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Activist Salman Haider is ‘fine and safe’, says brother

Lecturer and rights activist Salman Haider

Lecturer and rights activist Salman Haider

ISLAMABAD: Prominent academic and human rights activist Salman Haider who went missing earlier this month from Islamabad is “fine and safe”, his brother Zeeshan Haider confirmed to media.

Zeeshan Haider provided no details about his brother Salman’s whereabouts.

Haider was one of five who disappeared in early January from different cities, including bloggers Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed and Ahmed Raza Naseer, as well as Samar Abbas, head of an anti-extremism activist group in Karachi.

Haider’s whereabouts remain unclear and the fate of the other four who went missing is still unknown.

Haider was reported missing after he failed to return home on the night of Jan 6. On that night, his wife had received a text message from his number, telling her the location of his car and where to recover it from.

Subsequently, a case was registered under Section 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with “kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person”, at the Loi Bher police station.

Police said the FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by his brother Zeeshan.

In 2014, when sectarian killings were rife, Haider had penned a poem titled ‘Kafir’, which quickly went viral on social media. The poem critiqued the intolerance prevailing in the country and quickly garnered critical acclaim.

Salman Haider is a lecturer at the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) in Rawalpindi, an actor, writer and a human rights activist.

Talking to Dawn earlier this month, Haider’s wife Sana had said her husband had no enmity with anyone, nor had he received any threats. When asked about his activism, she had said: “He does as much as others are doing.” -DN


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