Exiled Pakistani blogger’s family threatened by secret services

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A famous exiled Pakistani blogger has accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of threatening his family to death in Pakistan.

In a Facebook post seen by The Balochistan Post, Ahmed Waqass Goraya said that men from Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, visited his elderly parents in Pakistan, yesterday on 20th June. ‘My parents were told loud and clear that they have orders to abduct and torture my father and attack my family to teach me a lesson’, he said.

Liberal Pakistani activist Waqass Goraya – who now lives in the Netherlands – was one of five activists who disappeared in early January 2017 in Pakistan. In an interview after his release, he had told BBC that they were tortured while in detention.

He said that yesterday’s incident was not the first. ‘Previously, they visited my family on 10th of May and said that they have orders to abduct my sisters, parents and brother. They also talked to me on phone,’ he said.

He added that in May, her mother was also threatened directly. ‘They said ask Waqass to shut up. Don’t tweet or write and no activity [sic] at-least till the elections’.

Mr. Goraya said his family was threatened multiple times in 2017 too and attempts were made to frame them for terrorism and possession of multiple automatic weapons.

He said that his his family was being targeted to deliver a message to him that ‘I may be safe abroad but my family in Pakistan is not’.

However, the blogger said this is the 21st century and terrorizing parents, siblings or families of activists does not work.

He said that his family had filed a petition regarding this issue last year in Lahore High Court via late lawyer Asma Jahangir, which was rejected by LHC.

Mr. Goraya said: ‘a political fight is being turned into an ugly personal fight and our families are being used as leverage and collateral. Threatening and attacking families is not going to make things any better.’

He said that even the Pakistani state is helpless against Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who abduct, visit and threaten unarmed citizens in a city like Lahore with impunity.

He added that such attempts will not deter him and vowed that he will consult international human rights organisations regarding the issue.

The exiled blogger had attended an event last week in Hengen city of Germany to discuss the ongoing human rights violations in Balochistan. He had condemned state persecution of oppressed communities in Pakistan while speaking at the event.

However, there is no suggestion the raid on his house was related to this event.

 

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