Release Bakhtyar Khan Orakzai
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An unknown number of people in Pakistan have been disappeared, presumably by state agents working with the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. Some them have never been reported upon by media in Pakistan. One of them is Bakhtyar Khan Orkzai, my student from the Kohat University of Science and Technology, KUST.
His family and friends believe the intelligence agencies of Pakistan abducted him in 2015 apparently on suspicion of connection with the Taliban. At the time of his disappearance, Bakhtyar was studying MSc in Sociology at KUST and was one of my good students. As his teacher I could recall nothing that indicated he was one of the Taliban militants, facilitators, or even their sympathizer. He and his family members lived in Kohat as Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, from Orakzai agency.
For over a year his family remained uninformed about his whereabouts. Later one of his family acquaintances who works with an intelligence agency of Pakistan unofficially and on humanitarian basis informed the family that he was in the custody of the intelligence agencies. The acquaintance was unable or unwilling to provide any more information because he was not allowed to communicate anything to the family. To this date the family has no official confirmation of his arrest, whereabouts and well being from the agencies.
Before his abduction, Bakhtyar was getting threatening telephone calls from Taliban militants based in Orakzai agency, asking him to pay extortion or be ready for death. This is usually what the Taliban do with people who they think are wealthy. Bakhtyar was disturbed days before he was disappeared and had no idea where to escape. Some of his friends think the intelligence agencies misunderstood the Taliban’s telephonic contacts with Bakhtyar and concluded that he had links with the Taliban though no previous association between them could be established.
I request the media and activists from Pakistan to raise their voice for release of Bakhtray Orakzai. He must be immediately produced before a court of law along with allegations against him and let the law take its course. If no allegations, he must be immediately released and allowed to live with his family in peace.
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