An anti-terrorism court in Peshawar has booked the parents of activist and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) worker Gulalai Ismail ‘on charges of aiding’ two terrorist attacks carried out by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan TTP in 2013 and 2015.
Reference to journalist Asad Hashim, the court charged Prof Mohammad Ismail, who is also a known activist, and Gulalai’s mother, Uzlifat, for ‘aiding and providing resources’ to facilitate attacks on a church and a Shia mosque in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
Accused had denied all charges. The journalist mentioned that the family of the PTM activist has ‘faced accusations of financing terrorism since Ismail was forced to flee the country in light of threats to her life’.
On July 3 of this year, ATC had declined to indict social activist Gulalai Ismail and her parents for the financing of terrorist organisations due to the lack of evidence.
According to Muhammad Ilyas an CTD inspector , Gulalai Ismail was the chairperson of an organisation, Aware Girls, which was used to finance anti-state elements and terrorist organisations.
In October, Gulalai’s father Prof. Ismail was arrested by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for ‘spreading hate against the state’. Later, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had granted him ‘conditional bail’.
Gulalai in exile
After leaving Pakistan, Gulalai Ismail stated that the reason for her quitting Pakistan was the state’s failure to protect her. She made these comments in response to comments made by Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari in a recent interview to Voice of America.
In the interview, in response to a question about why Gulalai Ismail had to flee Pakistan, the HR minister had said Gulalai had made allegations against the Pakistan Army without any data and facts. She had further stated, “I guess If you want asylum you’ll start accusing your country’s army, because that is the only way you’ll get it.”
In a tweet made on Sunday, Gulalai responded to Shireen Mazari’s comments. She said that trolls of the establishment made various allegations against her regarding her religious views and loyalty to the state.
She said the sole reason why she left the country was that the state failed to protect her and even her family was punished for her critical views and had cases of terrorism registered against them.
Gulalai Ismail had gone into hiding following a crackdown on Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement after a protest against the alleged rape and murder of 10-year-old Farishta. Three months after the crackdown, it had emerged that Gulalai was in the United States and had sought political asylum there.