Court issues non-bailable arrest warrants for activist

Updated October 02, 2019

ISLAMABAD: An additional district and sessions court on Tuesday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for activist Gulalai Ismail in a case related to maligning national institutions.

The court issued the order that if the suspect does not appear before the court on Oct 21, the process to declare her a proclaimed offender could be initiated.

The activist reportedly mysteriously escaped from Pakistan after her passport was confiscated and is currently seeking political asylum in the United States.

In March this year, the Islamabad High Court, while hearing her petition, directed the interior ministry to remove her name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

The court, however, allowed the interior ministry to take appropriate action against her, including the confiscation of her passport, based on the recommendations by the Inter-Services Intelligence.

In November last year, the IHC was informed that the ISI recommended putting the rights activist’s name on the ECL for her alleged anti-state activities abroad.

In her petition, she sought the retrieval of her passport and travel documents which the Federal Investigation Agency had confiscated upon her arrival in Pakistan on Oct 12 when she was detained at the FIA’s office in Islamabad’s Sector G-13.

According to the petition, Ms Ismail is the chairperson of non-governmental organisation “Aware Girls” and has received national and international acclaim for her work on empowering Pakistani women.

The petition said that the FIA had on Oct 12 detained her when she returned from the UK in connection with her alleged association with the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement and for allegedly “delivering anti-state speeches”.

Ms Ismail argued in her petition that the federal government placed her name on the ECL and the FIA confiscated her passport without giving her an opportunity to defend herself.

She requested the court to order the removal of her name from the ECL and return her passport.

DAWN

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