LAHORE, June 4: Intellectuals, lawyers, academics, writers and civil society activists from all over the country on Monday expressed grave concern over a serious life threat to the leading rights activist and lawyer, Ms Asma Jahangir.
In a joint statement issued by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday, they said a highly credible source had revealed about serious life threat to Ms Jahangir these days.
“What makes the reported conspiracy to liquidate Asma Jahangir especially serious is, firstly, the environment of target-killings in which dissident persons’ dead bodies are being dumped all over, and, secondly, the fact that the finger of accusation has been pointed at the extraordinarily privileged state actors,” the statement signed by Justice (retired) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Supreme Court Bar Association president Yasin Azad, former finance minister Dr Mubashir Hasan, Pakistan Bar Council president Akhtar Hussain, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Ali Ahmed Kurd and others said.
Condemning the act to threaten Ms Jahangir, they made it clear to the all concerned, especially those who preside over the security apparatus, to must not underestimate the consequences of any harm caused to the life of Ms Jahangir.
“This is not a conspiracy against one individual alone, as it is obviously a plot against Pakistan’s future as a democratic state, in which the threat to Asma may be only one, though crucial, part,” they warned.
While condemning the act to threaten the former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and chairperson of the HRCP, they said: “What the duty of the state in this matter is and how the civil society must face the challenge thrown to it need no elaboration.”
Our Correspondent in New York adds: A spokesman for the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said on Monday that any threats to the life of Asma Jahangir, UN’s special rapporteur, would be ‘unacceptable’, adds Masood Haider from New York.
Responding to questions at the daily briefing on the reported death threats by a terrorist group against Ms Jahangir, the spokesman said although the UN chief was on way to New York from Saudi Arabia, any such threats to her life were reprehensible.
He said the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva would also issue a detailed statement.