Pakistan journalist Gul Bukhari who criticised army returns home after she was abducted

Gul Bukhari giving a TED talk on Internet Censorship in Lahore
Gul Bukhari giving a TED talk on Internet Censorship in Lahore | Flickr

Here’s what’s happening across the border: Stay order issued on Reham Khan’s autobiography, while chief justice Nisar takes suo moto notice of convict in Khadija Siddiqui’s case.

Hours after abduction, journalist Bukhari returns home

Pakistani journalist and human rights activist, Gul Bukhari, returned home safely early Wednesday, after she was allegedly abducted by unknown men Tuesday night, reported The Express Tribune. Her family confirmed she was ‘fine’.

Bukhari, a vocal critic of non-democratic forces and the Pakistani military, was on her way for a talk show, when her car was intercepted in Lahore’s cantonment area, reported Dawn.

Bukhari’s abduction comes in the wake of her vocal criticism of the Army’s stance on the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM). “I am astonished that the country’s military leadership has alluded to the PTM as ‘engineered’ with foreign connections,” she had recently written in an unpublished column titled ‘I am Pashteen’. The piece was not carried by The Nation, where she is a columnist, and was later removed from other websites as well.

Another journalist attacked in Lahore, chief justice takes notice

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar Wednesday took suo moto notice of the assault on Asad Kharal, a senior journalist with BOL network. The attack was allegedly carried out by masked men in the early hours of Wednesday while he was returning from Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, reported The Express Tribune.

According to the paper, some unidentified men intercepted Kharal’s car, brought him out and assaulted him. While the journalist has not named anyone, there is speculation that the perpetrators could be from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), as Kharal was known to be highly critical of the party when it was in power.

Local court stays release of Reham Khan’s book

A Pakistan civil court issued a stay order on journalist Reham Khan’s controversial ‘tell-all’ autobiography, which supporters of her former husband, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, have termed as slanderous and an attempt to discredit him before the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Tuesday’s order was issued based on a petition by the president of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) lawyer wing, reported The Nation. The petition alleged that Reham is working on the agenda of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and hatching a conspiracy with former Pakistani ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, to disrupt Imran’s election preparations.

Reham’s lawyer, Yasser Latif Hamdani, on the other hand dismissed allegations against the book, reported The Express Tribune.

Comic on Reham Khan’s autobiography | Samaa TV

PTM member’s life ‘under threat’

A member of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), Ali Wazir, who was allegedly attacked by members of the Taliban at Wana in Waziristan Monday, is reportedly in danger. The buzz on Pakistani social media Tuesday night was that Wazir’s house in Wana was being surrounded by the ‘good’ Taliban, despite an Army curfew in South Waziristan since Monday.

The reports kicked off a #SaveAliWazir campaign on Twitter, with users requesting the UN’s human rights wing, the US state department and even European External Action Service to intervene in the matter, fearing for Wazir’s life.

Speaking to Voice of America Tuesday, PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen said that the Wana attacks were carried out by Taliban, backed by the Army.

CJP takes suo moto notice after attempt to murder convict acquitted

A day after the acquittal of a man who allegedly stabbed a law student 23 times, Pakistan’s Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Tuesday took suo moto notice of the case. The Lahore High Court Monday acquitted Shah Hussain, who was charged with attempt murder for attacking student Khadija Siddiqui, leading to a huge backlash in the country, Geo TV reported.

On 3 May, 2016, Hussain, who was wearing a helmet approached Khadija and allegedly stabbed her while she was about to get into a car at Davis Road along with her sister. When he tried to flee, Khadija grabbed him and his helmet fell off, revealing his identity, The Nation reported. Khadija survived the attack.

Pakistan reduces two-week ban on Bollywood films during Eid season

The Pakistan government reduced its ban on Bollywood films during Eid season to just a week, reported Dawn. The initial two-week ban by the Central Board of Film Censors was reversed by the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Tuesday.

The ban will start from Eid on both Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Azha and last up to a week. The ministry’s press release mentioned that the ban on Bollywood films was after ‘keeping in view the importance of the local film industry and exhibition facilities.’

Chinese engineer’s body moved to PIMS

A Chinese engineer’s body, which was recovered from a room at the Chinese embassy in Islamabad Sunday, has been shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), reported Dawn. The deceased has been identified as Yan Peng, 35, who worked as a construction engineer at the mission.

The body was found when embassy officials went to check his room after a stench began emanating from there. The post-mortem examination of the 12-day-old body will be conducted after receiving permission from the Chinese embassy, according to a PIMS spokesperson. Police are investigating the matter.

Compiled by Priyamvada Grover