Pakistan PM Imran Khan-led party members stripped journalist, tortured him and recorded him naked: Report

According to the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors’ Media Freedom Report 2020, ten journalists were killed in Pakistan while several others were threatened


                            Pakistan PM Imran Khan-led party members stripped journalist, tortured him and recorded him naked: Report
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan before a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the Capitol July 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

A male journalist is demanding a judicial investigation, claiming he was stripped naked, searched as well as tortured by members of the ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party in Pakistan. The party is led by Prime Minister Imran Khan. 

Saifullah Jan, a member of the governing body of the Charsadda Press Club, spoke at a press conference on Friday, February 19, alleging that PTI leaders, including Abdullah, his brother Fahim, Zakat Committee chairman Iftikhar and other armed men took him by force to the party's office in Charsadda Bazaar, where he claimed he was stripped naked and tortured, The News International reported. He also claimed that the political leaders also made a video of him while being naked. Apparently, they only let go of him after public pressure. 

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When the journalist sought to file a complaint with the local police station, he opened up about how the authorities used "delaying tactics and did not include the relevant sections of the law in the FIR (First Information Report)". The police also chose not to press charges and the local court granted bail to his assailants. According to the Indian newspaper DNA, though Jan's leg was fractured due to the torture allegedly inflicted by the PTI members, the police wrote in the report that he has suffered minor injuries.

As per the complaint, five names of PTI members have been registered. However, Jan said that the police removed Iftikhar's name, who was the primary accused in the case. Jan has asked the Peshawar High Court to order a judicial probe into the incident and to look into the matter. 

According to the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors’ (CPNE) Media Freedom Report 2020, last year, ten journalists were killed in Pakistan while several others were threatened. The report also mentioned that no action was taken against those responsible for torturing and killing journalists. Pakistan ranked 145th in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index last year. 

US-Pakistan relationship under Trump

Last year in January, former President Donald Trump met the Pakistani prime minister in Davos, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. At the time, he hailed the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan. It was the third interaction between the two leaders since Trump hosted Khan at the White House in July 2019. 

U.S. President Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Imran Khan, speak to the media in the Oval Office at the White House on July 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

A post-meeting statement said the two leaders agreed to continue efforts to seek a lasting political settlement to the longest war that the U.S. has been fighting -- the one in Afghanistan. They also discussed ways to expand U.S.-Pakistan trade. "We're getting along very well. I would say we've never been closer with Pakistan than we are right now," Trump told reporters at the start of his meeting with Khan. "It's great to be with a very good friend of mine, the Prime Minister of Pakistan."

Pakistan has always had a turbulent relationship with the United States which stemmed from Islamabad's cooperation in facilitating Washington peace talks with the Taliban insurgency in neighboring Afghanistan. "The main issue, of course, is Afghanistan, because it concerns the U.S. and Pakistan," Khan stressed in his pre-meeting remarks to reporters. "And fortunately, we are on the same page. Both of us are interested in peace there and an orderly transition in Afghanistan with talks with the Taliban and the government."

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