Jibran Nasir, a prominent rights activist and lawyer, has been reported missing after an incident where unidentified armed men intercepted his vehicle and forcefully abducted him near his residence in Karachi’s DHA area on Thursday night.
The Abduction Incident
Nasir’s wife, Mansha Pasha, who was present in the car during the incident, shared a video statement recounting the ordeal. She described how a group of at least 15 heavily armed men, including individuals in a white Vigo vehicle, surrounded their car and forcibly took her husband away. Pasha emphasized the urgency of the situation and appealed to the public to join their efforts and pray for Nasir’s safe return.
Nasir’s Activism and Political Stance
Jibran Nasir, a former independent candidate in the 2018 general elections from Karachi, has been vocal in his criticism of the recent state crackdown on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and the legal proceedings involving individuals allegedly involved in riots. His dedication to addressing sectarian violence garnered recognition, landing him a spot on Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2013 list of three inspirational Pakistanis working against such conflicts.
Recent Abductions of Journalists and Activists
The abduction of Jibran Nasir is not an isolated incident. Journalists Imran Riaz Khan, Aftab Iqbal, and Sami Ibrahim, all known supporters of the PTI party, were taken into custody earlier this month. While Ibrahim and Iqbal have since been released, the whereabouts of Imran Riaz Khan remain undisclosed to this day.
Pakistan’s Troubling Record on Press Freedom and Human Rights
Pakistan has been under scrutiny for its treatment of media personnel and activists, who often face the brunt of political crackdowns. The country has faced severe criticism from global press freedom and human rights groups for its violations of free speech and failure to ensure the safety of journalists. In the 2023 Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Pakistan ranked a concerning 150 out of 180 countries.
Outcry and Demand for Nasir’s Release
In response to Jibran Nasir’s abduction, the hashtag #ReleaseJibranNasir quickly gained traction on Twitter. Civil society members, journalists, and concerned individuals expressed their worries over Nasir’s disappearance and united in demanding his immediate and safe return.
Urgent Action Needed to Locate Jibran Nasir
The abduction of Jibran Nasir, a respected rights activist and lawyer, has raised serious concerns about the safety of journalists and activists in Pakistan. Nasir’s case is yet another example of the challenges faced by those who dare to speak out against the prevailing political climate. The international community, human rights organizations, and the Pakistani government must take immediate action to ensure Nasir’s whereabouts are discovered and that he is safely reunited with his family. It is crucial to protect the fundamental rights of individuals and foster an environment where free speech and the safety of journalists and activists are respected and upheld.