‘Missing Baloch Editor’s Body Found in Sweden: Are Pakistan’s Exiled Dissidents Now Under Threat?’

In March New Pakistan had reported on the disappearance of Sajid Hussain, editor of The Balochistan Times, who had been in exile in Sweden since 2012. Pakistan remains of the worst countries with respect to freedom but in recent years, dissidents abroad have been targeted for abduction or killings.

On April 23rd Mr Hussain’s body was found in the Fyris river outside Uppsala. Hussain was last seen boarding a train in Stockholm on his way to the city of Uppsala on 2 March.

It must be recalled that former President and Army chief, General Pervez Musharraf, suggested a strategy of eliminating dissidents abroad similar to that pursued by Russia in a TV interview with Pakistani journalist, Wajahat S. Khan.

Below is the video with English translation of Musharraf’s proposed strategy:

In an interview Husain’s wife, Shehnaz said “before fleeing for Sweden, her husband had sensed he was being followed. As well as writing about forced disappearances, he had exposed a drug kingpin in Pakistan. “Then some people broke into his house in Quetta when he was out investigating a story,” she said. “They took away his laptop and other papers too. After that he left Pakistan in Septem­ber 2012 and never came back.”

Hussain was chief editor of the Balochistan Times, an online magazine he had set up, in which he wrote about drug trafficking, forced disappearances and a long-running insurgency. According to the press freedom charity Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Hussain’s controversial profile meant it could not be ruled out that he had been abducted and killed “at the behest of a Pakistani intelligence agency.” “As long as a crime cannot be excluded, there remains the risk that his death is linked to his work as a journalist,” said Erik Halkjaer, the head of the Swedish branch of Reporters without Borders (RSF).

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