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Salman Haider

HRD & Professor
Fatima Jinnah Women University

Salman Haider is a human rights defender and a professor at Fatima Jinnah Women University in Rawalpindi. He has been working on minority rights, particularly in Balochistan where he has been critical about enforced disappearances. He has participated in rallies and protests against the disappearances of nationalists and separatists from Balochistan province.

Pakistan is one of the most challenging countries in the region for human rights defenders, who face high risks including killing, arbitrary arrest and detention, abduction and kidnapping, surveillance, threats and judicial harassment. Many HRDs have had their offices attacked or burnt down and their colleagues killed.

In Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), security agencies, religious groups, militants, and armed gangs all target HRDs. Strong sectarian violence and numerous killings of HRDs in Balochistan has forced most NGOs to close their offices and relocated their staff outside the area. HRDs working defending the rights of women in the tribal areas where extremist groups operate face the highest risks. Besides threats by security agencies and armed groups, WHRDs from KP and FATA often received threats by their own family members, who exert pressure on them to quit human rights work. Many WHRDs received threats that something bad will happen to their children.