Where is Idris Khattak?


In November 2019, Idris Khattak, a Pakistani human rights activist and independent researcher, was kidnapped on the Swabi Motorway Interchange. He has not been seen since. Khattak’s family and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) believe he has been “forcibly disappeared” by Pakistan’s deep state.

Amnesty International, human rights watchdog posted an appeal on its website: “No one has seen him since the evening of 13 November when he was taken by men in plain clothes on a motorway between Islamabad and Peshawar. His whereabouts and fate remain unknown to his family. Amnesty International fears that Khattak could be at risk of torture, ill-treatment or worse – as suffered by other victims of enforced disappearance in Pakistan. Khattak is also a patient of diabetes and needs daily medication.”

On May 14, 2020, Khattak’s daughter Talia wrote an oped titled “You may have abducted my father but you can’t take away his bravery.” Talia stated, “My father, Idris Khattak, a devoted human rights defender and the most selfless man I know, was forcibly disappeared on 13 November 2019. I have not heard from him. No one has any idea where he could be. We don’t even know who took him. In Pakistan, enforced disappearances have been used as a tool to muzzle dissent and criticism of the state. People are abducted by the very institutions that are supposed to protect them and placed outside the law. There is no arrest warrant, no record, no investigation – as if the person never existed.”


Author: Nadia Khalid