Naeem Chattha Qadri, a cleric affiliated with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), ordered his supporters to attack the pregnant women, belonging to the persecuted Muslim minority Ahmadiyya community. He repeatedly urged his followers to kill Ahmadis in his speech.  He asked his supporters to make sure “no Ahmadis are born and kill the newborn babies.” He also warned police that TLP is unstoppable. 


  • September 2022: Chief Minister (CM) of Pakistan’s largest province Punjab, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, promised to build a mosque with a ban on Muslim-minority Ahmadiyya community entrance. He also warned the Christians, Hindus, and Muslim minorities to accept the repressive status quo or leave the country.


  • September 2022: The Educators, the generic entity of the elite Beaconhouse School System, expelled four students from Mithial campus in Attock (the Punjab province) for their affiliation to the Muslim-minority Ahmadiyya faith. The letter, signed by the principal Mrs. Kulsoom Awan, clearly mentioned the expulsion on the basis of the Qadianiat (Ahmadi) Religion. The letter cunningly used the word withdrawal instead of expulsion, ban, or restriction. https://twitter.com/NadeemfParacha/status/1573544198309044224 After a fierce backlash from the rights activists, the Educators offered to withdraw the decision and an unconditional apology. 


  • September 2022: a group of religious fundamentalists attacked the participants of the Muslim-minority Shia (Shiite) in a procession marking Chehlum (the religious part of the mourning to mark the 40th day of martyrdom in Karbala) in Sialkot, The Punjab province. The attackers armed with steel rods and batons also pelted stones at the processions. At least fifteen mourners were injured while two of them sustained serious injuries. The local police booked at least thirty alleged attackers under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). However, police had not arrested the attackers till documenting the occurrence.


  • September 2022: police booked members of the Muslim-minority Shia (Shiite) community in different parts of Pakistan on the occasion of the Chehlum (the religious part of the mourning to mark the 40th day of martyrdom in Karbala). The police booked 14 mourners in Multan, one mourner in Islamabad, and the provincial Sindh police booked at least 150 mourners for participating in the religious processions. The Shia community said, "all the processions were organized in accordance with law and permits from the authorities." Allama Maqsood Ali Domki, a leader, affiliated with Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen Pakistan, called the police cases an attack on religious freedom and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the charges.


  • September 2022: the grave of a seven-month-old Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) child was desecrated in the walled graveyard of Chak 203-RB Mananwala, Faisalabad District in the Punjab province. The desecration is an evident hate crime. In August, sixteen Ahmadi graves have desecrated in the same graveyard. An estimated 185 Amadi graves have been desecrated since the start of 2022. 


  • September 2022, in the middle of the worst political crisis and biblical floods in Pakistan, Mian Javed Latif, a lawmaker and the vice president of the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), alleged opposition leader and ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan for blasphemy. In his speech, he also disdained the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community. Targeting minorities for political gains is an established mindset in Pakistan.https://twitter.com/i/status/1569953908373569536


  • August 2022: the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted custody of a 12-year-old Christian girl Zarvia Pervaiz to her Muslim and already-married kidnapper, 40-year-old Imran Shahzad. In a court hearing that lasted just a few minutes, the judge declared all the pieces of evidence inadmissible after the girl consented to go with the kidnapper and told the judge that she had converted to Islam without any pressure. Yasmeen Pervaiz, the mother of Zarvia Pervaiz, filed a petition in July 2022 under 491 of Cr. PC. (Criminal Procedure Code) for the recovery of Zarvia Pervaiz from the illegal custody of Shahzad. The family of Zarvia Pervaiz, friends and the rights activists said that Zarvia Pervaiz consented in front of the judge under extreme pressure and fearing dreaded consequences. In February 2022, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled that “the marriage of children under the age of 18 is unlawful, even of their own free will.”


  • August 2022: the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya (JA) revealed the desecration of 16 graves of the members of the persecuted Ahmadiyya community in Chak 203-RB Mananwala, Faisalabad District in the Punjab province. The desecration is an evident hate crime.


  • August 2022, clerics affiliated with religious fundamentalists Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) accused the minority Hindu community of blasphemy, led an angry mob, and attacked Hindu families in Mobile market Saddar Hyderabad, Sindh province. Rangers (paramilitary force) timely action averted what otherwise would result in many casualties and millions in property damages. However, police arrested a Hindu sanitary worker, Ashok Kumar, over blasphemy allegations. The investigation revealed the TLP wanted to expel the Hindu business community from the area to confiscate the property. The police also arrested the TLP cleric for inciting violence and attacking the Hindu community.


  • On August 12, 2022, a man Hafiz Mohammad Shahzad Hassan, affiliated with a far-right group of the Muslim majority religious fundamentalists Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), brutally stabbed to death a 60-year-old man, Naseer Ahmad, in Rabwah, the Punjab province. Victim Naseer Ahmad belonged to the Muslim Ahmadi/ Ahmadiyya community. According to the details and the eyewitness’s account, killer Shahzad Hassan approached Naseer Ahmad and asked him to chant the slogans glorifying TLP and its dead founder Khadim Hussain Rizvi and stabbed the victim multiple times. Naseer Ahmad died on the spot while police arrested the killer. The motive of the killing is the religious affiliation of the victim to the Ahmadi/ Ahmadiyya community.Since February 2021, two Muslim-minority Ahmadi men, Abdus Salam and Abdul Qadir have been killed because of their faith. Over the years, Pakistan has been surrendering to the demands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a party of violent religious fundamentalists, overt supporters of blasphemy laws, and anti-minority Shia and Ahmadiyya after they seized the streets of large cities in the country and killed several on-duty policemen. The TLP has killed and injured several civilians, and law enforcement officers destroyed federal and public properties with billions of rupees and brought the country to a halt in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In November 2021, fearing the seizure of the capital city of Islamabad and the parliament, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees including those who were charged for the killings of the civilians, and at least 12 policemen. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had banned the coverage of TLP occupation and attacks to hide the killings and destruction. 


  • July 2022, minority rights groups and activists reported the abductions of minor Hindu girls Muskan Kumari, Bharmi Kolhi, and the married daughter of Bhemonmal Meghwar from different parts of the Sindh province in June 2022.


  • July 2020: unidentified killers shot dead two Muslim minority Shia men, Karar Rizvi and Ahmad Ali Jam, and injured at least seven mourners attending a religious procession in Gilgit Baltistan (GB). The Shia activists claimed that the attack was hate-motivated.


  • July 2022, police arrested three men belonging to the minority Muslim Ahmadiyya community over performing mandatory Islamic rituals of sacrificing animals on Eidul Azha in Faisalabad, Punjab. The Qadiani or Ahmadiyya men were slaughtering the animals inside their house, but the complainant spied and registered a police case under Section 298-C (person of Qadiani group, etc., calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Section 298-C of the PPC also prohibits the Ahmadiyya community to identify themselves as Muslims.  


  • July 2022, unidentified attackers vandalized and destroyed the statues of Hindu deities and stole some valuables from the Shiv Hindu Temple in Ghotki, Sindh. It is the 13th attack on Hindu Temple in 24 months. The motive of the attack is Hate Crime.


  • July 2022, religious fundamentalists hurled stones and used sticks to break the glass of the shops and block the traffic after construing a Samsung router name as blasphemous, which was installed in the mobile mall in Saddar Karachi. Police briefly detained at least 25 Samsung employees.


  • July 2022, religious fundamentalists filed a blasphemy case under section 295C against a man named, Zahoor Lashari in Ghotki, Sindh province. The complainant alleged that Mr. Lashari did not recite the KALMA (the first mandatory verse for Muslims) correctly.


  • July 2022, the Lahore High Court (LHC) sentenced a minority Christian to death and ordered him to pay a hefty fine over alleged blasphemy. Mechanic Ashfaq Masih was accused of saying that Jesus Christ is the only true prophet. Masih has already spent five years in jail. According to the defense attorney Riaz Anjum, the Muslim complainant wanted free repair of his bicycle by telling Masih that he is a good practicing Muslim, but Ashfaq Masih refused the free repair and allegedly said, “Jesus Christ is the only true prophet.”


  • July 2022, local police and religious fundamentalists desecrated 53 graves of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya community in Gujranwala, the Punjab province of Pakistan. In May 2022, religious fanatics dug the grave of a Muslim-minority Ahmadi man, Ishfaq Ahmad, and threw the remains in the village of Sangu, Peshawar. In February 2022, at least 50 graves of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community were destroyed in Hafizabad, the Punjab province. 


  • June 2022, a uniformed police constable started shooting at the Islamabad Capital Territory Police Transgender protection Unit Support officer and LGBTQ rights activist Nayyab Ali within the premises of the Ramna Police Station, Islamabad. The ensued commotion made Nayyab Ali hostage for hours. After media backlash and the transgender community protested outside the police station, Nayyab Ali safely exited the police station. The accused police officer has been arrested for prejudice against the LGBTQ community.


  • June 2022, the Lahore High court dismissed the appeal of accused Qaisar Ayub and Amon Ayub against the death penalty for sharing blasphemous content on social media. The case was filed against the accused Qaisar Ayub and Amon Ayub in 2011.


  • June 2022, a group of at least seven unidentified vandals entered the Hindu temple Shri Mari Maata in Karachi’s Korangi area and destroyed the statues of the Hindu holy deities. The police were investigating the attack. 


  • May 2022, within weeks, armed attackers attacked and injured at least three trans women, Suhana in Okara, the Punjab province, Nisha Rao in Sindh, and another unidentified woman in Peshawar, province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). 


  • May 2022, religious fanatics dug the grave of a Muslim-minority Ahmadi man, Ishfaq Ahmad, and threw the remains in the village of Sangu, Peshawar. The Sunni majority makes up 76-80% of the total population of Pakistan and vehemently refuses to call Ahmadis (Ahmadiya or Qadyani) Muslims. The Sunni forced Ahmadis not to bury their dead bodies in the Sunni cemeteries. 


  • May 2022, a student of a local Madressa (Muslim religious school) stabbed a Muslim-minority Ahmadi man, Abdus Salam, to death in Okara, the Punjab province of Pakistan. The accused (http://www.freedomtalk.net withholds the names of the accused and until proven guilty in the court of law) was at large. Saleem ud Din, Nazir Umoor-e-Aama & Spokesperson of Jama'at Ahmadiyya Pakistan, has called the murder, "a religiously-motivated attack."


  • May 2022, pillion riders shot to death two Sikh brothers, Kuljit Singh and Ranjit Singh, in ​​Peshawar, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The police termed the crime as the target killings. Four other members of the Sikh community have been killed since 2016 in Pakistan.


  • May 2022, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) booked and arrested two men, Muhammad Usama, and Maisham Abbas, for blasphemy under sections 295-C, 295-B, 109, and 120-B. The charges range from the use of derogatory remarks targeting the prophet Muhammad and the Holy book of Islam. The FIA Lahore branch accused the men shared blasphemous content on social media.


  • May 2022, the police arrested a man for blasphemy and charged him under section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal code. The police have received a call on 15, designated for emergencies in Pakistan, about a man desecrating the Holy Book of Islam. On arrival, the police found a man putting the Holy Book in a bag containing trash. The incident took place in Kasur, the Punjab province.  


  • April 2022, the police booked at least 150, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and Ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan and several other PTI leaders over blasphemy under sections 295, 295-A, 296, and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code. Plaintiff Muhammad Naeem is a resident of Faisalabad, Punjab. On April 29, 2022, a group of PTI supporters, including some Pakistani-origin British citizens attacked the newly-elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's delegation in Masjid-i-Nabwi and started sloganeering against him and his government. The Protesters pulled the hairs of the Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti, who was trying to protect female Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb from the charged protesters. Security and police safely escorted PM Shehbaz Sharif and his team out of Masjid-i-Nabwi. The incident gripped Pakistanis with shock and anger who believed the incident was the desecration of the Holy Mosque. Some members of PTI also condemned the incident, but Imran Khan stopped short to denounce the actions. The Saudi authorities confirmed some arrests but did not share the details of the detainees.  


  • In March 2022, two cases of apparent custodial killings were reported in Sindh province. A Hindu man Bhag Chand, 27, was found dead in police custody in Mithi, Sindh province. The family of the deceased Bhag Chand alleged that police had arrested him several days ago but admitted his arrest after Bhag Chand's condition worsened due to alleged torture. After protests and sit-ins, police registered a police report against police station in-charge (station house officer or SHO) Mohammad Soomar Mangrio, other policemen, and Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) women wing leader Samtra Manjani. The police had arrested Bhag Chand after Samtra Manjani theft allegations. PPP rules the Sindh province for over three decades. The tortured body of another Hindu man Kabeer Bheel was found in Kot Lalu, Sindh province. Family and friends of Kabeer Bheel alleged that he was missing after his arrest on planted charges and succumbed to police torture. 


  • March 2022: a man Wahid Bux Lashari and his accomplices entered the house of an 18-year-old Hindu girl Pooja Kumari and shot her dead in Sukkur, Sindh province. The police arrested the accused; the motive of the murder was the refusal of the marriage proposal by the victim Kumari


  • March 2022, three female alimas (religious teachers) of madrassa (seminary) stabbed a former female alima, a 21-years-old Safoora Bibi, to death over blasphemy allegations in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. According to the police details, a 13-year-old girl related to the killer female, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), appeared in her dream, informed her about Safoora Bibi's blasphemy, and commanded her murder. The dreamer and the killers have admitted the killings and are in police custody.


  • March 2022, minority rights activists reported the abduction of seven girls Aishwarya Rai, Bindiya Meghwar, Arti Meghwar, Rabia Bheel, Kavita Bheel, Anita Oad, Mira Bhat, and the mother of 4 children, Gori Kolhi from the different parts of the rural Sindh province during March 2022. The girls aged 13 and 17 belong to the minority Hindu community. 


  • March 2022: within a week, two members of the transgender community were killed, and at least seven were targeted in two violent attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Shooters killed Nasir alias Nano and injured another Trans individual in Peshawar. Unidentified assailants broke into a house and shot and critically injured five members of the transgender community in Mansehra. Later, Sameer succumbed to the injuries. A knife-wielding unknown attacker stabbed members of the Trans community while an unidentified stranger who tried to stop the attacker was killed in the capital city of Islamabad. The police were investigating the attacks. Pakistan's LGBTQ community lives with the dilemma of violence, body shaming, gender-based violence, gender-biased laws, segregation, abandonment, and acceptance. Entertainment is the prime source of earnings for the LGBTQ community in Pakistan, but the rise of religious fanaticism has made it extremely difficult to earn livelihoods for the persecuted community. According to some rights activists, at least 70 trans-genders have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) since 2010. ACTION: Rabiya Javeri Agha, Chairperson, National Commission for Human Rights, called attacks on the Transgender community “Hate Crimes,” and sent a letter to the provincial Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for sharing the data on attacks and improved security for the Transgender community. 


  • March 2022, the Laghari community attacked the houses of the impoverished Hindu Meghwar community and tortured their women and children in Tando Allahyar, Sindh province. 


  • March 2022, an attacker started shooting people randomly and then blew himself up during a crowded Friday congregation at a Muslim-minority Shia mosque (Imam Bargah Kucha Risaldar) in Peshawar, a city close to the Afghan border. The authorities reported at least 65 killings and more than 200 injured. It was not clear whether the Shia community was attacked because of their faith or randomly. The police are investigating the motive of the attack.   


  • February 2022, an enraged mob stoned to death a 41-year-old man Mushtaq Ahmed and hanged his body from a tree over blasphemy allegations in Mian Channu, the Punjab province. According to police, “the mosque custodian has seen Mr. Ahmed burning the pages of the Muslims Holy Book, and he informed other people first and later came to the police.”  The police claimed eight policemen were also injured who tried to save Mr. Ahmed and arrested 80 suspects. A fierce backlash on social media had accused police of not protecting Mr. Ahmed. A 49-year-old Sri Lankan man Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana was lynched over blasphemy allegations on December 3, 2021, in Sialkot, the Punjab province.


  • February 2022, February 2022, at least 50 graves of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community were destroyed in Hafizabad, the Punjab province. The Ahmadiyya community alleged the local police of desecration, and an anonymous police source admitted doing so while talking to the Voice of America (VoA). According to another source, “the police asked Ahmadiyya community to remove Islamic verses from the gravestones under Sections 298-B & C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)." Section 298-C of the PPC prohibits the Ahmadiyya community to identify themselves as Muslims. After a fierce backlash on social media, the police backtracked and denied the involvement. 


  • February 2022, a court sentenced a Hindu teacher, identified as Nautan Lal, to life imprisonment and a fine of Pakistani rupees 50,000 over blasphemy allegations in Ghotki, Sindh province. A student had told his parents that Mr. Lal committed blasphemy in his class. Mr. Lal owns the school and has already been in jail since September 2019. 


  • January 2022, local authorities removed a monumental sculpture of a sword-brandishing horseman erected in 2017, from Siddique-i-Akbar Chowk (roundabout), in Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The authorities confirmed the removal of Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa, a Sikh warrior statue after the Muslim religious groups found it blasphemous to the sanctity of Siddique-i-Akbar, the closest advisor a father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa was the Governor of Hazara during 1822-23.


  • January 2022, unidentified shooters killed Saint John’s Church Pastor William Siraj and injured another man Patrick who was in the car with the Pastor. The pillion riders attacked the Pastor near Madina Market, Peshawar. The motive of the killing was not asserted. 


  • January 2022, the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected the bail plea of three minority- Ahmadi Muslim men, accused of disseminating sacrilegious version of the Holy Quran in a WhatsApp Group. The complainants alleged that the Ahmadi community uses the “Sindh Salamat” WhatsApp Group to preach their religion. The cybercrime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) booked the accused under Sections 34, 109, 295-A, 295-B, 295-C, 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), and Section 11 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), 2016. 


  • December 2021, a religiously-charged mob tortured-to-death Priyantha Diyawadana, a Sri Lankan man, and burnt his body over blasphemy allegation in Sialkot, Punjab. The victim was working at Rajco Industries as a general manager in Sialkot. The grisly killing happened after rumors that Mr. Diyawadana removed the religious stickers and posters from the machines as part of the cleaning. Dreadful footages show hundreds of people attacking Mr. Diyawadana, throwing him on the ground, torturing him to death, and burning his body. The torture was so severe that all the bones of Mr. Diyawadana were broken. Religious fundamentalists captured selfies with his dead body. Many witnesses said the mob was chanting slogans in favor of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a party of religious hardliners, and supported by the successive governments in Pakistan. An anti-terrorism court indicted 89 individuals accused of Priyantha Kumara Diyawadanage lynching in March 2022.



  • December 2021, a man named Muhammad Waleed Shabbir vandalized and destroyed the statues of Hindu deities at the Narian Pora Hindu Temple in Karachi. The police arrested the attacker. It is the 9th attack on Hindu Temple in 22 months. The motive of the attack is Hate Crime.


  • December 2021, unidentified armed persons abducted a transgender woman and one of the organizers of Karachi Climate March. The Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA) and Karachi Bachao Tehreek (KBT) confirmed the abduction of a 25-year-old activist. GIA Violence Case Manager Shehzadi Rai alleged the unidentified people tortured and raped the abductee for three hours to get the information about march organizers. Karachi Bachao Tehreek (KBT) fights against the demolition of the underprivileged population’s houses in Karachi.


  • November 2021, the police booked a Christian man and his three sons over blasphemy allegations in the remote village of Khodi Khushal Singh, Punjab. The wife of the man had reached the mosque and requested for the announcement of a deceased Christian neighbor, but the caretakers of the mosque took it as blasphemy and filed a police report. 


  • November 2021, Pakistan again surrendered to the demands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan's (TLP), a party of violent religious fundamentalists, overt supporters of blasphemy laws, and anti-minority Shia and Ahmadiyya after they seized the streets of large cities in the country and killed nine on-duty policemen. The TLP has killed and injured several civilians, law enforcement officers, destroyed federal and public properties with billions of rupees and brought the country to a halt in 2017, 2018, and 2020, too. Fearing the seizure of the capital city of Islamabad and the parliament, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees including those who were charged for the killings of the civilians, and at least 12 policemen. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned the coverage of TLP occupation and attacks to hide the killings and destruction.   


  • October 2021, the Police led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) cantonment Ihsan Shah entered the Peshawar Press Club, uttered threats, and attempted to stop the transgender alliance press conference. The president of the transgender alliance Farzana and other community members were holding the press conference over increased violent crimes against the transgender community. President Farzana informed about filming the community's private engagements, and police intimidations barred the community's livelihood have many community members forced out of Peshawar.



  • October 2021, Pakistan promulgated an ordinance to establish the Rehmatul Lil Alameen Authority, honoring Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The authority plans to add further Islamic theology into the already Islam-friendly curriculum. Education experts and minorities fear the ordinance will further segregate and shrink the educational opportunities for minorities and liberals. 



  • September 2021: A session judge sentenced a Muslim woman Salma Tanveer, to death and fined Rs50,000 under section 295-C PPC over blasphemy in Lahore, Punjab. According to the prosecutors, Ms. Tanveer, owner and the principal of a private school was distributing written material claiming herself a prophet and doubting Muhammad as the last prophet.  


  • June 2021, in an apparent hate crime, police sieged the surrounding vicinities in Ghiala village 57JB in the province of Punjab and attacked Muslim minority Ahmadiyya's place of worship. The police demolished part of the worship place and erased religious inscriptions using masonry tools. It is the second attack on Ahmadiyya community property in the area within a week. 


  • June 2021, religious fundamentalists barred the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya community from the burial of a woman in a graveyard with a shared portion for the Ahmadiyya burials in Sheikhupur, the province of Punjab. After a fierce social media backlash and involvement of the local administration, the deceased was laid to rest. 


  • May 2021, Muslim nurses seized a Christian church and started to sing Islamic rhymes in Punjab Institute of Mental Health in Lahore. The nurses threatened Christian nurses to convert to Islam or face blasphemy charges. The Muslim nurses were angered after a viral video against Pakistan was uploaded from France. Immediately after, the provincial authorities claimed to have the issue resolved. Pakistan and France's diplomatic relations have been soured over blasphemy in recent months. 


  • April 2021, a charged mob attacked and partially damaged a mosque belonging to the persecuted Muslim Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) minority in Muzaffargarh, part of the Punjab province. The Ahmadiyya community members called the police but the attackers continued demolishing the minarets and entrance in police presence. Instead of taking action against the attackers, the police arrested five members of the Ahmadiyya community. 


  • April 2021, local police rescued two minority Christian females, a nurse Mariyum Masih and a student Arooj Masih from a mob attack at the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, Faisalabad, the part of the Punjab province. The mob had gathered after the allegations that the accused females removed a holy sticker from a cupboard. The police booked both females for blasphemy under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Christian nurses are the lifeline of the Pakistani healthcare system.



  • March 2021, influentials kidnapped and allegedly raped a 15-year-old minority Hindu girl Rani Meghwar Chachro, in Tharparkar district, part of the Sindh province. The kidnappers also kidnapped her father for filing a police report. This is the second time Rani Meghwar kidnapped and allegedly raped. Sindh province is ruled by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), largely consisting of wealthy landowners with political inheritance. PPP vehemently protects the Bhutto family and the vested interests of its members while people continue to beg for clean water, medical, transportation, jobs, security, and cleanliness. Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as "Mian Mitthu," is the ringleader of forced marriages and forced conversions of underage minority girls in the Sindh province also belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).  Each year, as many as 700 Hindu and Christian minor girls are kidnapped in Pakistan, while many cases remain underreported. In most of the cases, the court rulings side with the kidnappers as police collude with the kidnappers, and the majority of the victims belong to the underprivileged families. 


  • March 2021, Taqi Shah, a minority Shia scholar axed to death over blasphemy allegations in Jhang, part of the Punjab province. The police arrested the suspect, and the District Police Officer (DPO) confirmed the blasphemy allegations as the motive for the killing. Mr. Shah was already facing blasphemy charges and a case was registered against him in 2019.


  • March 2021, the Lahore High Court admitted a petition seeking a death sentence for a minority Christian man Mr. Sajjad Masih Gill, who is in jail since 2013. Mr. Gill is in jail for sending a text message that was arbitrarily taken as blasphemy. Religious fanatics attacked Mr. Gill's family in the past and now they fear for their lives.


  • March 2021, religious fanatics accused a freethinker, poet, and intellectual Amar Jaleel of blasphemy over an altered and misconstrued video of his lecture.


  • March 2021, unknown kidnappers kidnapped a 13-year-old minority Christian girl and forced her into a marriage with a Muslim man. Instead of charging for kidnapping and rape, the local police merely informed the victim’s parents Johnson Masih and his wife Samina about her marriage and converting to Islam. The police handed the parents a marriage certificate issued and generated in a local mosque and the parents have been denied access to their daughter. The parents had filed a missing report weeks ago. The crime took place in Okara, the province of Punjab. Pir Mian Abdul Khaliq (Mian Mithu), a well-connected political and spiritual leader, is known as the ring leader of forced conversion in urban-rural divided Sindh province. 


  • March 2021, families and rights activists protested the kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam of two Hindu girls, 13-year-old Kavita and Arti Kumari in Kandhkot, a remote part of the Sindh province. The family alleged Pir Abdul Haq, alias Mian Mithu, as the conspirator behind the forced-conversion. However, Mr. Mithu insisted the girls willingly converted to Islam. 


  • March 2021, religious fundamentalists attacked, desecrated, and partially damaged a mosque belonging to the persecuted Muslim-minority Ahmadiyya community in Gujranwala, the Punjab province.   


  • February 2021, Lahore police booked two Christian men Salamat and Haroon over blasphemy allegations for reading Bible in a park. The Religious vigilantes had alleged the men for preaching.  


  • February 2021, a 16-year-old shot dead Abdul Qadir In his clinic in volatile Peshawar, the part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Mr. Qadir belonged to one of the most persecuted Muslim Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community of Pakistan. The police have confirmed the killing as a hate crime based on religious hatred. In October 2022, a court in Peshawar acquitted the accused.   


  • February 2021, high tech giants Google and Apple surrendered to the demands of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and deactivate seven applications over blasphemy allegations. The apps were developed by the persecuted Muslim Ahmadiyya minority expatriates.  


  • January 2021, Co-workers attacked and injured a Christian nurse and gospel singer Tabeeta Nazir Gill over blasphemy allegations, and police detained her for days over blasphemy after a charged mob gathered at the police station in Karachi.


  • January 2021, police arrested a Christian pastor Raja Waris over one of his social media posts on blasphemy allegations in Charrar, Lahore. Hundreds of Christian families living in the neighborhoods had to run for safety after possible extremist attacks.  


  • January 2021, a court in the capital city of Islamabad sentenced three men Nasir Ahmed, Abdul Waheed, and Rana Noman to death over what the court believed was “blasphemous contents” on social media under sections 295-A, 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section G-7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told the court that Rana Noman and Abdul Waheed generated fake profiles to spread blasphemous content, while Nasir Ahmed posted blasphemous material on Youtube.


  • January 2021, a court in the capital city of Islamabad sentenced Professor Anwaar Ahmed to 10 years imprisonment and a hefty fine of Rs 100,000. The court construed his critical opinions on religion during lectures, are blasphemous. Mr. Ahmed is a lecturer at the Islamabad Model College.  


  •  January 2021, Rimal Ali, a transgender model and dancer was attacked and had her head shaved in Lahore. Ali told the media of receiving life threats, and the known attacker was forcing the subject to stop her show business career.


  • January 2021, heavily armed unidentified assailants kidnapped eleven Muslim-Minority, Shia-Hazara coal miners and killed them from a very close range in Quetta, Balochistan. Terrorist group ISIL (ISIS) claimed the execution-style killings on its news agency known as “Amag.” ISIL released a picture of the group members with dead bodies and the group’s flag in the background. Over the past five years, more than 600 members of the Shia – Hazara community were killed in the troubled province of Balochistan for their faith


DEVELOPMENT 



  • August 2022: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan granted bail to three Christian men in alleged blasphemy cases. Salamat Mansha Masih, Patras Masih, and Raja Waris face charges under blasphemy sections 295-A, 295-B, and 295-C.




  • June 2022: the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted bail to Stephen Masih, a mentally Christian man, after spending three years in jail over blasphemy allegations. The arguments with the neighbors led to the blasphemy charges against Masih. Religious fundamentalists had attacked the house of Masih after the blasphemy accusation, and police arrested the accused without investigation, but under pressure and fear from the religious mob. 





  • ​June 2021: the Lahore High Court (LHC) exonerated a Christian couple Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Masih, on death row since 2014 over blasphemy allegations. The couple was charged under Section 295-C (blasphemy – disrespecting the holy personalities or discretion of Islamic materials) over allegations of sending a blasphemous text in Toba Tek Singh, the province of Punjab, in 2013. The couple had vehemently denied the charges. In April 2021, the European Parliament passed a resolution to review Pakistan's GSP+ status for the spike in blasphemy cases specifically, referring to the flawed investigation into Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Masih case.


TARGETING RIGHTS MOVEMENTS AND PROTESTERS 


The government and the law enforcement agencies LEAs used force, teargas, arrested and assaulted peaceful protesters demanding constitutional rights. Authorities fiercely targeted Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM). In September 2022, within 24 hours, the dead bodies of three Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) were found in different parts of the Sindh province. The family and friends of the deceased Waseem Akhtar, Abid Abbasi, and Irfan Basarat Siddiqui alleged the security forces for their enforced disappearances a few years ago. The activists were affiliated with the banned faction of the MQM, led by self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain. The dead bodies have visible torture marks, and the victims of extrajudicial killing followed by kidnappings.  In an ensuing protest, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) maltreated the bereaved protesting family members who belonged to the dead loved ones in front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC). The police dragged the women and briefly detained the protesters.  90 BURNED DOWN: the headquarters of the banned faction of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) known as 90, led by self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain, has been destroyed in a suspicious fire. MQM termed the fire as arson and claimed the power of 90 was cut off long ago, and the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) had seized the building. The iconic Honda 50, used by Altaf Hussain during the formative years of MQM, was also destroyed in the fire. There is no independent report from the fire department. The LEAs called the fire a short circuit.  In February 2021, authorities sealed the office of MQM (Pakistan) and seized the sound system over songs honoring banned and Self-exiled founder Altaf Hussain. Mr. Hussain remained kingmaker for three decades, and his party Muhajir Qumi Movement (MQM) ruled the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi; however, his party abused public support and profited from racketeering, extortion, and brutally killed party turncoats and opponents. He challenged the status quo and sent the middle class into the parliament; however, he changed his party from Muhajir Movement to Muttahida (united) movement. During his heydays, political leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif sought Mr. Hussain's help to form the Federal Government and succeeded. Mr. Hussain now faces sedition charges and a media black-out in Pakistan. In 1992, the para-military forces attacked the MQM office, killed the activists in extra-judicial killings, thousands were thrown in jails, and offices bulldozed. According to MQM, more than 18,000 workers were killed extrajudicially. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS. 


  • November 11, 2022: provincial Sindh anti-riot police attacked with batons and water cannons, injured and dragged healthcare protesters to stop them from reaching the Sindh Chief Minister’s House in Karachi. The protesters included doctors, nurses, paramedics, and lab technicians who had stopped working at their facilities to force the government to their demands. Healthcare workers are demanding the restoration of the COVID allowance. The police briefly detained at least 27 protesters for trespassing in the red zone. The Sindh government has formed a committee to negotiate with the protesters. However, the strike has caused delays, and inconvenience to patients who sought emergency care. Pakistan lifted COVID emergency long ago.


  • October 2022: authorities booked Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) chief Manzoor Pashteen for terrorism for criticizing the military leadership in his address to the Asma Jahangir Conference in Lahore. Pashteen accused the armed forces of randomly killing Pashtuns and called it genocide. Pashteen supporters chanted slogans against the armed forces and the State institutions during his speech. The charges included 124A (sedition), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of the offense committed in prosecution of common object), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and Section 11-X (responsibility for creating civil commotion) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. A citizen is a complainant. Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) claims the representation of the rights of those affected by the war against militancy and what PTM believes oppressions of the armed forces in the tribal areas. 


  • October 2022: police attacked baton-charged, used tear gas, and arrested dozens of schoolteachers demanding better pay and allowances in front of the provincial legislature of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Thousands of teachers have been protesting and boycotting the classes, causing the closure of at least 15,000 schools across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Dozens of teachers have been injured and in police custody without a police report. Six police officers have also been injured. The police claimed the protesters blocked the main traffic arteries and started the violence. The teacher’s union leaders denied the police claims and alleged the police started firing tear gas on peaceful protesters.


  • September 2022, within 24 hours, the dead bodies of three Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) were found in different parts of the Sindh province. The family and friends of the deceased Waseem Akhtar, Abid Abbasi, and Irfan Basarat Siddiqui alleged the security forces for their enforced disappearances a few years ago. The activists were affiliated with the banned faction of the MQM, led by self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain. The dead bodies have visible torture marks, and the victims of extrajudicial killing followed by kidnappings.  In an ensuing protest, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) maltreated the bereaved protesting family members who belonged to the dead loved ones in front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC). The police dragged the women and briefly detained the protesters.  90 BURNED DOWN: the headquarters of the banned faction of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) known as 90, and led by self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain, has been destroyed in a suspicious fire. MQM termed the fire as arson and claimed the power of 90 was cut off long ago, and the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) had seized the building. The iconic Honda 50, used by Altaf Hussain during the formative years of MQM, was also destroyed in the fire. There is no independent report from the fire department. The LEAs called the fire a short circuit.  In February 2021, authorities sealed the office of MQM (Pakistan) and seized the sound system over songs honoring banned and Self-exiled founder Altaf Hussain. Mr. Hussain remained kingmaker for three decades, and his party Muhajir Qumi Movement (MQM) ruled the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi; however, his party abused public support and profited from racketeering, extortion, and brutally killed party turncoats and opponents. He challenged the status quo and sent the middle class into the parliament; however, he changed his party from Muhajir Movement to Muttahida (united) movement. During his heydays, political leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif sought Mr. Hussain's help to form the Federal Government and succeeded. Mr. Hussain now faces sedition charges and a media black-out in Pakistan. In 1992, the para-military forces attacked the MQM office, killed the activists in extra-judicial killings, thousands were thrown in jails, and offices bulldozed. According to MQM, more than 18,000 workers were killed extrajudicially. Mr. Hussain and his followers are the descendants of the migrants who immigrated to Pakistan in 1947 after the British retreat from India and Pakistan.


  • August 2022, authorities arrested ex-parliamentarian Nisar Panhwar and 17 activists affiliated with the banned faction of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), led by self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain. Mr. Panhwar challenged the media ban on MQM London-based Altaf Hussain in court by saying the media ban violates Articles 4, 17, 19, and 25 of the Constitution. The LEAs released Mr. Panhwar after 42 days of illegal custody. 


  • August 2022: police attacked the protesting teachers and clerical staff for protesting against the appointment of Azam Kashif as the chief of the District Education Authority for the third time. The Punjab Teachers Association and Punjab Clerks Association alleged that the conduct of Azam Kashif is abusive with teaching staff and with females, in particular. All the advocacy groups representing the teaching staff in Rawalpindi have demanded the removal of Azam Kashif and locked his office in protest.


  • July 2022: the provincial Sindh police attacked, roughed up, and briefly detained at least 15 primary school teachers for demanding job regularization and a pay raise in Karachi. According to the police, “the protesters were trying to establish a protest camp in front of the Chief Minister House, located in the VVIP security red zone.” The Sindh government’s decision-makers told the media that the demands of the protesters would soon be fulfilled.


  • June 2022: unidentified assailants killed National Democratic Movement activist Sunaid and Youth of Waziristan activists Asad, Waqar, and Ammad in broad daylight in a heavily militarized and prone to Taliban area, Haiderkhel, North Waziristan. The men were avid campaigners for better healthcare and education in remotely located North Waziristan, an epicenter of military and Taliban battles alongside with Afghan border.


  • January 2022, just a few days apart, the provincial Sindh police attacked Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) protesters; the first occurrence happened in Tando Allahyar, part of the rural Sindh province. In an apparent act of vengeance, Sindhi nationalists of the Sindh Traqqi Pasand Party (STPP), shot dead MQM-P activist Khalil-ur-Rehman alias Bholo Khanzada, outside the District and Sessions Court, Tando Allahyar. Mr. Rehman was under trial for the murder of Altaf Jiskani, a leader of the STTP. The police assaulted, beat, and arrested the ensuing protesters, mostly women, who demanded the arrest of Mr. Rehman's killers. In the other incident, the police assaulted, fired tear gas, and use unnecessary force against MQM-P leaders, and protesters demanded to repeal or amend the local government (LG) bill. The government has stripped the union councils and the local governments from the power they need to deliver. The police attack left MQM-P activist Muhammad Aslam dead while MQM-P MPA Sadaqat Husain was badly injured. One policeman also received injuries. According to the police, the MQM-P protesters entered the ‘Red Zone,” an upscale area, with government buildings, expensive hotels, and offices. MQM-P and other MQM factions claim the representation of the Urdu-Speaking majority living in large citifies in Sindh and the descendants of migrants who arrived in Pakistan at the time of the creation of Pakistan in 1947. The native Sindhis have a dominant share in the government and government jobs. 


  • December 2021: Pakistan Rangers, operated by the Federal Government and meant to guard the country's borders, assaulted Faysal Mujeeb, a photographer working for Dawn and White Star, using batons. Mr. Mujeeb was covering a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) commemoration in its stronghold Aziz Abad - Karachi, when some activists started slogans in favor of MQM banned and exiled leader Altaf Hussain. The Rangers began arresting the supporters of Mr. Hussain, commemorating ‘Yaadgar-i-Shuhada,’ (remembering party martyrs), and ignored the identity of Mr. Mujeeb. According to Mr. Mujeeb, the Rangers also detained another media worker, Mehboob Ahmed Chishti. The Rangers' assault was captured and widely circulated on social media. 


CENSORSHIPS | BANS | FINES 


January 2022 – December 2022: http://www.freedomtalk.net/home.html documented 25 occurrences of Censorship and Fines to suppress Press Freedom, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Expression. 


Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) widely and arbitrarily used unchecked powers to block, filter, warned, and censored international video-sharing, networking, and microblogging sites. Though the authorities alleged indecency, vulgarity, and against the values of religious and Pakistani culture for their actions, freedom of speech and freedom of expression activists believed the censorship was meant to undo the criticism towards the incumbent as the mainstream media is going through severe censorship. Pakistan intermittently banned ARY News and BOL News over criticizing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), army, and judiciary.

In February 2022, the President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, signed amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, (PECA) 2016 ordinance into law. The infamous and widely condemned amendments include; resolving PECA cases within six months, jail time increased from three to five years, social media defamation is now a non-bailable offense, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) granted more powers and jail time for criticizing military and judiciary some of the amended terms. Freedom of expression and media rights activists, journalistic, and human rights organizations have sharply criticized the amendment. A few months ago, the Pakistan Federation Union of Journalists (PFUJ) termed the current state of censorship in Pakistan unprecedented and unseen even during military rule. The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) calls assaults on Freedom of Expression "draconian" and formed a journalist's defense committee to provide free legal aid to journalists booked under cybercrime laws. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has challenged the law in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). President Alvi belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). In April 2022, just within days of her party's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) victory in a no-confidence motion in the parliament, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb disbanded the infamous Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA). Later, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) also revoked the infamous Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016 Ordinance as "unconstitutional." SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE TIMELINE AND DETAILS. 


  • December 9, 2022: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) censored the SAAMAA TV political satire show Khabarhar for mocking a recently retired General and the Chief of the Army Staff, Qamar Bajwa. Show host Aftab Iqbal called censorship “the instrument of a fascist imported govt which can’t tolerate any justifiable criticism.https://twitter.com/aftab_iqbal1/status/1601181780656427009


  • November 11, 2022: Pakistan Ministry of Information and broadcasting revoked the release permit of the internationally acclaimed film Joyland and banned it across the country on the pretext of objectionable material, social values, decency, and morality. According to filmmaker and actor Saim Sadiq, all three licensing authorities issued the release permit to the film after a careful review in August 2022. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP), led the campaign against Joyland, alleging the promotion of homosexuality. Religious fundamentalists ran a fierce campaign against the movie and forced the government to surrender and ban Joyland. After Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's intervention, the government lifted the ban from Joyland, but the provincial government of the Punjab province banned the film in Punjab. In the meantime, radicalized lawyers filed a petition in Peshawar High Court to ban Joyland in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Joyland's story is about a love affair between a trans woman and a straight-married man.


  • October 2022: journalist Director News of privately-owned Dharti TV reported that the Sindhi Adabi Board removed the historical logo of the bull on the pretext that the board also publish religious (Islamic) literature. Islam prohibits pictures of animals and humans. However, the historical picture of the bull was inspired by the Gandhara civilization, and the archaeological site of Mohenjo-Daro dates back to around 2500 BCE. Mohenjo-Daro ruins are located in Sindh province. https://twitter.com/NaseerGopang/status/1577597088543776768 


  • September 15, 2022: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended Privately-owned and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), leaning TV channels ARY News and Bol News over violating the Time Delay Mechanism. PEMRA said on September 5, 2022, the channels were informed about the Mechanism and barred airing live public events. PEMRA also alleged that channel management ignored the repeated instructions and did not respond. PEMRA had pulled both channels off-air earlier this month. ARY RESTORED: a court restored ARY News the very next day.  


  • September 2022, senior journalist Kamran Khan, affiliated with the privately-owned channel Dunya News and host of the TV show Kamran Khan Kay Sath (with Kamran Khan), reported via his Twitter feed that his interview with former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been censored. However, the interview was aired days later. 


  • September 2022: the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) banned privately-owned BOL News and BOL Entertainment TV channels on the pretext of “security clearance.” According to the different news outlets, "the Bol channels, owned by M/s Labbaik, had been canceled years ago," and the reinstatement appeal had also been denied by the Sindh High Court 2021. Amid bitter and prolonged power wars in Pakistan, Bol News was allocating more time to the opposition leader Imran Khan and disseminating his critical narratives targeting the military, government, and judiciary. 


  • September 2022: State-owned Pakistan Television (PTV), cable operators, and some mainstream TV channels desisted from airing the former Prime Minister Imran Khan's second telethon for the flood relief operations in Pakistan. ARY News, a channel inclined to Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was taken off-air. ARY News reported that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered the censorship. The authorities also disrupted YouTube to completely blackout the telethon.


  • August 2022: Ali Javed, a Magistrate, filed a police case (known as (the first information report - FIR) against deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan for threatening the judiciary and a female additional session judge of the federal capital, Zeba Chaudhry. The FIR also contains terrorism charges. Imran Khan was addressing a live broadcast PTI rally in Islamabad to protest the arrest of his close aide, Shahbaz Gill. Mr. Gill is facing treason charges for his outburst in a live broadcast (scroll down for the details of Mr. Gill’s arrest and circumstances). Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) immediately responded and banned the live speeches and allowed only the edited speeches, of Mr. Khan. Two days later, PEMRA also blocked and disrupted YouTube to censor another rally of Mr. Khan in Rawalpindi.


  • August 2022, TV anchor Imran Riaz Khan informed via his Twitter account https://twitter.com/ImranRiazKhan/status/1559197629258637315 that the privately-owned Express News channel banned him from going on air for his show. Express News did not provide reasons for the censorship. Imran Riaz Khan is an Express-News anchor, YouTuber, an avid supporter of opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  (PTI), and a bitter critic of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He was briefly arrested and stopped from going abroad in July 2022. His arrest and restrictions are linked to his Freedom of Expression.


  • On August 12, 2022, the Ministry of Interior withdrew ARY News's security clearance. Subsequently, the Pakistan Elec­tronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) canceled the operating license of the channel. According to the Interior Ministry’s notification: “The NOC issued in favor of M/S ARY Communications Pvt Limited (ARY News) is canceled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies.”


  • July 2022, Karachi Press Club (KPC) banned rights activist and lawyer Mohammad Jibran Nasir from entering the KPC and alleged him of intimidating, pressurizing, and having the courts expel the journalists from courtrooms in a case involving a minor girl. In a press release, KPC president Fazil Jamili and secretary and the administration alleged that Mr. Nasir's behavior was threatening to the journalist in the recent pressers and Jibran Nasir apologized for that. Mr. Nasir denied all the allegations and said the judge ordered the journalists to leave the courtroom under Child Marriage Rule 2016. Sindh High Court Bar Association Karachi called the ban on Mr. Nasir, Disturbing, Reprehensible, Irresponsible, and malicious. The Joint Action Committee of the Civil Society, Karachi said, “The KPC turning into a ghetto of censorship and silencing the civil rights.”


  • July 2022, a Jirga (tribal court consisting of all men) banned women from visiting the outdoor recreational facilities and tourist spots in highly conservative and Taliban- affected areas of Bajaur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.



  • June 2022, filmmaker Abu Aleeha’s film, Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer - has continuously been banned in Pakistan. However, the film was highly commended at the UK Film Festival and selected for the Berlin International Art Film Festival. Serial killer Javed Iqbal abducted and murdered over 100 children in Pakistan between 1998 and 1999. 


  • May 2022, Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a stern warning to all media houses to desist from criticizing the armed forces and judiciary. PEMRA warned to suspend the shows, license cancellation, and hefty fines on violators. Skepticism is growing all-time high against the armed forces and judiciary in Pakistan. Pakistanis suspect the institutions are colluding with the political parties and express strongly worded and disdainful remarks against the institution on talk shows and social media.


  • May 2022, during opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) long-march and country-wide violent protests, PTI leaning privately-owned ARY News was taken intermittently off-air, interrupted, and relegated to the distant channel numbers. The former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan had called for protest and wheedled his supporters to take to the streets against his ouster after a dramatic no-confidence motion in the parliament.


  • May 2022, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) warned overseas Pakistani over alleged activities against Pakistan. The FIA used the pretext of alleged fake news and hate for the warning. Pakistan has seen a flood of fake news and disinformation in recent years. Political parties and their supporters are operating thousands of fake accounts to vilify political opponents and journalists. The police have arrested individuals running fake accounts impersonating know officers of the armed forces, judiciary, politicians, and journalists. However, many persecuted and marginalized minorities raise their voice from overseas, against persecution and violations of rights.


  • April 2022, the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) blocked and disrupted the privately-owned ARY channel to censor the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Lahore public meeting. The meeting was part of the country-wide protests by PTI over losing the no-confidence vote in the parliament.  


  • DEVELOPMENT April 2022, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) revoked the infamous Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016 Ordinance as "unconstitutional." The President of Pakistan DR. Arif Alvi promulgated the PECA ordinance in February 2022 to amend PECA, making it more punitive for freedom of expression. President Arif Alvi belongs to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Section 20 of PECA was enforced by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. Media Joint Action Committee (JAC) consists of the Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) had termed PECA draconian and law to silent media.


  • DEVELOPMENT: April 2022, just within days of her party's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) victory in a no-confidence motion in the parliament, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb disbanded the infamous Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA). The previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was considering PMDA to add an extra layer of censorship on press freedom and freedom of expression on print, broadcast, and digital media. 


  • March 2022, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) banned all media channels from the coverage of the No Confidence vote. The PTI allowed only state-owned Pakistan Television (PTV) to cover the tumultuous proceedings to air the government-approved broadcast.  


  • March 2022, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued a show-cause notice to the head of privately-owned channel Dunya News over not censoring profanities and curses by the Prime Minister Special Assistant (SAPM) Shahbaz Gill against renegade party lawmaker Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani.  Shahbaz Gill was on-air in the TV show 'On Front with Kamran Shahid,' and was infuriated over the rebellion by his ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers before a looming no-confidence vote against prime minister Imran Khan.   


  • March 2022, the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) banned the film I''ll Meet You There' on the pretext of "not reflecting true Pakistani culture and not suitable for public viewing." The film storyline based on three generations of the Pakistani-American family was released internationally in 2021. 


  • March 2022, the director of the Mardan (Khyber Pakhtunkwa province - KP) Sports Complex banned all kinds of outdoor activities for females. A man Saeed Bacha, affiliated with B1 News, forced the sports complex management to bar females from the complex. Pakistan Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, tweeted on March 11, 2022, that "a police report (FIR) has been registered against the perpetrators and Women cannot be denied their right to sports competitions."


  • March 2022, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government stopped the quota of the advertisements to the Neo News and Daily Nai Baat after senior journalist Talat Hussain's Induction. Freedom of expression activists termed the government action as a pressure to silence the critics.


  • February 2022, President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, signed amendments for the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, (PECA) 2016 ordinance into law. The infamous and widely condemned amendments include; resolving PECA cases within six months, jail time increased from three to five years, social media defamation is now a non-bailable offense, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) granted more powers and jail time for criticizing military and judiciary are some of the amended terms. Freedom of expression and media rights activists, journalistic, and human rights organizations have sharply criticized the amendment. A few months ago, the Pakistan Federation Union of Journalists (PFUJ) had termed the current state of censorship in Pakistan unprecedented and unseen even during military rule. The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) calls assaults on Freedom of Expression "draconian" and formed a journalist's defense committee to provide free legal aid to journalists booked under cybercrime laws. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has challenged the law in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). President Alvi belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)


  • February 2022, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) banned former Hockey Olympian Rashid-ul-Hasan for ten-year on allegations of criticizing Prime Minister Imran Khan and PHF over the decline of hockey in Pakistan. The PHF had claimed to send two notices to Rashid-ul-Hasan, who is also the PHF patron-in-chief of PHF. However, Mr. Hassan confirmed to receive one notice but did not take it seriously. According to Rashid-ul-Hasan, he had said in a WhatsApp group that Imran Khan promised to work for the uplifting hockey during his pre-election campaigns. However, he failed to do so. Rashid-ul-Hasan denied any offensive language against PM Khan. According to Olympics.com, “Hockey was much more popular than cricket back then,” said Hameed Khalid, one of the key players at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984. “We had won the Olympic gold medal in 1960 and 1968, and the World Cup in 1971, 1978 and 1982. In schools and colleges, it was all about hockey.



  • December 2021: Privately-owned Hum News talk show hosted by Mohammad Malick and participated by the senior journalists Hamid Mir, Mazhar Abbas, and Mosharraf Zaidi pulled abruptly off air over critical analysis of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) defeat in the provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) local body elections.  


  • October 2021: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned caressing, hugging, and patting, in TV shows, terming it against the culture. A fierce backlash followed after the ban as the TV shows in Pakistan air the scenes of domestic violence, glorification of patriarchy, and even Jihad without warnings. 


  • October 2021, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) abruptly banned privately-owned Bol News over coverage of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). The succeeding governments in Pakistan have been facing both international and country-wide condemnation over TLP-friendly policies over the years. The censorship was widely condemned and seen as a cover-up of the killings, arson, and seizure of the big cities by the TLP activists. Fearing a full-fledged control of TPL across Pakistan, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees including those who were charged for the killings of the civilians, and at least 12 policemen.  


  • October 2021, Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication issued Rules 2021 pertinent to the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedures, Oversight, and Safeguards). The Ministry claimed to regulate the social media giants in the country while journalists, journalistic organizations, freedom of speech, and human rights activists termed the ordinance another effort to strangulate freedom of speech and expression. https://www.dawn.com/news/1651977


  • September 2021: Pakistan National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser ordered the closure of the press lounge and gallery for the media to ban the journalists from covering President Arif Alvi’s address to the joint session of the parliament. Mr. Qaiser said he wanted to prevent opposing parties from fighting, and his decision was also supported by Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA). The PRA vehemently denied its involvement in banning the media from the press lounge and gallery. In reality, the government feared backlash from media over the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA). The closure of the press gallery was one of the darkest days in the history of Pakistan never seen under the worst military dictatorships. Mr. Qaiser belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).


  • July 2021, Pakistan’s provincial Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) seized the copies of the social studies book for grade 7 published by the Oxford University Press (OUP) for printing a picture of the youngest noble laureate and global girls education activist, Malala Yousufszai. Malala was included in the list of the important personalities and pictured beside Major Aziz Bhatti. Major Bhatti was martyred during the Pakistan-India war in 1965 and awarded the Pakistan highest military gallantry award “Nishan-e-Haider.” Authorities conducted province-wide raids and confiscated the copies of the book. According to the PCTB official, “the book has been published without the approval.” In 2012, the Taliban shot Malala for her activism for girl’s education in the Taliban stronghold of Sawat valley. Ms. Malala recovered and now lives in England and is instrumental for girl's education across the world. Pakistan conservatives and the far-right section of society were angered and skeptical about Malala’s targeted shooting and her liberal views in her book “I am Malala,” on religion, Pakistan, and some of the Pakistani institutions.   


  • July 2021, Pakistan banned the coverage of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) protests against terrorism, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) high-handedness, and violence in Makin, Waziristan. Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) claims the representation for the rights of those affected by the war against militancy and what PTM believes oppressions of the armed forces in the tribal areas. 


  • July 2021, All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF), representing over 200,000 schools in Pakistan, launched the anti-Malala documentary "I am not Malala" to censure the youngest noble laureate and global girls education activist, Malala Yousufszai. APPSF president Kashif Mirza alleged opinions expressed by Ms. Yousuzai on marriage contradict Islamic values, Pakistani institutions and called her an agent of Western forces, even though Mr. Mirza was wearing a western dress while condemning Ms. Yousufzai. Details https://www.geo.tv/latest/359809-all-pakistan-private-schools-federation-marks-i-am-not-malala-day


  • July 2021, the Chinese-owned TikTok, a short-length video-sharing social networking platform quarterly transparency report showed the removal of more than six million TikTok videos in Pakistan from January to March 2021. The removal of the videos linked to the community guidelines, privacy, country’s policies, adult nudity and sexual activities, harassment and bullying and hateful behavior, and COVID disinformation. Pakistan has been banning TikTok intermittently in the country.


  • May 2021, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) censored the TikTok account of activist, webcam model, and former adult entertainer Mia Khalifa in Pakistan. The ultra-conservative PTA did not offer any reason to ban Ms. Khalifa from the country. However, Ms. Khalifa told her fans that she will post her banned videos on Twitter for Pakistani fans.


  • April 2021, Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) asked microblogging and social networking service Twitter to block criticism towards the judiciary in Pakistan. Pakistani courts, including the Supreme Court of Pakistan,  face immense criticism over what critics believe is “selective justice.”


  • April 2021, Pakistan’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior passed an amendment bill that made criticizing the armed forces a punishable crime for up to two years in jail and a fine of Rs500,000. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Amjad Ali Khan, had tabled the bill.


  • March 2021, the Peshawar High Court banned TikTok, a short-length video-sharing social networking platform on the allegation that the contents and uploads are “unacceptable for Pakistani society,” and negatively affect the youths. According to the court orders, the censorship shall remain in place until TikTok strictly follows the guidelines set by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). TikTok was also blocked in October 2020. Pakistan telecommunication watchdog, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has admitted in the court blocking approximately 500,000 TikTok videos over objectionable pretexts. The Peshawar High Court (PHC) restored TikTok on April 1, 2021.     


  • February 2021, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered privately-owned TVOne to follow censorship guidelines for the TV show "Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi," and demanded the details of the editorial board.


  • February 2021, February 2021, a Jirga (a group of authoritarian men in deep-rooted conservative pockets) stopped women from receiving child care payments from the Citizen Facilitation Center (CFC) and calling local FM Radio stations in Bajaur District, part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. According to Jirga, either the grants were meant to be given to the men or the CFC staff to be all women. The Jirga announced fines for the locals who defy the Jirga policy. The area has been a hotbed and stronghold of Taliban activities. The local jirgas misogynistic decisions and restrictions of freedom signify the reality that the Taliban and their supporters openly defy the Federal Government and capable of launching offensives against citizens. 


  • January 2021, the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority Regulatory Authority (Pemra) suspended the license of the privately-owned channel Bol News and fined Rs 1 million for what PEMRA believed airing "contemptuous" remarks against the judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC). On January 13, 2021, anchorperson Sami Ibrahim debated the appointment of the judges in LHC in his show Tajzia.


  • January 2021, BBC announced the termination of the broadcasting Urdu news program Sairbeen contract with privately-owned AAJ TV. The 30-minute daily news bulletin was on air since 2015. The termination is the outcome of the unprecedented censorship and assaults on media freedom in Pakistan, while BBC termed it “interference.”


  • January 2021, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) asked social media platforms to block the movie Lady of Heaven. The PTA termed the movie sacrilegious and said, “so far 336 URLs containing promo of the said movie have been reported to different platforms.”


  • January 2021, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) suspended free WiFi service in Punjab province. The free WiFi was largely used by the poverty-stricken students, people, public places, Lahore Press Club, colleges, and universities. The government defended its decision by saying that the project was resulting in heavy financial losses.


POLITICAL PARTIES ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 


  • March 2022, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Kanwal Shauzab allegedly held privately-owned SUCH TV anchor and journalist Batul Rajpoot hostage and forced her to delete her interview. Batul Rajpoot was visiting Kanwal Shauzab's home for a scheduled interview. In a recorded video on her Twitter account @batulrajpoot on Mar 11, 2022, Batul Rajpoot said, "the lawmaker angered by the question of online harassment from PTI verified social accounts targeting journalists and political opponents. Kanwal Shauzab allegedly forced anchor Rajpoot to delete the interview or provide a written assurance that the recording will not go on-air.” Kanwal Shauzab allowed Batul Rajpoot to leave with the threats of dire consequences after social media backlash involving some senior journalists.


  • March 2022, private security guards of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), misbehaved and harassed President of Multan Press Club Shakeel Anjum and a female reporter during long-march. The reporters were covering the PPP long-march. The opposition was marching between different cities to show street power against ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)


  • February 2022, President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, signed amendments for the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, (PECA) 2016 ordinance into law. The infamous and widely condemned amendments include; resolving PECA cases within six months, jail time increased from three to five years, social media defamation is now a non-bailable offense, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) granted more powers and jail time for criticizing military and judiciary are some of the amended terms. Freedom of expression and media rights activists, journalistic, and human rights organizations have sharply criticized the amendment. A few months ago, the Pakistan Federation Union of Journalists (PFUJ) had termed the current state of censorship in Pakistan unprecedented and unseen even during military rule. The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) calls assaults on Freedom of Expression "draconian" and formed a journalist's defense committee to provide free legal aid to journalists booked under cybercrime laws. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has challenged the law in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). President Alvi belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).



  • November 2021: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) official and social media activists targeted senior female journalist, anchor, and columnist Aaliya Shah, with serious threats, harassment, and foul language for criticizing collusion between PTI and the religious fundamentalists in an articleOver the years, Pakistan has been surrendering to the demands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan's (TLP), a party of violent religious fundamentalists, overt supporters of blasphemy laws, and anti-minority Shia and Ahmadiyya after they seized the streets of large cities in the country and killed several on-duty policemen. The TLP has killed and injured several civilians, law enforcement officers, destroyed federal and public properties with billions of rupees, and brought the country to a halt in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In November 2021, fearing the seizure of the capital city of Islamabad and the parliament, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees including those who were charged for the killings of the civilians, and at least 12 policemen. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had banned the coverage of TLP occupation and attacks to hide the killings and destruction.  


  • November 2021, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms Asad Umar warned Pakistan Democratic Alliance (opposition parties alliance against the government) and media “black and blue beating” if they head to the capital city of Islamabad. The Minister has been underperforming during his tenure but enjoys a close friendship with Prime Minister Imran Khan. Mr. Umar belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).


  • October 2021: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ministers, Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPM) started a malicious campaign of online harassment and character disdain against a senior female journalist, Asma Shirazi, for her article mirroring many failures, economic plunders, and record-breaking poverty due to record price-hike in Pakistan. The Supreme Court Bar association (SCBA), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), senior journalists, and press freedom strongly condemned PTI for disseminating hate and establishing a culture of trolling and threats against critics and dissents. 


  • September 2021: Pakistan National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser ordered the closure of the press lounge and gallery for the media to ban the journalists from covering President Arif Alvi’s address to the joint session of the parliament. Mr. Qaiser said he wanted to prevent opposing parties from fighting, and his decision was also supported by Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA). The PRA vehemently denied its involvement in banning the media from the press lounge and gallery. In reality, the government feared backlash from the media over the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA). The closure of the press gallery was one of the darkest days in the history of Pakistan never seen under the worst military dictatorships. Mr. Qaiser belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).


  • August 2021: a politically well-connected landlord Kamal Uddin Shar and his sons attacked and seriously injured journalist Ghulam Qadir Shar in Sanghar, located in Sindh province. Mr. Shar works for the local dailies, Time News, and Daily Panhanji Akhbar and recently reported about a Jirga (Illegal court) headed by the attacker Kamal Uddin Shar who is also affiliated with the provincial ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The police had claimed the arrest of one suspect.


  • April 2021: Pakistan’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior passed an amendment bill that made criticizing the armed forces a punishable crime for up to two years in jail and a fine of Rs500,000. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Amjad Ali Khan, had tabled the bill.


  • February 2021, Saifullah Jan, a correspondent for the Associated Press (AP) in Pakistan, and a member of the Charsadda Press Club alleged that four armed men kidnapped and tortured him in the area office of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in Charsadda, part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. According to Mr. Jan, he has been targeted in the past and the attack is retaliation for his filing the police report. One of the accused Abdullah is the office-bearer of the local settings of PTI. PTI has not refuted the allegations.


​​​FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION UNDER ATTACK ON CAMPUSES 


  • December 6, 2022: Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) withdrew the invitation of a speaker Dr. Mirza Sultan Ahmed, because of his affiliation with the most persecuted Muslim minority – Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community. The LUMS has organized a debate titled, Tolerance in Pakistan – The life of minorities in Pakistan at the LUMS auditorium in Lahore. LUMS did not offer any solid explanation, and the conference went on without the participation of Mr. Ahmed, a pediatrician y professional. Minority rights groups included http://www.freedomtalk.net/ had asked LUMS to cancel the conference in solidarity with Mr. Ahmed. However, the LUMS decided otherwise, with an empty chair to mark the absence of Mr. Ahmed. https://twitter.com/AmnestyLUMS/status/1600096252137508864  https://twitter.com/AmnestyLUMS/status/1600096267119390720 


  • October 2022: The Islamic University of Bahawalpur (IUB) in the Punjab province forced the students from beleaguered Balochistan province to pay a fifty percent fee on the sanctioned quota for the Baloch students. Even after paying the fees, the IUB declined to provide dorm facilities to the Baloch students. The IUB management threatened the protesting Baloch students with expulsions, circulating the pictures and denying the scholarships for demanding their rights to affordable education. The Baloch students have been camping outside the IUB for over two-week to protest against the management and the incumbents of the Punjab province. Several students sought medical treatment after the hunger strike.


  • June 2022, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) students started the social media campaign #LUMSFeeHike to protest against the sudden increase of 14% in tuition fees and 18% in the hostel fee per semester. The LUMS management linked the fee hike with the economic meltdown in Pakistan.



  • April 2022: Ghazi University expelled at least eight Baloch students without explanation. Baloch students remain one of the most vulnerable to enforced disappearances, expulsions, and harassment across Pakistan. Ghazi University is located in Dera Ghazi Khan (DG Khan), the province of Punjab.



  • March 2022, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi campus suspended a student for the whole academic year and banned another student from entering the IBA campus for the ongoing academic year over a viral video showing male and female students enjoying a Western-styled party. The student conduct committee of Karachi’s Institute of Business Administration (IBA) announced the action after the protests from the conservative religious-cum-political party Jamaat-e-Islami. 


  • February 2022: activists and students of a religious-based and mainstream political party attacked an event organized by the students of Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), commemorating the birth of poet and author Faiz Ahmad Faiz at Karachi University (KU). The attackers assaulted the PYA students and forced them to flee the scene. Zainab Syed, former general secretary of PYA, Karachi University, sustained an injury to her ear, and another student (name withheld for privacy concerns) was hit in the head and lost wallet and keys. Character assassination and vicious campaign ensued against Ms. Syed, and the attackers reiterated for such attacks in the future. According to PYA, the attackers belong to the Islami Jamiat-e-Talba, student’s wing of Jamaat-e-Islami and Peoples Students Federation (PSF) student’s wing of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The evidence made available to FreedomTalk.Net affirmed PYA’s claim. 


  • February 2022, Parveen Rind, a nursing student at Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences for Women (PUMHS), alleged the staff used harassment and mental torment to kill her. She also alleged a series of suicides of female students were murdered.  The autopsy of the dental college student Nimrita Kumari (Chandani) revealed sexual exploitation before death as the cause of death was asphyxiation on September 16, 2019. In September 2022, three years after her murder, a post-mortem report confirmed that Ms. Nimrita was sexually assaulted before her murder. The body of Nosheen Kazmi, a medical student at Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) found hanging from the ceiling in her hostel room at the Chandka Medical College, Larkana, in November 2021. The body of Naila Rind was found hanging from the ceiling in the hostel room of Sindh University in January 2017. The judicial committee concluded the blackmailing and exploitation committed by a WhatsApp friend. The body of another Medical student, Asmat Rajput, was found with a bullet hole in her home in Sita Road town on January 2022. She was a student at the Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences for Women, Nawabshah. However, there were enough pieces of evidence to investigate the murder as an honor killing. In March 2022,the police confirmed the blackmailing of Asmat Rajput by an already-married man Shaman Solangi and his accomplices. The accused Solangi had faked a marriage certificate and threatened Asmat Rajput uploading on social media if she refused to surrender to his demands. Asmat Rajput committed suicide immediately after the visit of accused Solangi and his wife to her house and left behind a suicide note.    

          

  • January 2022, province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Minister for elementary and secondary education, Shahram Khan Tarakai, made Zuhr (one of five mandatory Namaz or Salwat during 24 hours in Islam) prayers compulsory in all provincial schools. All the staff and students must take a break to offer prayers. Pakistan's curriculum and education policy continue to instill religion in schools and expunging Muslim and non-Muslim minorities chapters from the textbooks. The radical educational policies are a direct assault on minorities’ religious freedom.


  • November 2021: Students at Balochistan University boycotted classes over the disappearance of two students; Sohail Baloch and Faseeh Baloch. The university denied the abduction from the campus, and the students called off their strike.


  • September 2021: authorities baton-charged and arrested as many as 75 students protesting over the mismanagement of an online entry test conducted by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) for Bolan Medical College enrolment. The students were staging a sit-in in front of the Quetta Press Club and alleged the questions were out of the books and the management failed the students for missing the test. The students were released on bail after spending more than ten days in detention.


  • September 2021: the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) banned wearing jeans, tights, and T-shirts for male and female teachers in FDE’s controlled educational institutions in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.


  • August 2021: A student of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA)Muhammad Gibrail, witnessed a workplace harassment incident targeting a female employee at IBA’s Karachi campus, and below the whistle using his Facebook page. The manager of finance was yelling at a female employee, 'Mein tumhe puri raat betha kar rakhoon ga (I will have you sit here all night)'. Mr. Gabriel faced disciplinary but continued to raise his voice, joined by the other students. The IBA assured the students and protesters of befitting action against the harasser. IBA is one of the most prestigious professional settings in Pakistan.


  • April 2021: the Islamia University in Bahawalpur (IUB) expelled at least four students for protesting over reductions of seats, scholarships, and facilities for the marginalized students belonging to the under-developed regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan province.


  • March 2021, mainstream media overlooked protests and encampments outside the province Punjab Governor House over the abolition of the scholarships for the students belonging to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Islamia University in Bahawalpur (IUB) Punjab has abolished the seats and scholarship allocation meant for FATA students. After a month-long protest and five days of hunger strike, the Governor of Punjab restored the scholarships.


  • March 2021, under enormous pressure from authorities, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) canceled a seminar recalling fifty years of Bangladesh freedom (known as Dhaka Fall) from Pakistan. The universities did not provide reasons for cancellation.


  • March 2021, the Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST) enforced a strict Islamic dress code for female students and faculty in Kohat, part of the ultra-conservative province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).


  • March 2021, student Abdul Haq was killed and five more wounded in violent clashes among different student factions at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML). Pakistani educational institutions are facing increased intolerance for students coming from other parts of the country.


  • March 2021: the University of Peshawar made the Islamic dress code mandatory for female students. The female students were ordered to wear white shalwar (loose leggings) and drooping uppers with a scarf.  


  • March 2021: the University of Lahore expelled a male and a female student over on-campus hugging. In a widely circulated and verified footage, a female student kneeled and offered a rose to a male student, who then hugged the female student while other students burst into cheers. The University alleged the occurrence was a violation of the University’s code of conduct. However, the University did not provide a copy of the written rules.


  • February 2021: the University of Central Punjab (UCP) barred 19 students from final examinations and academic activities for protesting against their physical presence in exams during the pandemic. According to UCP, “the suspension will last till the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings.”


  • January 2021, Bacha Khan University in conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province enforced a religious Islamic dress code for faculty, male and female students.


  • January 2021, within a week, police attacked, injured, and briefly detained at least 49 students of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML), the University of Management and Technology (UTM), and the University of Central Punjab (UCP) in different cities of the Punjab province for protesting over on-campus exams during the COVID19 surge, better dorm facilities, tuition fee & internet disruptions.


  • January 2021, the Hazara University Abbottabad enforced a strict Islamic dress code for female students and staff and banned jeans, T-shirts, tights, and heavy makeup. The University made Abaya (loose head-to-toe upper body cover) mandatory for females. The University also banned males from wearing tight and ripped jeans and male jewelry.


SNIPPETS 




 




























































































  • November 2021, the police take control of the Okara Press Club after a confrontation with the rival media groups in Okara, Punjab. The proportion of the Pakistani media has been marred with rivalry, grouping, and favoritism after infiltration of political influence. Only a few newspapers and channels struggle to maintain impartiality against succeeding government’s pressure, censorships, or the cancellation of the license. Editor-in-Chief of Jang and Geo Group, Mir Shakil ur Rahman spent more than 200 days behind bars in a politically motivated and retaliatory case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted him bail on November 9, 2020. 





























  • March 2021, Transparency International (TI) sent a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan over COVID vaccine cost, possibilities of corruption and also reminded him that free vaccination is the government's responsibility 



  • March 2021, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) allocated a whopping Rs1 billion for the publicity of the economic reforms and counter the opposition. Many essential needs in Pakistan are put on hold due to the economic crisis. COVID vaccine is unaffordable for millions of Pakistanis, widespread poverty, and hundreds of Federal and provincial departments owe monthslong salaries and retirement benefits to their employees. The prices of food essentials, power, and patrol are increasing by leaps and bounds.


  • March 2021, Salahuddin Ayubi, a member of the Pakistan National Assembly (MNA) representing the constituency of Kila Abdullah, NA-263 (province of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – KP) married a 14-year-old High School girl student. The marriage violates the law of the province where the legal age of marriage for the girls is 16 years. Mr. Ayubi belongs to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F).





  • February 2021, police used tear gas, truncheons, and anti-terrorism squad against government employees and lady health workers protesting for a pay raise in the capital city of Islamabad. One on-duty police officer died of inhalation. Later, the government agreed to the demands of the protesters; however, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, the Interior Minister of Pakistan ridiculed, smirked at the protesters, and defended the use of tear gas by saying, “we were just testing the tear gas.”



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  • January 2021, police attacked and injured at least 18 and arrested more than a dozen teachers in the Pakistani-controlled side of Kashmir. The teachers were peacefully protesting a pay raise they were promised in 2013. The Pakistani side of Kashmir has been nicknamed Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) by Pakistan.  



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