An assassination attempt on Pakistani activist and blogger Ahmad Waqass Goraya was foiled in February, writes NOS based on sources. Since then, Goraya has been staying at a hiding place due to an acute threat.
The Dutch security services are said to have heard that he is on a Pakistani death list. Press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders and Goraya himself suspect the Pakistani secret service of involvement. The Public Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are not yet making any statements about this.
On his twitter account with more than 75,000 followers, Goraya writes about, among other things, human rights violations in Pakistan and the disappearance of critical Pakistani journalists and activists. He previously ran a satirical Facebook page on which he accused the Pakistani military of exerting influence over politics. In the spring of 2020, Goraya was attacked at his home in Rotterdam by someone who allegedly threatened him in Urdu. He also believed that the Pakistani government was behind the attack. In 2017 he fled to the Netherlands because he felt unsafe in Pakistan.
Also read: Attacked Pakistani blogger accuses Pakistan of involvement
The British police would NOS arrested a British-Pakistani man suspected of involvement in the alleged assassination attempt on Goraya. The suspect had just returned from the Netherlands at the time of the arrest. He allegedly stated that he was hired to commit murder.
In 2019, the United Nations already expressed concerns about the existence of a Pakistani death list, which at that time was believed to have included 15 activists. The Working Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances wrote in a letter for example, about Gulalai Ismail, a women’s rights activist, who is believed to be on the list. She was charged and received death threats, and the group was “seriously concerned for her safety.”