Arsalan Khan picked up from home, Amnesty expresses concerns

Social media activist and journalist Arsalan Khan. — Twitter/asif_mush

After social media activist Arsalan Khan was picked up from his residence in Karachi in the wee hours of Friday, Amnesty International said it was “deeply concerned” about the incident.

“Pakistan must end this abhorrent practice of punishing dissent by wrenching people away from their loved ones,” Amnesty said in a tweet after Khan was picked up at 4am.

The human rights watchdog urged the newly-appointed Inter-Ministerial Committee on Missing Persons to take note of the “jarring disconnect between what they are saying and what is actually happening on the ground”.

The committee — headed by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarrar — was formed last month, with members including Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah, Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri, Minister for Communication Asad Mehmood, Minister for Defence Production Muhammad Israr Tareen, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari and Minister for Science and Technology Agha Hassan Baloch.

The social media activist’s wife, according to Geo News, said around “14 to 15 government officials barged into their house in the wee hours and pointed guns at the family members”.

“Arsalan was picked up despite being innocent. The government officials took him with them inform of my children,” the social media activist’s wife lamented.

The wife said she asked the reason behind picking up Khan. “I was told that his crime is writing too much on social media and being outspoken.”

“I urge all the relevant institutions to take notice of this issue and help us,” she added.

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