UPR - Universal Periodic Review

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

27th Session of the UPR Working Group

Submitted XXX September 2017

Submission by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, NGO in General Consultative Status with ECOSOC


Pakistan NGO Forum

  1. (A) Introduction

    • CIVICUS is a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. Founded in 1993, we proudly promote marginalised voices, especially from the Global South, and have members in more than 160 countries throughout the world.

    • The Pakistan NGO Forum (PNF) is an umbrella body composed of five networks of non-governmental organisations in Pakistan. Collectively, the networks have about 5,000 community-based organisations and NGOs as members. PNF’s primary mission is to create a conducive working environment for NGOs in Pakistan.

    • In this document, CIVICUS and PNF examine the Government of Pakistan’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment for civil society. Specifically, we analyze Pakistan’s fulfillment of the rights to freedom of association, assembly, and expression and unwarranted restrictions on human rights defenders (HRDs) since its previous UPR examination 30 October 2012. To this end, we assess Pakistan’s implementation of recommendations received during the 2nd UPR cycle relating to these issues and provide a number of specific, action-orientated follow-up recommendations.

    • During the 2nd UPR cycle, the Government of Pakistan received 24 recommendations relating to civic space. Of these recommendations, 12 were accepted and 12 were noted. An evaluation of a range of legal sources and human rights documentation addressed in subsequent sections of this submission demonstrate that the Government of Pakistan has not implemented the recommendations relating to civil society space. While the government has persistently failed to address unwarranted restrictions on civic space since its last UPR examination, acute implementation gaps were found with regard to the right(s) to freedom of expression and issues relating to the protection of human rights defenders.

    • CIVICUS is deeply concerned by A: the severe and continued restrictions on freedom of expression including the routine judicial persecution and harassment of individuals and groups for taking part in legitimate forms of dissent both online and offline.

    • CIVICUS is further alarmed by B: the targeting of human rights defenders, journalists, religious leaders, peaceful protesters and civil society representatives through forced closure of organisations, prison sentences, killings and other unjustified limitations.
  • In Section B, CIVICUS and PNF examine Pakistan’s implementation of UPR recommendations and compliance with international human rights standards concerning freedom of association.
  • In Section C, CIVICUS and PNF examine Pakistan’s implementation of UPR recommendations and compliance with international human rights standards related to the protection of human rights defenders, civil society activists and journalists.
  • In Section D, CIVICUS and PNF examine Pakistan’s implementation of UPR recommendations and compliance with international human rights standards concerning to freedom of expression, independence of the media and access to information.
  • In Section E, CIVICUS and PNF examine Pakistan’s implementation of UPR recommendations and compliance with international human rights standards related to freedom of assembly.
  • In Section F, CIVICUS and PNF make a number of recommendations to address the concerns listed.

  1. (B) Freedom of association

    • During Pakistan’s examination under the 2nd UPR cycle, the government received 0 recommendations on freedom of association and creating an enabling environment for civil society organizations (CSOs). Examining the situation for the right to association, it is clear that this is not indicative of the vast restrictions to freedom of association and is rather a sign that many other serious human rights violations take place in Pakistan. CIVICUS and PNF remain worried of the several concrete restrictions faced to freedom of association in Pakistan just within the past year and recommend states to give recommendations in this area in the upcoming review. As evidenced below, the government has failed to take adequate measures to ensure freedom of association in Pakistan.

    • Article 17 of Pakistan’s Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of association. Moreover, article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Pakistan is a state party, also guarantees freedom of association. However, despite these commitments, the government places restrictions on the right to freedom of association both in law and practice.

    • The domestic legal framework in Pakistan governing CSOs consists of four different laws dependant on the form of the organisation and organisations can choose to register under any of the four laws with registration offices in different provinces. CSOs can register under the Societies Registrations Act, 1860 if they work in areas such as science, diffusion of political education, fine arts or educational and medical services. [1] The Trusts Act, 1882 governs a public charitable trust for the general public where organisations can register and then be divided into categories depending on whether they work to advance religion, knowledge, commerce, health and safety for the public or “any other object beneficial to mankind”.[2] CSOs can also register under the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies Registration and Control Ordinance, 1961 and defined as an organisation “established by persons out of their own free will for the purpose of rendering welfare services”. These services include child, youth and women’s welfare, family planning, social education and other areas.[3] A non-profit company can register under the Companies Ordinance, 1984 if they undertake activities in fields such as commerce, art, religion, charity, social services or another “useful” objective.[4]

    • In October 2015, a new Policy for Regulation of International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs) was put in place requiring INGOs to apply for registration through a new online registration form. The responsibility for monitoring and security clearance shifted from the Economic Affairs Division to the Ministry of Interior. If approved, INGOs will be assigned to certain fields of work and location dependant on the national priorities of Pakistan in a Memorandum of Understanding based on consultation with the relevant federal and provincial authorities.[5] The policy includes several problematic measures such as the government’s permission to ask for any information from organisations at any time, INGOs cannot access foreign funds, provide assistance to other NGOs or dispose assets without prior approval and the registration process has no safeguard against arbitrary denial of registration of NGOs with no opportunity for appeal.[6]

    • The Human Rights Directorate of the Government of Khyber Pakhtukhwa announced in November 2015 that all CSOs working on human rights must register with them or else action will be taken against them. [7] This is based on Article 7 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Promotion, Protection and Enforcement of Human Rights Act, 2014.[8]

    • INGOs have reported wilful misapplication of the Policy Regulating INGOs when they have applied for registration. The INGOs have reported that there are additional hurdles when the policy is applied beyond what is stated in the policy such as the request of documents going 5 or 10 years back, fees amounting to thousands of US dollars or staff being harassed by security services or receiving phone calls at their homes.[9] In November 2015, nine INGOs had their registration denied including Save The Children and the Danish Refugee Council.[10]

    • The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) issued Circular No. 02/2015 on 1 January 2015 that all non-for-profit companies registered under the Companies Ordinance must go through a re-validation process in accordance to the National Action Plan on Counterterrorism. This is to ensure that they are not engaged in terrorist financing and to ensure that the income and profits only are applied to the promotion of the objects for which the non-for-profit company was founded.[11] This led to SECP revoking the licenses of 108 companies in April 2015.[12]

    • In order to register as a CSO, a No Objection Certificate is required. As CSOs now need to be vetted by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) several have reported problems with obtaining No Objection Certificate. For example, the Village Development Organisation (VDO), a CSO working in Ghotki district, Sindh province had to stop work due to the unavailability of a No Objection Certificate. In another incident, authorities refused the South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK) No Objection Certificate for a proposed project in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.[13]

    • On 1 September 2016, the women’s rights group, Taangh Wasib Organisation (TWO), was shut down and 8 of its staff members detained. TWO works to combat violence against women, religious intolerance and discriminatory laws in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Security officers informed staff that the closure was based on allegations that TWO has been defaming Pakistan and preaching Christianity but no documentation to back such allegations was shown. [14] The civil society organisation, the Cholistan Development Council (CDC), was barred by the Social Welfare Department in 2016 without reason. CDC has worked to improve the rights of excluded groups in Southern Punjab.[15]

    • Organisations working to promote women’s rights are frequently threatened and attacked by radical Islamist groups.[16] Women’s rights groups risk blasphemy charges for working to improve women’s and girls rights. In January 2016, the Council of Islamic Ideology rejected a bill to limit child marriage and called it blasphemous, which has serious implications for civil society working to end child marriage because blasphemy charges can amount to capital punishment.[17]

  1. (C) Harassment, intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders, civil society activists and journalists

    • Under Pakistan’s previous UPR examination, the government received 8 recommendations on the protection of human rights defenders, journalists and civil society representatives. The government committed to several relevant recommendations including Developing a national policy for the protection of human rights defenders and bring to justice all perpetrators of attacks on or threats against human rights defenders to combat impunity and Invite the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders to conduct an independent visit to Pakistan”. Of the recommendations received, 7 were accepted and 1 was noted. However, as examined in this section, the government has failed to effectively operationalize these recommendations. Of the 8 recommendations on protection of HRDs, the government has not implemented any of the recommendations.

    • Article 12 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders mandates states to take necessary measures to ensure protection to human rights defenders. The ICCPR further guarantees the freedoms of expression, association and assembly. However, in spite of these protections human rights defenders are vilified and stigmatized for their work and face threats and attacks even amounting to killings.

    • Blasphemy charges in Pakistan are widely used to target human rights defenders, civil society activists and journalists. Blasphemy is criminalised in the Penal Code in articles 295, 295A, 295B, 295C, 298, 298A, 298B and 298C.[18] These articles combined make up a wide definition of blasphemy that can be used in many instances. Article 298, for example, criminalises uttering any words, sounds, gesture or placing any object in the sigh of another person with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of that person.

    • There is a well-documented record of harassment, threats, attacks and killings against HRDs in the country. For example, in the last three years alone, militants have attacked dozens of polio and health workers, killing many of them, because of their work.[19] In 2014, human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman was shot because he was defending a blasphemy accused[20]; and in 2015, Sabeen Mahmud was killed because of her public stance against religious extremism and her work on enforced disappearances[21].

    • On 1 February 2017, a complaint was made to the Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency filed against five human rights defenders and bloggers that they allegedly had committed blasphemy online. The human rights defenders include Ahmed Raza Nasser, Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed and Samar Abbas. The five human rights defenders have been subject to enforced disappearance since the beginning of January 2017 and their whereabouts remain unknown[22].

    • In November 2015, unknown assailants in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, murdered Zaman Mehsud who is a senior journalist who also served as the President and Secretary General of the Tribal Union of Journalists South Waziristan Chapter. He was riding his motorcycle when gunmen shot him 5 times.[23] According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 15 journalists have been killed since 2012.[24]

    • Pakistan has also demonstrated its hostility towards HRDs by its interventions at the UN. In March 2016, Pakistan lobbied against a UN Human Rights Council resolution that sought greater protection for HRDs working in the fields of economic, social and cultural rights. Before that in December 2015, Pakistan was one of only 14 out of 193 states that voted against the UN General Assembly resolution on HRDs. On both these forums, Pakistan and its allies argued human rights defenders were not a special group and did not warrant a special legal status. They claimed the recognition and protection of human rights defenders was a conspiracy by Western countries to interfere in the domestic affairs of developing countries. This stance is contradictory to Pakistan accepting the recommendations it received on the protection of human rights defenders in the last UPR.

  1. (D) Freedom of expression, independence of the media and access to information

    • Under the 2nd UPR cycle, the government received 15 recommendations relating to on freedom of expression and access to information. For example the government pledged toReview laws and measures to ensure that restrictions imposed on freedom of expression are in conformity with the ICCPR to which Pakistan is signatory.“ and “Repeal the blasphemy law and respect and guarantee freedoms of religion or belief and of expression and opinion for all, including Ahmadis, Hindus and Christians.” Of the recommendations received, 11 were accepted and 4 were noted. However, as discussed below, the government did not take effective measures to implement these recommendations. Of the 15 recommendations pertaining to these issues, the government has not implemented any of the recommendations.

    • Article 19 of the ICCPR guarantees the right to freedom of expression and opinion. Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan also guarantees the right to freedom of expression. However, in policy and practice, freedom of expression is widely restricted both in offline and online spaces.

    • The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2015 was passed through the Senate in August 2016, which can force Internet companies to remove or block access to any “speech, sound, data, writing, image or video” without court approval.[25] The law has very vague language that may invite for arbitrary and subjective application of the law including surveillance of citizens, censoring of online expression and limiting access to information.

    • Blasphemy laws are widely used to limit freedom of expression and with the wide definition of blasphemy as described previously, freedom of expression in most of its forms can be criminalised through the blasphemy laws.

    • In December 2016, 3 bloggers were arrested and charged under PECA for posting photos of the Prime Minister and claiming that he was the new Chief Justice. Thousands had participated in this campaign online against the Chief Justice.[26] As several activists have been abducted, many activists started self-censoring their expression online.[27]

    • Media workers working on national security issues are particularly at risk but in general, media workers in Pakistan are harassed, abducted and sometimes murdered. The Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Authority has restricted media such as issuing a Code of Conduct for TV channels requiring them not to air material which can be against Islam or the founding fathers of Pakistan. Out of fear of reprisals from intelligence agencies and armed groups, many practice self-censorship.[28]

5. (E) Freedom of peaceful assembly

    • During Pakistan’s examination under the 2nd UPR cycle, the government received 0 recommendations on the right to freedom of assembly. However, as evidenced below, freedom of assembly is being violated in Pakistan and we strongly recommend governments to give recommendations to Pakistan in the upcoming UPR in this area.
    • Article 21 of the ICCPR guarantees the freedom of peaceful assembly. In addition, article 16 of the Pakistani Constitution also guarantees the right to freedom of assembly. However, in practice and policy freedom of assembly is violated in Pakistan through repressive crackdown on protestors.

    • The Pakistan Penal Code 1860, Police Order 2002, Criminal Procedure Code 1898 and West Pakistan Ordinance xxxi of 1960 all address aspects of assembly. Section 144 of the Penal Code forbids the gathering of more than four people.[29]

    • In October 2016, protestors who are supporters of Iman Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party faced intensified crackdown as police detained hundreds in arbitrary mass arrests and fired tear gas and rubber bullets. The leaders of the party were also arrested for a day.[30] The federal government banned all public gatherings in Islamabad for two months and asked restaurants not to provide service for the worker of the party due to their lockdown plan.[31]

  • (F) Recommendations to the Government of Pakistan

CIVICUS and PNF call on the Government of Pakistan to create and maintain, in law and in practice, an enabling environment for civil society, in accordance with the rights enshrined in the ICCPR, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and Human Rights Council resolutions 22/6, 27/5 and 27/31.

At a minimum, the following conditions should be guaranteed: freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, the right to operate free from unwarranted state interference, the right to communicate and cooperate, the right to seek and secure funding and the state’s duty to protect. In light of this, the following specific recommendations are made:

    • Regarding freedom of association
  • Take measures to foster a safe, respectful, enabling environment for civil society, including through removing legal and policy measures, which unwarrantedly limit the right to association.
  • Remove all undue restrictions on the ability of civil society organizations to receive international and national funding in line with best practices articulated by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association.
  • Abolish criminal responsibility for organization and participation in the activities of non-registered organizations and lift the ban on the activities of non-registered organizations.
  • All civil society organizations which have been arbitrarily and unduly sanctioned or deregistered should be immediately reinstated.
  • Unwarranted raids on civil society groups and unjustifiable disruptions to legitimate, conferences, seminars and other activities organized by CSOs should be stopped.
  • Refrain from acts leading to the closure of CSOs or the suspension of their peaceful activities, and instead promote a meaningful political dialogue that allows and embraces diverging views, including those of human rights defenders, CSOs, journalists, political activists and others.
  • Specifically, the Policy for Regulation of International Non-governmental Organisations should be suitably amended to guarantee that undue restrictions on freedom of association are removed in line with public gathering to bring their provisions into compliance with article 21 and 22 of ICCPR.
  • Guarantee the effective and independent functioning of autonomous trade unions by removing the proscriptions on the formulation of independent labour unions and undue limitations on the right to strike for unions.

    • Regarding the protection of human rights defenders
  • Civil society members, journalists and human rights defenders should be provided a safe and secure environment to carry out their work. Conduct impartial, thorough and effective investigations into all cases of attacks, harassment, and intimidation against them and bring perpetrators of such offenses to justice.
  • Ensure that human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear or undue hindrance, obstruction or legal and administrative harassment.
  • A consolidated process of repeal or amendment of legalisation and decrees which unwarrantedly restrict the legitimate work of human rights defenders in line with the UN Declaration Human Rights Defenders should be initiated;
  • Specifically, articles 295, 295A, 295B, 295C, 298, 298A, 298B and 298C in the Penal Code, also referred to as the blasphemy laws, should be suitably amended in according with the ICCPR and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
  • All human rights defenders including, journalists and bloggers detained for exercising their right to fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly should be unconditionally and immediately released. Their cases should be reviewed to prevent further harassment.
  • Senior government officials should publicly condemn instances of harassment and intimidation of civil society activists and organisations.
  • The Government should apply systematically legal provisions that promote and protect human rights and establish mechanisms that protect human rights activists by adopting a specific law on the protection of human rights activists in accordance with Council resolution 27.31 of the Human Rights Council

    • Regarding freedom of expression, independence of the media and access to information
  • Ensure freedom of expression and media freedom by all bringing national legislation into line with international standards.
  • Review the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act in order to ensure that Pakistan’s legislation is in line with the best practices and international standards in the area of freedom of expression.
  • All media outlets unwarrantedly closed should be reinstated.
  • The authorities must cease the practice of confiscating and censoring print media.
  • Reform defamation legislation in conformity with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
  • Ensure that journalists and writers may work freely and without fear of retribution for expressing critical opinions or covering topics that the Government may find sensitive.
  • Take adequate steps to lift restrictions on freedom of expression and adopt a framework for the protection of journalists from persecution, intimidation and harassment.
  • Guarantee unfettered access for all persons in Pakistan to domestic and foreign media information, both offline and online
  • Develop an action plan ensuring that Internet laws comply with the government’s commitment to guarantee freedom of expression and information, so as to ensure free access to electronic media, liberalize electronic media ownership rules and allow national bloggers, journalists, other Internet users to play a full and active role in promoting and protecting human rights.
  • Unfettered access to online information resources should be allowed by removing restrictions on access to national and international news websites and social media outlets and the websites of civil society organizations.
  • Implement legislative measures regarding access to information and establish mechanisms to facilitate public access in line with best practices.
  • Adopt a law on access to information in order to fully promote the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of opinion.
  • Organize inclusive consultations with journalists and media in order to resolve disputes that exist concerning the new media law.
  • Refrain from adopting any laws providing for censorship or undue control over the content of the media.
  • Refrain from censoring social and conventional media and ensure that freedom of expression is safeguarded in all forms, including the arts.

    • Regarding freedom of assembly
  • Best practices on freedom of peaceful assembly should be adopted, as put forward by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association in his annual report (2012) which calls for simple notification rather than explicit permission to assemble.
  • The Pakistan Penal Code 1860 should be amended in order to fully guarantee the right to freedom of assembly.
  • All demonstrators, journalists and human rights defenders detained for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly should be unconditionally and immediately released. Their cases should be reviewed to prevent further harassment.
  • Review and if necessary update existing human rights training for police and security forces with the assistance of independent nongovernmental organizations to foster more consistent application of international human rights standards, including the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms.
  • Senior government officials should publically condemn the use of excessive and brutal force by security forces in the dispersal of protests. A formal investigation into such instances should be launched, and perpetrators should be brought to justice.
  • Best practices on freedom of peaceful assembly should be adopted, as put forward by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association in his annual report (2012) which calls for simple notification rather than explicit permission to assemble.
  • Recourse for judicial review and effective remedy should be provided including compensation in cases of unlawful denial of the right to freedom of assembly by state authorities.

    • Regarding access to UN Special Procedures mandate holders
  • The Government should extend a standing invitation to all UN Special Procedure mandate holders and prioritize official visits with the: 1) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; 2) Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; 3) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; 4) Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers; 5) Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; 6) Special Rapporteur on the rights to privacy and; 7) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

6.6 Regarding State engagement with civil society

  • Implement transparent and inclusive mechanisms of public consultations with civil society organizations on all issues mentioned above and enable more effective involvement of civil society in the preparation of law and policy.
  • Include civil society organizations in the UPR process before finalizing and submitting the national report.
  • Systematically consult with civil society and NGOs on the implementation of UPR including by holding periodical comprehensive consultations with a diverse range of civil society sectors.
  • Incorporate the results of this UPR into its action plans for the promotion and protection of all human rights, taking into account the proposals of civil society and present a midterm evaluation report to the Human Rights Council on the implementation of the recommendations of this session.

[1] Societies Registrations Act, 1860. Act XXI of 1860. http://punjablaws.gov.pk/laws/1.html

[2] The Trust Act 1882. 13th of January 1882. https://www.ma-law.org.pk/pdflaw/Trust%20Act,%201882.pdf

[3] The Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control Ordinance 1961) http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/81785/88956/F1282834913/PAK81785.pdf

[4] Companies Ordinance 1982. XLVII 1982.Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan. http://www.bu.edu/bucflp/files/2012/01/Companies-Ordinance-of-1984.pdf

[5] Policy for Regulation of International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs).


[6] Policy for Regulation of International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs).


[8] Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Promotion, Protection and Enforcement of Human Rights Act, 2014. Provincial Assembly Khyber Pkhtunkhwa Pakistan .http://www.pakp.gov.pk/2013/acts/the-khyber-pakhtunkhwa-promotion-protection-and-enforcement-of-human-rights-act2014/

[9] ICNL Civic Freedom Monitor: Pakistan. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/pakistan.html

[10] Nine INGOs refused registration. The Express Tribune. 6 November 2015. https://tribune.com.pk/story/986093/nine-ingos-refused-registration/

[11] Application for Renewal of License under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, 1984. http://www.jamapunji.pk/sites/default/files/Guide_RenewalOfLicenseApplication.pdf

[12] SECP: Licenses of 108 Companies Revoked. The Express Tribune. 7 April 2015. https://tribune.com.pk/story/865588/secp-licences-of-108-companies-revoked/

[14] Harassment: Dr. Rubina Feroze Bhatti and Closure of her Organisation. Front Line Defenders. 7 September 2016. https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/harassment-dr-rubina-feroze-bhatti-and-closure-her-organisation

[15] From the Monitor but Cathal has asked partner for citation and details  the Cholistan Development Council (CDC),

[17] Bill aiming to Ban Child Marriages Shot Down. The express Tribune. 16 January 2016. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1027742/settled-matter-bill-aiming-to-ban-child-marriages-shot-down/

[19] Pakistani Polio Workers Under Attack Since 2012. The News. 23 April 2016. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/114664-Pakistani-polio-workers-under-attack-since-2012

[20] Rights Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan Gunned Down in Multan. Dawn. 8 May 2014. https://www.dawn.com/news/1104788

[22] Recover Disappeared Activists. Action for A Progressive Pakistan. https://progpak.wordpress.com/

[23] Tribal Journalist Zaman Mehsud Killed in Tank. Tribal Post. 3 November 2015. http://tribalpost.pk/topstory/1477/tribal-journalist-zaman-mehsud-killed-in-tank

[24] 60 Journalists Killed in Pakistan since 1992/Motive Confirmed. Committee to Protect Journalists. https://cpj.org/killed/asia/pakistan/

[25] Bill to Make Provisions on Preventions on Electronic Crimes. 11 August 2016. http://www.na.gov.pk/uploads/documents/1470910659_707.pdf

[26] Bloggers Arrested Pakistan Posting Face Images Online. Propakistani. December 2016. https://propakistani.pk/2017/01/01/bloggers-arrested-pakistan-posting-fake-images-online/

[27] Fear of Online Crackdown After Pakistan Bloggers Vanish. Mail Online. 10 January 2017. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4105020/HRW-urges-Pakistan-investigate-bloggers-abduction.html

[28] Pemra Issues Guidelines for TV Channels. 22 August 2015. https://www.dawn.com/news/1202088

[30] Police Clash with PTI Supporters on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway. The Express Tribune. 31 October 2016. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1216121/pti-leader-arif-alvi-arrested-outside-imrans-bani-gala-residence/

[31] Federal Administration Bars Weddin Halls, Restaurants From Providing Services to PTI Workers. Pakistan Today. 27 October 2017. http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/10/27/federal-administration-bars-wedding-halls-restaurants-from-providing-services-to-pti-workers/