Pakistani army denies involvement in activist's abduction, seeks investigation


ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's army has denied involvement in the brief abduction of a Pakistani-British activist known for criticising the military, in an incident that prompted a wave of condemnation and increased fears of a crackdown on free speech.

Unknown men in Lahore June 5 detained Gul Bukhari, 52, one day after the military held a news conference warning that it was monitoring critics of Pakistan. She was released early June 6.

The news of her abduction caused a furore, with widespread calls for her release and fingers broadly pointed at the military.

"[The] army is not behind the abduction of Gul Bukhari," Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the army, told reporters June 8. "We actually want a thorough investigation in this case."

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