کور / سياسي / Gul Bukhari is a social media activist, human rights defender, political commentator and…

Gul Bukhari is a social media activist, human rights defender, political commentator and…

According to some news media reports, the Anti-Terrorism Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has summoned Gul Bukhari to explain her alleged ‘defamatory remarks against the state institutions’ or else a case under the terrorism charges would be registered against her.

Pashtun Council America (PCA), Pashtun Council Canada (PCC), PTM-USA, PTM-Canada, World Sindhi Congress (WSC) and Pashtun Global Diaspora (PGD) condemn in the strongest possible terms these actions that are clearly intended to intimidate, threaten and silent her and other the dissidents.

Gul Bukhari is a social media activist, human rights defender, political commentator and columnist par excellence. She has always raised her strong voice for the marginalized and victims of state oppression. She is one of those Pakistani dissidents who stand for the rule of law, constitutionalism and civilian supremacy in Pakistan.

Gul Bukhari is a patriotic citizen. Like many others, she has always constructively criticized the unconstitutional overreach of the military into the civilian domain. While doing so, she has remained within her rights under the constitution of Pakistan and international human rights instruments. No state institution in Pakistan is above critique, including the Pakistan military. Instead of chasing the dissident for alleged defamation of state institution, the correct course would have been for these institutions to remain within their constitutional and legal bonds, and immediately put an end to the violations of human rights of the citizens.

We also want to register our concern about the law enforcing agencies establishing a direct linkage between good faith critique of military institutions and terrorism while dealing with dissidents. This dangerous pattern has come to the fore in the last couple of years. In hundreds of FIRs lodged against the PTM leaders/supporters/workers, almost each one of them mentions critique of armed forces as the basis of terrorism and sedition charges against them.

While official patronage of the real terrorist organizations and their use as instruments of foreign and domestic policies continue in full swing, the entire body of national security legislation, including terrorism laws, is being instrumentalized by state institutions to suppress dissenting opinions against terrorism and those upholding peace, democracy, respect for human rights and civilian supremacy.

We call upon the government of Pakistan to immediately stop intimidating Gul Bukhari and instead put its house in order. We also call upon the international community, UN and other human rights organizations to hold the government of Pakistan accountable for violating the fundamental rights of its citizens.

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