Pakistani dissidents in UK on ‘hitlist’

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One of the endangered persons is said to be an academic Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, who has consistently taken the Pakistani military to task in her writings….reports ASHIS RAY

 Pakistani dissidents exiled in Britain have been advised by Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) in the country to maintain a low profile. They have been and are being told their lives are at risk for criticising the Pakistani military, especially its powerful and omnipresent Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) division.

One of the endangered persons is said to be an academic Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, who has consistently taken the Pakistani military to task in her writings. She is said to have received information that elements in the Pakistani drug mafia would be asked to take an aim at her. “That sense of being secure is gone,” she was quoted as saying.

Siddiqa is a research associate at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Holding a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London, she has frequently exposed Pakistan’s armed forces, including writing a book Military Inc. She also writes for a number of Indian publications.

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While in Pakistan before coming to London, she worked as adviser to the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau – the country’s anti-corruption watchdog. She was also associated for a decade with the Auditor General of Pakistan’s office.

The CTP links all county constabularies and other police forces in the United Kingdom carry out its task to prevent violent crimes. The advisory follows the recent court case featuring a London-based hitman who had conspired to kill a Pakistani dissident in The Netherlands. Evidence presented at the trial said Muhammed Gohir Khan was offered 100,000 pounds to eliminate blogger Ahmad Waqass Goraya who was fiercely critical of ISI in particular. This was last year; the plot did not succeed.

CTP is still to determine the identity of a man going by the name of “Muzzamil”. It has issued an appeal to the public to provide details about him. He is reported to speak with a British accent. A recording of his voice speaking to Khan was played at the trial. He is heard saying that future jobs in the UK would follow after the Goraya killing.

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