South Asia and Beyond

Pakistani Dissidents In The UK Face Life Threat: Police

Pakistanis living in exile in the UK have been warned of threats to their lives and asked to keep low profile, according to a report published in ‘The Guardian’. This comes a week after a jury convicted Muhammad Gohir Khan, a 31-year-old British man of Pakistani descent, who agreed to kill a Pakistani dissident based in the Netherlands as part of a contract killing conspiracy. A photograph and address of the target—blogger and activist Ahmad Waqass Goraya—was provided by a Pakistan-based middleman identified in the trial as “Muzammil”. The report said that ahead of the trial, officers from the Counter Terrorism Policing warned Pakistani political commentator Rashid Murad that they had intercepted a communication revealing a plot to harm him. “They didn’t tell me who but indicated they were from the Pakistani authorities,” Murad alleged. The report mentioned lawyer Fazal Khan as another alleged “target” of Pakistani authorities. The report said defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqa has also been warned of threats to her life. Pashtun rights campaigner Zar Ali Khan Afridi, who fled to the Netherlands after an abduction attempt, was quoted in the report as saying that he had received a threat call from a British number. Journalist Yunas Khan in France said he had received an email from French authorities about leaked audio files in which “a figure from Pakistan’s ruling party, Tehreek-i-Insaf, tells the Pakistani community in Europe to attack Khan”. The Pakistani government has denied all the allegations as baseless.

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