Pakistan: Khan-led PTI seeks UN probe into protest crackdowns

Former minister Shireen Mazari wrote a letter to the organisation's High Commissioner for Human Rights


Published: Thu 2 Jun 2022, 1:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Jun 2022, 1:59 PM

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday sought the intervention of the United Nations against the alleged harassment of their workers and leaders by the federal government.

In a letter written to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari demanded an independent and impartial investigation into these ‘state excesses’ and human rights violations, The Express Tribune reported.

In the letter, by the words ‘state excess’, PTI meant the crackdown by the police ahead of the long march that was scheduled to take place on May 25. The Shehbaz Sharif-led government deployed the police in the Red Zone to maintain law and order; police used tear gas and baton-charged protesters.

Mazari has also requested the UN official to “take urgent notice of the issues raised as they not only threatened democracy in Pakistan but also the lives of former PM Khan, his party leadership...and intervene on these with the government of Pakistan”.

The PTI also asked the UN to intervene to end “harassment of the PTI” members and save them from “political” cases against them. It also demanded that the government stop censorship of the media as this was a “violation of basic democratic norms and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Pakistan is a party”.

PTI further urged the UN to stop the federal government of Pakistan from denying the basic right of holding a peaceful protest through repressive measures, reported The Express Tribune.

The letter by Mazari came a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif formed a committee to investigate the claims made by PTI leaders that they carried weapons during the long march on May 25.

A few days ago, the PTI chief had conceded that some participants of his “Haqeeqi Azadi March” were armed.

Meanwhile, PTI spokesman and former Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that the videos of police violence against their activists will be presented to the International Human Commission and alleged that police ransacked homes of the activists. They will also register criminal complaints in Pakistan, according to Pakistan media outlet.


Earlier, on Wednesday, PTI moved to the country’s top court to direct the Shehbaz Sharif government and other authorities not to create hindrances in the party’s second march on Islamabad, days after the first one was suspended following several clashes in the federal capital.

Khan's party made the request in a plea filed in the Pakistan Supreme Court today, detailing an account of the circumstances of the PTI’s last march on May 25, the Dawn newspaper reported.

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