FO rejects ‘baseless allegations’ of crackdown on overseas dissidents
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri on Tuesday categorically rejected the unsubstantiated media reports alleging Pakistan cracking down on overseas dissidents, saying Pakistan as a parliamentary democracy protected rights of its national living anywhere in the world.
In response to media queries regarding baseless allegations of Pakistani institutions cracking down on overseas Pakistanis, the spokesperson said, “There is no question of any threat being made to any national of any state including Pakistan’s own nationals living anywhere on any pretext whatsoever.”
A report recently published in The Guardian had alleged that Pakistani exiles living in London who were critical of the country’s military were warned that “their lives are in danger”.
The report further said that Pakistan, a strong UK ally – particularly on intelligence issues – might be prepared to target individuals on British soil.
Citing another newspaper, the report said that The Observer had been told of further warnings given by other intelligence services across Europe to Pakistani dissidents, including rights activists from Balochistan, journalists, and members of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement.
The FO spokesperson said the unsubstantiated allegations appeared to be part of the rather blatant ongoing misinformation campaign against Pakistan to malign the country and its state institutions.
“Pakistan is a parliamentary democracy with a vibrant civil society, free media and independent judiciary, which remains fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights for all its citizens without discrimination,” he said.
He expressed the country’s strong commitment to the right to freedom of opinion and expression, which he said, was demonstrated by presence of scores of vibrant media channels and newspapers in the country.
“Provision of a platform for peddling of unsubstantiated and false narratives against Pakistan by any news outlet is indeed regrettable,” he said.
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