Islamabad, Pakistan – The wife of a prominent Pakistani rights activist and lawyer says her husband has been “abducted” from the southern city of Karachi.
In a video released on social media late on Thursday night, Jibran Nasir’s wife Mansha Pasha said the couple was returning home from a dinner when some men forcefully took Nasir away.
“We were coming back to our home. A white Vigo car intercepted our car and barged towards our vehicle. Around 15 men in plain clothes forcefully took him away,” she said in her video, tearfully calling for Nasir’s safe return.
She later filed a police complaint, demanding action against the unidentified people who took Nasir away.
Nasir, 36, had in the past contested national assembly elections from Karachi and is considered one of the country’s most vocal voices against rights violations.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent rights group, issued a statement late on Thursday night, expressing its deep concerns about Nasir’s abduction.
“HRCP is deeply concerned by reports that lawyer and activist @MJibranNasir has been abducted by unknown armed persons in Karachi. We demand that he be safely recovered immediately, and his abductors held accountable under the law,” it said in its tweet.
HRCP is deeply concerned by reports that lawyer and activist @MJibranNasir has been abducted by unknown armed persons in Karachi. We demand that he be safely recovered immediately and his abductors held accountable under the law.
— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) June 1, 2023
The Karachi-based lawyer’s abduction came during an unrelenting crackdown against former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
Countrywide protests broke out on May 9 after Khan was dramatically arrested at a court in Islamabad on corruption charges, following which his supporters went on a rampage, targeting public and private installations, including military properties.
Thousands of people were arrested for the violence, including top PTI leaders, with the government set to try some of those arrested in military courts.
Nasir had criticised the crackdown on the PTI party and the decision to try civilians under stringent army laws.
My heart breaks for the abduction of M. Jibran Nasir, a champion of human rights.
@MJibranNasir is the voice of the voiceless.
Let us join our voices together with @manshapasha and unite to advocate for the release of Jibran Nasir.#ReleaseJibranNasir pic.twitter.com/lrXzqUBhkV
— Ziauddin Yousafzai (@ZiauddinY) June 1, 2023
Michael Kugelman, South Asia Institute director at the United States-based Wilson Center, condemned Nasir’s abduction on Twitter.
“Jibran Nasir is a brave soul who speaks truth to power and has done so for many years. Disturbing news about his apparent abduction and I hope he is released soon,” he posted.
A number of people have been picked up by the security forces amid the continuing crackdown on PTI.
Last week, the head of a news channel Sami Abraham was picked up from Islamabad. He was released earlier this week after six days.
On May 11, another journalist, Imran Riaz Khan, was arrested at Sialkot airport in the eastern province of Punjab as he was about to leave the country.
Both the journalists had expressed their support for Khan and his PTI party.