PESHAWAR: Rights activist Gulalai Ismail has escaped from Pakistan and reached the US where she is living now with her sister.
According to the New York Times, Gulalai Ismail has applied for political asylum in the US. She told the newspaper that she cannot divulge details how she escaped from Pakistan. However, she made it clear that she did not use any airport. She said the story of her escape may put some people in difficulty that is why she will not reveal it.
In May, a friend of Gulalai Ismail phoned her that police was about to conduct a raid on her house after which she escaped from her house. She said it was a time when she had to do something as she had no time to be fearful, strong or sensitive. She said the only thing she had to do was to take some action.
The newspaper reported that no official was willing to comment on the issue. It said the security officials already believed that the 32-year-old has escaped from the country.
The name of Gulalai Ismail was put on the Exit Control List (ECL) by the Interior Ministry after which she approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against it. The IHC ordered removal of her name from the ECL, but allowed the authorities to take necessary action against Gulalai over allegations against her. She was missing since May and it finally emerged that she has escaped to the US and now she is seeking political asylum. She is now meeting various ‘human rights activists’ in the US to get their help for asylum.
Gulalai Ismail worked for human rights, particularly for the rights of women, in Pakistan for over a decade. She had established an institute with the name of ‘Aware Girls’ at the age of 16 to create awareness among the young girls about their rights. In 2013, she had also set up a group comprising a hundred women to work on issues of domestic violence and early marriages. She was given Youth Award of the Commonwealth in 2015. She also received international Humanist Award in 2014.