Islamabad [Pakistan], July 7 (ANI): Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) urged the masses to come out of their houses and snatch their rights from the government over the arrest of journalist Imran Riaz Khan.
Speaking at a press conference, PTI's senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry, accompanied by former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, said Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh and journalist Imran Riaz "were kidnapped", reported Dawn.
He said that the current situation was not even observed during martial laws in the country after journalist Imran Riaz was arrested on Tuesday near the outskirts of Islamabad, hours after he claimed that his life was under threat.
Khan was heading to Islamabad when he was arrested in connection with a treason case registered against him in Attock, Pakistan's Dawn reported. He was named in 17 treason cases across Punjab province, the report said.
In a pre-recorded video on his popular video channel, Riaz Khan said his life was under threat.
"Now Rangers also arrive, along with police, to arrest people. Earlier, Rangers used tear gas in Islamabad (on 25th May). I would give message to the Rangers director general to explain why Rangers were there at the time of arrests," said Fawad Chaudhry.
He regretted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's largest political party (PTI) was not invited to the National Security Committee's meeting. "Party chairman Imran Khan is visiting the whole country, so I urge the masses to attend his public meetings."
Shireen Mazari said fascism was increasing in Pakistan after the regime change, adding that practically martial law had been imposed in the country and it should be announced officially, reported Dawn.
She said the "puppets are in the government" and people had come to know who were the "unknown people". It should be made clear who had "kidnapped" Haleem Adil Sheikh and Imran Riaz, she added.
The former minister said people were arrested for asking questions from Inter-Services Public Relations director general and heads of other institutions.
Mazari said the Pakistan Peoples Party used to talk about human rights, but now it kept mum about what she called civilian martial law, reported Dawn.
During a protest outside the National Press Club, PTI's central secretary general Asad Umar lashed out at the government for using brutal tactics against people and warned it against taking the country to a dangerous turn.
He said the voices being silenced were the voices of Pakistan, adding that whenever patriotic journalists were harassed, or their voices silenced, the PTI would stand by them. He said those who were being harassed never spoke against the integrity of Pakistan, reported Dawn.
Umar lamented that FIRs were being lodged against patriotic Pakistani journalists, but now the nation woke up and they could not be silenced through such tactics.
Meanwhile, a prominent rights group has slammed the Pakistani government for the arrest of journalist Imran Riaz Khan and urged authorities to stop punishing dissenting voices.
"PAKISTAN: Amnesty International is alarmed by news of journalist Imran Riaz Khan's arrest and urges authorities to stop punishing dissenting voices, as has been a worrying trend in Pakistan for many years," Amnesty said in a statement.
"In the past few weeks, journalists have been disappeared, faced politically motivated charges and even violently attacked for simply doing their job. Journalism is not a crime, and must be stopped being treated as such," it added. (ANI)