Civil society activists demand the release of Mir Shakeel

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Staff Report

KARACHI: Civil society, human rights and labor rights activists on Wednesday welcomed the statement by the Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Prof. Dr. Qibla Ayaz who has termed the arrest and keeping detained the Chief of Jang Group Mir Shakeel ur, Rehman, by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as “anti-Shariat and anti-democratic”.

In a joint statement issued here Karamat Ali of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Liaquat Sahi of State Bank Democratic Workers Union, Nasir Mansoor of National Trade Unions Federation, Habibuddin Junaidi of Peoples Labour Bureau, Ms. Mahnaz Rahman of Aurat Foundation, Zahid Farooq of Urban Resource Centre, Ms. Zehra Khan, General Secretary Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) and others said that many national and international human rights, media organizations have been demanding the release of Mir Shakeel as there is no justification to keep him arrested.

They pointed out that Prof. Dr. Qibla Ayaz has rightly pointed out that the NAB approach to deal corruption cases against recommendations of CII and Supreme Court of Pakistan’s Chief Justice’s comments on NAB laws is evident.

“It is an attempt to curb freedom of expression and independence of the media in Pakistan,” they said adding that the NAB law should be amended by the Parliament to make it complain to the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR) and other international commitments as well as the Constitution of Pakistan.

The civil society activists said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan, on many occasions, has also criticized the detention of the accused by the NAB authorities for prolonged periods even without any case or in older cases. They said it is a grave violation of the fundamental rights that people are kept in jails for months and even years for investigation, whereas the actual charges are seldom frame.

Mir Shakeel has also spent over four months in NAB’s custody in the name of investigation in a decades-old case and he is denied his fundamental rights of bail. They demanded the government that Mir Shakeel ur Rehman should be released forthwith.

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