Pakistan Rejects The Guardian Report On ‘Hit List’
Pakistan has “strongly rejected” a foreign media report claiming that it was cracking Pakistani exiles living abroad.
Reacting to a report published in the British media group The Guardian, the Foreign Office spokesman said that there was no question of intimidating citizens of any state residing anywhere, including Pakistan’s own citizens, under any pretext.
It may be recalled that foreign media reports claimed that deported Pakistanis who criticized the army had been warned by British authorities that they would be targeted.
The report added that “Pakistan, a strong ally of the UK, especially on intelligence matters, could be prepared to target individuals on British soil.”
The Guardian’s report also included a statement from Mark Lyall Grant, a former British High Commissioner to Pakistan.
“If there is undue pressure, especially on journalists based in the UK, I expect law enforcement and the British government to take note of the appropriate legal and diplomatic response,” he said.
The report added that last month a man in London was accused of plotting to assassinate Ahmed Waqas Goraya, a political activist based in the Netherlands.
According to the report, political analyst Ayesha Siddiqa received a ‘warning’ from the Metropolitan Police, which was named after a case in the late ’90s.
Calling it a ‘hit list’, the newspaper noted that individuals who received warnings include London-based political analyst Ayesha Siddiqa, British-Pakistani YouTuber and columnist Gul Bukhari and Paris-based journalist Taha Siddiqui.
This warning is issued by the British authorities for those who are suspected of making death threats to the British authorities.
Reacting to the allegations made in the report, the Foreign Office spokesman said that “baseless allegations appear to be part of an ongoing misinformation campaign against Pakistan to discredit Pakistan and its state institutions.”
He said that Pakistan is a parliamentary democracy with an active civil society, free media and independent judiciary which is fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights for all its citizens without any discrimination.
“Our strong commitment to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of expression is reflected in the presence of various media channels and newspapers in the country,” he said in a statement.
The Foreign Office spokesman said that the provision of a platform by a media outlet to promote unauthentic and misleading statements against Pakistan was highly regrettable.
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