After being elected prime minister in April 2022, Shehbaz Sharif has continued his predecessor’s policy of clamping down on critical voices in the media, nongovernmental organizations, and the political opposition. The authorities routinely use draconian counterterrorism and sedition laws to intimidate peaceful critics. Blasphemy-related violence against religious minorities, fostered in part by government persecution and discriminatory laws, continues unabated. Law enforcement agencies and state intelligence agencies carry out arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial killings with impunity. The authorities have failed to establish adequate protection or accountability for abuses against women and girls, including so-called “honor killings” and forced marriage.

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