Renowned human rights activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir has been reported missing following an incident where unidentified armed individuals intercepted his vehicle and forcibly abducted him near his residence in Karachi’s DHA on Thursday night.
Mansha Pasha, Nasir’s wife and eyewitness to the incident, recounted that their car was surrounded by approximately 15 heavily armed men in multiple vehicles, including a white Vigo, who forcefully took him away.
In a heartfelt video statement, Pasha appealed to the public to join their efforts and offer prayers for her husband’s safe return.
Nasir, who contested the 2018 general elections as an independent candidate from Karachi, has been vocal about the recent government crackdown on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and legal proceedings involving individuals allegedly linked to riots.
His dedication to addressing sectarian violence led to his recognition as one of the three inspirational Pakistanis combating such conflicts in Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2013 list.
Earlier this month, journalists Imran Riaz Khan, Aftab Iqbal, and Sami Ibrahim, known for their support of PTI, were also apprehended. While Ibrahim and Iqbal have since been released, the whereabouts of Imran Riaz Khan remain undisclosed.
Pakistan has been criticized by international press freedom and human rights organizations for its suppression of free speech and failure to protect journalists, with media professionals and activists often becoming targets during political crackdowns. The country’s Press Freedom Index ranking by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for 2023 is 150 out of 180.
The hashtag #ReleaseJibranNasir quickly gained traction on Twitter, as civil society members and journalists expressed their concerns about Nasir’s abduction, demanding his immediate safe return.