Pakistan: Rights activist says ‘state will be responsible if he got killed’ 

Human rights activist Fazal Khan Advocate, who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in Peshawar, said that it has become a crime to seek justice in Pakistan and declared that the state will be responsible if he got killed. He was talking with DW Urdu on Saturday.

“The only crime is that I have been raising my voice from time to time for justice. Our sin is that we raised our voices for the missing persons and oppressed people of our country,” Khan maintained.

He informed he has no personal enmity and was targeted due to his struggle for the rights of oppressed. “I have been demanding from day first that a judicial commission be set up on the APS tragedy so that those involved in the massacre of innocent children can be exposed and punished,” he added.

Fazal Khan said that when Ehsanullah Ehsan surrendered, he feared that he would be released and that is what happened. The state kept him as its “royal guest” and then released him.  Now he is threatening Chairman of Pakistan People Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and he can kill anyone. Khan said, “My state will be responsible if I am killed. My state will be my killer. I pay taxes to the government. I’m a peaceful citizen struggling for truth and justice. My government must ensure my safety and arrest and punish those who have attacked me.”

Fazal Khan narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in Peshawar. He was on his way home from the court when unidentified motorcyclists blocked his way and opened indiscriminate firing on him however he managed to escape unhurt. According to sources close to Khan, he had been receiving death threats on the phone for some time and unknown persons were roaming around his neighborhood, making it difficult for him to leave the house.

Who is Fazal Khan?

Fazal Khan Advocate is the President of Army Public School (APS) Martyrs Forum, a civil society organization in Peshawar. Among the 147 people massacred by the Taliban at the Peshawar Army Public School in 2014 was Fazal Khan’s 14-year-old son, Sahibzada Umar Khan. Fazal had approached the court on the case of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander and former spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan. Following Ehsan’s release, last year, as a result of an alleged deal with security agencies, he filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court holding the civil-military leadership accountable.

He has also been active with the Pashtun Tahaffuz Moment (PTM) in recent times. After a protest in Peshawar against the arrest of PTM leader Manzoor Pashtun in January this year, police also registered an FIR against Khan along with Sana Ijaz, Jamila Bibi, and others active members of the organization. All of them are out on bail in the case.

But on Tuesday, the sessions court revoked his bail extension and ordered his arrest, prompting him to approach the Peshawar High Court for three days’ interim bail. Khan was on his way home from the Court in the evening when he was attacked near his house.

Meanwhile, Mohsin Dawar, a senior member of PTM and member of Pakistan National Assembly announced on Twitter regarding a threat letter warning the leadership of PTM of dire consequences. Dawar wrote in response to the letter: “We have repeatedly said that terrorists are regrouping, and the insurgents have returned to Pashtun areas, all with the support of the government.” He said that he will continue efforts, even at the cost of his head.

A few days ago, it was announced that the ISI had formed a group called Fidayan-e-Islam to crush the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, with suicide attacks on its members.

Sources said that the ISI has activated more than a dozen branches of the terrorist groups to thwart the PTM at all costs. Source furthered that the ISI has already tested this approach on members of the Awami National Party and has been very successful.

Categories: Human Rights,Pakistan,PTM

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