August 10, 2021
LONDON—British security officials and European intelligence services have warned Pakistani dissidents, particularly journalists and analysts, living in the region that their lives are in danger, a report published in The Guardian disclosed.
The report said exiled Pakistanis who are critical of the establishment have been warned by authorities here that they will be targeted.
“Pakistan, a strong UK ally—particularly on intelligence issues—might be prepared to target individuals on British soil,” the story said.
It noted an erosion of press freedom since PM Imran Khan came to power and says “the concern now is that Pakistan appears to be moving from suppressing criticism within its borders to targeting critics based overseas.”
The story noted that a man was charged in London last month with conspiring to murder Pakistani blogger Ahmad Waqass Goraya in the Netherlands.
It also said political analyst Ayesha Siddiqa received an Osman warning from the Metropolitan Police—a warning named after a case from the late 90s. The warning is issued by British authorities who believe there is a death threat to the prospective victim.
“Officers have even asked her husband if anybody had offered him money to ask his wife to return to Pakistan,” the report said.
It quoted YouTuber and columnist Gul Bukhari, who fled to the UK after she was abducted in Lahore in 2018, as saying that the Met Police has warned her not to share her home address with anyone.
The Guardian report features a statement from Mark Lyall Grant, the former UK high commissioner to Pakistan, who said: “If there is illegal pressure, in particular on journalists in the UK, then I would expect the law enforcement agencies and the British government to take notice of that and to make an appropriate legal and/or diplomatic response.”
Daily Times, May 29, 2018
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