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Human Rights Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan. – Screenshot
Human Rights Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan. – Screenshot

MULTAN: Human Rights Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was gunned down by unidentified attackers in Multan, DawnNews reported late on Wednesday night.

Initial reports suggest that Khan was targeted by two gunmen inside his office at Kachehri Chowk.

Sources told Dawn.com that two clean-shaven young men barged into Advocate Khan's office and shot him dead. They also injured his two lawyer friends, identified as Nadeem Parwaz and Afzal.

Injured were taken to Nishtar Medical Center where Parwaz is said to be in a critical condition.

“Armed gunmen stormed the chamber of Rashid Rehman and started indiscriminate firing on Wednesday evening, injuring Rehman and two of his associates present there,” senior police official Zulfiqar Ali told AFP.

Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was a coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). The senior lawyer was defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy and had complained that he had been receiving threats on his life.

The HRCP had voiced serious concern over the threats extended to Khan.

The Supreme Court advocate had submitted an application with the District Bar Association president Sher Zaman Qureshi last month, saying he was threatened by two lawyers and two other persons who asked him not to appear in the case he was representing.

Rehman was representing Junaid Hafeez, a lecturer at Bahauddin Zakariya University.

Hafeez was known for his liberal views at the university and the case of blasphemy was registered after pressure from right-wing student groups, said a student, who wished not to be named.

Pakistan has strict laws against defaming Islam, including the death penalty for blasphemy, and rights campaigners say they are often used to settle personal disputes.

A recent report from a US government advisory panel said Pakistan used blasphemy laws more than any other country in the world, listing 14 people on death row and 19 others serving life sentences for insulting Islam.


Reactions



Comments (78) Closed



Tasneem May 07, 2014 11:07pm

this is so sad and yet no one does anything only offer "peace talks" with killers.

Seedoo May 07, 2014 11:11pm

Another sane voice silenced, another human with humanity gone. The moderates are a dying breed in Pakistan.

Fiz May 07, 2014 11:12pm

In Pakistan only religious fanatics have rights. Others can either move out of the country or be prepared to die.

Junaid May 07, 2014 11:25pm

Rashid was doing something that requires lot of courage and guts. I appreciate his services and condemn the government for not providing him required security. This incident will discourage other lawyers to take his place which means the justice system will be compromised. Why only Nawaz Sharif deserves the best security while other professionals who are doing the real work out on the street, not? Despite his plea for help, government ignored the threats, proves they are not interested in protecting minorities and the ones extend a helping hand to the minorities.

mba May 07, 2014 11:30pm

CRY and SHOUT! CRY and SHOUT LOUDLY! They are killing the conscience of Pakistan. They are silencing the very few voices of morality and ethics in our country. Even if it is very late, we should fight to retain a bit of humanity, a bit of ethics in the society.

karthik May 07, 2014 11:32pm

Religion is never misused like the way it is done in this part of the world. If people have conscience they will come out and protest but we never have seen that happening.

Saraz May 07, 2014 11:35pm

so sad. No country for righteous people!

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali May 07, 2014 11:44pm

I have a message for the killers, who claim to be devout Muslims. " Allah commands you to trust to whom it is due. When you have to judge between people, judge with justice. " Al- Quran. The attorney was getting a justice to the accused in the court. He was not siding or taking issues in his favor. Let the courts of law decide and not the misguided fanatics.

A common man May 07, 2014 11:49pm

Its a shame that state is a silent party to all this butchery by virtue of its ineffective judicial system and crippling law and order situation.

Harmony May 07, 2014 11:55pm

After Salman Taseer and others, now another life is slain in the name of religion. How many more will suffer? Haven

Nazir May 08, 2014 12:01am

Pakistan will be a place for religious fanatics only. Agony for the rest as nothing is causing them to stand up and do something.

Ravi Dallas TX May 08, 2014 12:04am

Very sad incident. But I typed the same numerous times in Dawn's articles. This is not going to stop until you solve the root cause. You can't cure cancer by putting band-aid.

Zak May 08, 2014 12:36am

The reason no one does anything is because, the unelected people got in by vote rigging. That is why Imrans call for reform of voting system is for the good of all country. If that changes the governance will change and murderers will know they will hang. Now , under PML-N its a free for all.

TALAT MAHMOOD REHAN May 08, 2014 12:39am

It is not an act of human being.

Khalid May 08, 2014 12:39am

This is such shocking news! I pray the culprits are caught and brought to justice, but at the same time my condolences go out to all his family and friends, such a tragic loss.

Rizwan Ali May 08, 2014 12:52am

A big loss to Humanity. Religious parties should condemned this act ASAP.

imran ali May 08, 2014 12:54am

very sad day for Pakistan....judiciary is at fault by releasing terrorist ..

Mark May 08, 2014 01:05am

The whole country is moving towards disaster. There is a total collapse of law and order purely, economy and development, brought on my the PPP and the PLM-N - with there corruptions and looting the country. We simply do not have a government that works for the benefit of the people.

ashfaq jamali May 08, 2014 01:16am

This is very sad inccident we condem this killing government would stop this arrest his killers & be hanged .

kirther May 08, 2014 01:17am

PMl-N government is more ineffective and incompetent than the previous PPP government. People who voted for PMN-L actually voted against Pakistan and there is no doubt if they continue in this manner for next five years Pakistani society will be completely defaced.

TKhan May 08, 2014 01:19am

Governor of Punjab should resign!

Tahir May 08, 2014 01:21am

Talibanistan. Thanks to General Zia ul Haq and his ilk.

Fareed May 08, 2014 01:49am

Bring back death penalty for target killers, there is no other alternative. In Pakistan there is no place for voice of conscience. advocate Rashid Rehman paid the price with his life.

Mickey May 08, 2014 01:55am

How many more innocent Pakistanis have to die before Gov. of Pakistan and Army realize this ?

Saddened May 08, 2014 02:09am

So sad, I feel like crying. Why didn't the government provide security to the advocate? If the government was so incompetent, at least it could have sought assistance of some other nation that could have given him asylum? Will the government apprehend and punish the perpetrators of this reprehensible attack?

independentthinker May 08, 2014 02:10am

For amazing people like this advocate, we need to provide them with extra security. To see them become targets will deter others from following the right path. We need more people like Rashid Rehman Khan, if we want to keep the hope alive for Pakistan.

saeeds May 08, 2014 02:21am

Why surprised? People of Pakistan don't believe in institutions, government and it's law. And like every Muslim there number priority is religion . So people do justice according to Islam by themself. They only way we can stop these thing by believing in institute and systems and change our priority. And of course which will never happen

SBB May 08, 2014 02:25am

@Junaid Totally agreed Junaid.. it takes guts to do the type of work that Rashid Khan was doing. God bless his soul.

Rev. Eldrick Lal May 08, 2014 02:46am

Sad demise of the Law

Sami May 08, 2014 02:48am

I will include Sharif Brothers in killings of such people if none of these two or any family member will go to his place for condolence and support of his cause and killers will not be arrested and punished in a short period of time.

They are charged by many people in supporting these terrorists so its their duty to remove such suspicion. People should take these events as judging rule for recognizing true leaders and good people.

Khalid May 08, 2014 03:00am

Sadly our land of pure has become the land of illiterates and the land of the fanatics. Blasphemy laws are one sided and as a Muslim I am ashamed for what has become of Islam. We don't respect any religion except our own (brand of Islam). We disrespect every other religion and sect but become very sensitive when anyone says anything about Islam. Why are we so defensive?

Ahmed May 08, 2014 03:35am

@Seedoo Individuals like Rehman Khan are more than mere "moderates". They are brave and principled individuals who are the real defenders of Pakistan. It is because of them that Pakistan will never fall to these cowards and jahils who wear the mask of "Islam" and commit murder.

daniel shiger May 08, 2014 03:41am

@Zak Imran is no different. If you dont agree with me, wait and see

Allapundai May 08, 2014 03:49am

@Rizwan Ali Why bring religious parties, Comrade? Don't you realize it is indeed the religiousness that has brought this situation? Seriously who won and who lost in this mayhem? Common man, my dear friend. Life has no value in Pakistan. Anyone can kill anyone else it has become that cheap. There is no value of humanity. We are not using our brain to think; or put it to the all intended purpose.

Salman from Canada May 08, 2014 04:34am

Fifty or sixty thousand dead and NOBODY has been apprehended in Pakistan? I think what these savage murderers do not realise is, that they are not protecting Islam but defaming it all over the world.

saleem May 08, 2014 05:37am

rest in peace Rashib sahib; this gives more reason to continue to speak against extremism and hyper religiosity giving rise to this sick nation!

Maria May 08, 2014 05:49am

And they call themselves Religious!!. Shame on the Govt.

Rainman May 08, 2014 05:55am

Now I want to know more about Junaid Hafiz- the Bahauddin Zakaria Uni lecturer.

Tamilslevan May 08, 2014 06:05am

@Fiz . Or they need to stand for justice and fight it

Tamilslevan May 08, 2014 06:07am

@Ravi Dallas TX . It's easy to write but list out the root causes and see if the Govt and majority of the people have the will to fight it

Mp May 08, 2014 06:32am

@Seedoo So rightly said

Mp May 08, 2014 06:33am

@mba They are killing the conscience of Pakistan. They are silencing the very few voices of morality and ethics in our country

My hear cries

Mp May 08, 2014 06:34am

My heart cries

Mp May 08, 2014 06:41am

@Rizwan Ali what difference that makes?

Ali khan May 08, 2014 06:48am

@Fiz

Can't agree more. Moderates should move out of Pakistan.

Raja May 08, 2014 06:52am

I had the belief that whole of Pakistan would be happy for Rashid Rehman's killing as he was defending the case of Junaid Hafeez. But reading the comments below changed my perception of a general Pakistani and I am impressed that they are NOT fanatic over Islam.

Muhammad Farooq May 08, 2014 07:11am

This is very shameful for the entire nation. What a loss! what a tragedy! Sincerest condolences for family and friends RIP

What is holding Nawaz Sharif Govt from reviewing blasphemy law which is mainly used to settle personal scores. At the same time all those found misusing this law should be strictly punished. Needless to say those who committed this gruesome murder should be brought to book as soon as possible.

K.A.Muhammad May 08, 2014 07:13am

Rashid Rehman Khan a human rights advocate defending Junaid Hafeez a lecturer at Bahaudin Zakaria University accused of blasphemy are both Muslims and Educated Professionals. The advocate has been deprived of his life, whilst the lecturer is awaiting to meet the same fate in a country called Land of Pure.

Just imagine an educationist as a lecturer at university, building character of generation of time is accused of blasphemy and is being tried in a court of law. Whereas, the advocate just representing the accused of blasphemy has been brutally killed by fanatic/s; though he was not an accused of blasphemy. Is it not killing of an innocent human being which according to Islam is killing of entire humanity!

Hassan May 08, 2014 07:45am

Is there any good news left in Pakistan?

Ravi Dallas TX May 08, 2014 08:08am

@Tamilslevan Isn't it obvious what the root cause and solution be ?

Wajeeh May 08, 2014 08:17am

Horrible indeed. when you will not give the quality education and will have no check on what is being propogated on the name of Islam this will keep happening.

Ravi Dallas TX May 08, 2014 08:32am

@Tamilslevan There is no solution other than going for full fledged military action and wipe terrorism out. Small operations here and there once in a blue moon won't help ,it will only make them come back stronger.

Injunjoe May 08, 2014 08:55am

@Tahir Dont thank Zia. Look in the mirror and thank the man who stood by, and did nothing!

A Human May 08, 2014 09:07am

Any remaining humanity is also being eliminated and the masses are silent

ali May 08, 2014 09:28am

@Fiz Well-thought observation. This is simply a reign of terror and state sponsored criminal trespass. I feel pity for this unfortunate human right lawyer who earlier sought personal security from the state; but purposefully it's been rejected. Because, the present ruling N Sharif regime are the resultants of religious opportunists. They voted him and his party named 'Muslim League' with a hope and aspiration to create a second Saudi Arabia, where freedom of speech or freedom of movement is punished with iron hands. The same thing is happened here in Pakistan with pseudo hands(ruling class+ religious fundamentalists).

syed baqar ahsan May 08, 2014 09:49am

very sad to know,in our society is the gun only solution for all this mess

sattar rind May 08, 2014 10:47am

Any one who can afford to leave this country may leave today or just now for their security and family.

Javed May 08, 2014 11:01am

Reminds me of Parveen Shakir :

aay mery gul zameen, tujhay chah thee ek kitab ke ahle kitab nein magar, kiya tera hal kar diya

A Pakistani May 08, 2014 11:21am

Alas! another TRAGIC MURDER of a moderate educated person who was working for human rights. Government and Civil Society MUST stand with the moderators who raise their voice for the human rights. Extremism must be stopped in Pakistan at all costs if country needs to develop.

kazi May 08, 2014 11:26am

Millions have been killed in the name of race and religion and a few who died fighting for their rights. Sir, you were the gallant soldier of humanity. Rest in peace great warrior.

A. Ercelan May 08, 2014 12:09pm

lose a friend, lose a world

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ? Ana

Brutha May 08, 2014 12:35pm

"It is what it does." < Dedicated to the religion of peace.

Tahir May 08, 2014 11:15pm

The so called MMA are cultivating fear and hypocracy in society eliminating real humans and stright forward voices from society resulting third class leadership in country then asking question on leadership for not making brave decisions ?

M S Sheikh May 09, 2014 01:42am

@Ravi Dallas TX Due to incomplete and unfair partition of India, thanks to Mountbatten, Hindus and Muslims have become intolerant, extremists and violent. Human life for them is of no value. Muslims are ready to kill those who blaspheme and Hindus are ready to kill Muslims and untouchables just because they not Hindus. Neither Hindu religion is for killing Muslims or untouchables nor Islam is for killing those who blaspheme.

M S Sheikh May 09, 2014 01:48am

Everybody has a right to be defended. Killing of the advocate Rashid Rehman is a shocking crime. Killers of defendants should be caught and given maximum punishment under the law.

nk May 09, 2014 03:41am

Pakistan has been moving backward for the last 30 plus years when it comes to tolerance.Minorities have been killed,their homes burned and forced to convert in the name of religion.what kind of GOD would want someone forced to believe in him or if someone is defending someone in the court of law to kill him? The biggest right GOD has given humans is to believe in him or not!.so who is anyone to tell anyone to believe in him. The prophet Mohammad(peace be upon him!) in his life was called all sort of name,bloodied by stone without any retaliation whatsoever!. These killers killed this person for defending someone in a court of law and now they themselves would be looking for someone to defend them.how ironic!. these kind of religious bigots are harming the religion more then an enemy ever could!.

prafulla shrivastva May 09, 2014 11:33am

This is a perfect example of nature's balance. Charles Darwin has established a theory which says,nature is knowing how to balance it, so if numbers of human is increased & earth is unable to manage, we will face disaster like earth quack, health epidermic or fight among each other & lots of people will be killed.

haris May 09, 2014 01:52pm

@Tasneem What makes you arrive on the conclusion that TTP is behind his killings? I am an staunch opponent of TTP and their agenda but I want to know how on earth you have found an evidence that TTP is behind the attacks?

Balu May 09, 2014 02:19pm

@Junaid As it is advocates are afraid to take up the brief of Blasphemy accused. The moderates among the populace should stand up and assert themselves else the fanatics will hold sway on each and every institution in Pakistan.

Asim May 09, 2014 02:36pm

I think this blasphemy law has gone too far in Pakistan. It seems that people use this law for their own personnel disputes and in reality has nothing to do with Islam. Is there actually any credible evidence of blasphemy here? Or is it just a case ignorant people with no education about Islam just blindly following each other like sheep and being reactive to every little thing.

Kabeer May 09, 2014 02:56pm

Federal and Provincial governments have failed to provide security to its people they are simply playing in the hand of terrorists just trying to apeace them infact PML (N) has become the political face of terrorists / extremists

NORI May 09, 2014 03:53pm

@M S Sheikh

You've a serious misunderstanding of Hinduism and Hindus. Had Hindus killed Muslims out of religious fanaticism, Muslims in India would be extinct by now. Compared to Muslims, the best thing about Hindus is they didn't cling to the age old traditions, but changed their attitudes with the change in time. Today, once prevalent social evils such as untouchability, Child marriages, Sati are not seen in India. Fundamentalism in Islam has no comparison and competition.

Iqbal May 09, 2014 08:27pm

Shame on the country and shame on the leaders who can let such horrible crimes go unpunished.

NASAH (USA) May 09, 2014 08:43pm

"Pakistan has strict laws against defaming Islam, including the death penalty for blasphemy, and rights campaigners say they are often used to settle personal disputes."

This is the law that makes Pakistan a lawless banana republic.

Musarrat Javed May 10, 2014 03:37am

Mullaha Military Itahed Zindabad. That is only way to live in Pakistan. Many congratulation to Zia, JI and Nawaz Sharif for bringing us to this stage, where we just believe in killing. There are 60 Muslim Countries in the world, no one has such type blasphemy laws and amazingly no body is committing blasphemy. Why this happening only in Pakistan. Please stop defaming my holy prophet.

Ishq May 10, 2014 08:19am

Mr.Rehman (RIP) we salute your courage and compassion. You are another victim.

Ram Dargar May 10, 2014 11:03am

@M S Sheikh You have brought in partition, Mountbatten, India & Hindus, to shift the blame for the mess in Pakistan! Yes, Hindu fanaticism survives primarily as a reaction to Islamic fanaticism but India is far more tolerant & secular when compared to Pakistan.Since Partition, the percentage of Hindus in Pakistan dropped from 30% to 2% whereas In India % of Muslims has gone up from 9 to 14%.

Jamal May 10, 2014 07:31pm

A whole generation of brain washed fanatics has been raised in Pakistan. The country is paying a heavy price and will continue to do so. This genie is not going back in the bottle any time soon.