The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday denied having custody of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activist Azhar Mashwani, as the party unveiled a dossier compiling alleged human rights violations of the incumbent government since April 2022.
The FIA’s disclosure came in a report submitted to the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC), which was hearing a habeas corpus petition—seeking the release of an unlawfully imprisoned person—filed by Mashwani’s brother, Mazharul Hassan. The report maintained that the FIA had no knowledge of Mashwani’s location, but was rejected by Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz, who termed it “unsatisfactory.” He then directed the FIA to resubmit it and adjourned the proceedings until April 4.
Also on Tuesday, the PTI highlighted the matter of Mashwani’s “disappearance” in a press conference in which it unveiled a dossier detailing alleged “human rights violations” against its supporters, workers and leaders by the incumbent government since it came into power last year.
According to the report, which the PTI claims would be shared with international rights organizations and the diplomatic community, it compiles alleged human rights violations from April 10, 2022 till March 21, 2023. It accuses the government of illegal arrests, detention, custodial torture, victimization of political workers, suppression of media, hampering of freedom of expression, and violating the dignity and privacy of political opponents.
Addressing media, PTI Senior Vice-President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain claimed the party would strive to get government officials at the federal and Punjab government levels declared personas non grata on the basis of the report, adding it would also file cases against the police chiefs of Islamabad and Punjab. Warning that the report’s contents could lead to Pakistan once again being placed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s grey list for “terror financing,” the PTI claimed it contained “proof” of “custodial torture and other alleged atrocities on PTI workers.”
PTI leader Shireen Mazari, who flanked Fawad, lamented that enforced disappearances and violation of human rights have become common in Pakistan. She also clarified that the dossier had been compiled in English to ensure it reached the international community, adding that a “supplementary” document would subsequently be released. She claimed the report might also prevent the European Union from extending the GSP+ preferential tariff scheme for Pakistan.