PTM leader Gulalai Ismail seeks asylum in US

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ISLAMABAD: Women rights activist and Pashtun Tahuffuz Movement (PTM) leader Gulalai Ismail is reportedly seeking asylum in the United States.

Ms Gulalai is wanted in Pakistan on charges of making anti-state speeches and been on the run for the past many months.

The activist’s plea to remove her name from no-fly list was dismissed by the Islamabad High Court on June 14, 2019.

 

Humanitarian International, a non-religious rights group, confirmed that Gulalai Ismail was safe in the US.

A First Information Report (FIR) was filed against Gulalai Ismail at Shehzad Town Police Station in Islamabad in May this year for making “anti-state speeches and instigating people against the state institutions”.

According to the FIR, the PTM leader had tried to invoke ‘anti-state sentiments’ in the Pashtun community in relation to the rape and murder of a minor girl Farishta. The FIR was filed under the anti-terrorism act.

In June, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed concerns over reports that rights activist Gulalai Ismail’s family has been threatened, allegedly by state agencies, in connection with her work as a human rights defender.

The HRCP urged the state to investigate the recent raid on Ismail’s house in Islamabad, reportedly by a large contingent of men in civilian clothes.

“A family member has claimed that their driver was forcibly taken away, interrogated and physically harmed.”

“As a well-known human rights defender who has consistently highlighted human rights violations, especially in KP, attempts to harass and threaten her through her family and other household members are unacceptable,” it added.

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