Chomsky's letter: PTI chief re-tweets Express Tribune's piece

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday re-tweeted a piece published by The Express Tribune that highlighted the viewpoint of renowned linguist Noam Chomsky and other academics on the human rights situation in Pakistan.

A day earlier, the academics wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, pointing at the "alarming rise" in rights violations in the country.

"Chomsky, one of [the] world's most respected intellectuals, has added his voice to state oppression by this cabal of crooks foisted on Pakistan by US-backed regime change conspiracy," Imran said while referring to his oft-quoted claim of foreign conspiracy that he alleges was behind parliament's no-trust move resulting in his ouster from power.

"Our democratic rights have been brutally violated, especially during our Haqiqi Azadi March," the former premier maintained.

Chomsky, one of world's most respected intellectuals, has added his voice to state oppression by this cabal of crooks foisted on Pak by US backed regime change conspiracy. Our democratic rights have been brutally violated, esp during our Haqiqi Azadi March
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 19, 2022

The letter dated May 26 had expressed concerns about the suppression of the "freedom of speech, "harassment and intimidation of journalists, social media users and political activists and fake blasphemy cases against political rivals."

It had also voiced concerns over the arrest of political opponents, including former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, and other political activists over their social media posts. It had noted that there were raids and cases against journalists and politicians with "electronic devices hacked, stolen and snatched".

Also read: Chomsky, other academics pen open letter to PM over 'deteriorating human rights'

The academics, in their communique, had also taken up the issue of blasphemy cases filed against PTI's leadership in the aftermath of an incident on the premises of Masjid-e-Nabwi (SAW) earlier this year. It alleged that the government was abusing blasphemy laws for "political vendetta against political rivals".

They had observed that the developments violated the minimal requirements of democratic government, fundamental freedoms under the Constitution of Pakistan, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The experts had urged the relevant authorities in the country to adhere to ensure basic rights including the right to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of religion or belief.

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