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Double standard over hangings alleged

Updated Nov 24, 2015 07:40am

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ISLAMABAD: Rights activist Asma Jahangir has criticised the government for demonstrating “disproportionately high passion” against the execution of two opposition politicians in Bangladesh through unfair trials over those being hanged by military courts or Pakistanis executed in Saudi Arabia.

The response sent a message that the government of Pakistan had extraordinary love and affection for the opposition members in Bangladesh than its citizens, Ms Jahangir told reporters at the Supreme Court on Monday.

She was reacting to the response by the Foreign Office and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressing anguish and concern over the execution of Bangladesh National Party leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhry and Ali Ahsan Mujahid of Jamaat-i-Islami.

Also read: Dhaka summons Pakistani envoy, lodges protest over FO statement

“Equal passion, we hope, will be shown by the government” for the people on death row in Pakistan than being hanged elsewhere in the world by denying due process, she said.

She was of the opinion that the hangings in Bangladesh would further deepen the divide and haunt its politics in future. She said that all human rights activists who monitored these trials agreed that due process had not been given to the two accused.

“We have condemned the unfortunate developments and even given out urgent appeals to the Amnesty International and other international human rights organisations in this regard,” she added.

But, Ms Jahangir said, Pakistan should first take up the issue of capital punishment through unfair trials here and of those Pakistanis who were being consistently executed in Saudi Arabia and then show disproportionately high passion for the politicians of Bangladesh.

She said the government was only confirming the fact that two men were political agents and working for the cause of Pakistan. Are these two Bangladeshi more important than the people living in Pakistan, she asked. If the answer is in the affirmative, the government should also explain why and what for.

Ms Jahangir admitted that the two politicians had been executed without affording due process, but regretted that the same right was being denied to the people facing trial in military courts on terrorism charges.

“We are against the death penalty and unfair trials whether in Pakistan, Bangladesh or elsewhere,” she said, adding that everybody knew that the trial of the two Bangladeshi politicians was flawed, but the role of Pakistan was something which was not understandable.

“If they (Pakistan government) are against the death penalty or the undue process, they should look into the trials being conducted by the military courts,” she said.

JHELUM INCIDENT: Ms Jahangir condemned the setting on fire of a chipboard factory and a place of worship of the Ahmadi community in Jhelum on Nov 21 by a mob over alleged desecration of the Holy Quran. She was also not happy over demonstrations by some religious parties against the Oct 27 Supreme Court judgment rejecting Mumtaz Qadri’s appeal seeking deletion of terrorism charges against him.

“If they are going to dictate us then what Zarb-i-Azab against the militants was all about,” she asked. This is scary because they are intimidating state institutions.

Ms Jahangir called for a high-powered inquiry into the Jhelum incident either by a parliamentary committee or by the Punjab Assembly.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2015

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Comments (36) Closed



Hitesh Nov 24, 2015 07:02am

Spot on

Mike,London Nov 24, 2015 07:12am

I agree with Ms. Jahangir.

Kpk Nov 24, 2015 07:25am

Goood

Mehak Gulab Nov 24, 2015 07:27am

Agree... We are biased & selective in criticism...I suppose we don't like to look into mirror...probably...this is in all South Asian blood...

I AM Nov 24, 2015 07:32am

Brave lady indeed,always speaks for the right causes !

James Nov 24, 2015 07:40am

Our lawyers and their associations have a lot to answer - the state we are in has a lot to do with the state they are in - our lawyers should better not comment as they are the integral part of the system that ensures justice is delayed and denied.

deven Nov 24, 2015 07:45am

Agreed.

Hassan Nov 24, 2015 07:49am

People like these are hurdles. Should be ignored. Vested interests in the name of human rights.

Aub Nov 24, 2015 08:18am

Nailed it.

saeed Nov 24, 2015 08:28am

Author should have raised voice against illogical trials of HUMAN BEINGS in Bangadesh as well.

AJamal Nov 24, 2015 08:37am

Ms Jahangir should make a distinction between criminals and political opponents.

Rehan Nov 24, 2015 08:46am

This is a lady that always has to courage to speak up for the right cause.

Arif Nov 24, 2015 09:03am

Asma is the pride of Pakistan. A brave and fearless defender of rights. May she live long!

Rashid Nov 24, 2015 09:12am

Asma Jahangir is right on the money. Double standards and marginalizing people with minority is common in Pakistan. BTW I have high regards for Asma Jahangir she is a genuinely honest person, who always speak the truth.

Genghiz Nov 24, 2015 09:28am

You nailed it Asma.....I have nothing but admiration for this woman's courage....ASMA FOR PRIME MINISTER !!!!!

Ismail Nov 24, 2015 10:05am

Asma Jahangir failed to mention that those persons committed crimes during the said period. The trial is justified no matter how long ago those were committed. the accused person were given sufficient chance to defend themselves. They were given extraordinary opportunity to appeal in higher court which is never heard before in any of the war crime tribunal all over the world. Even review of the verdict of appeal in supreme court was granted. If Pakistan have tried those of their armed personnel committing the crimes, they perhaps could avoid nearly two decades military rule again.

Syed Irfan Ali Nov 24, 2015 10:14am

As always no one can stop the bravest woman of Pakistan to speak her mind. We pray for her safety and life.

Farid Ullah Nov 24, 2015 10:16am

Excellent. I would like to hear ideologically corrupt Pakistani politicians to respond to these question. I am 100% sure they will keep quiet.

Sanjay Nov 24, 2015 10:24am

Spot on.

aqdas Nov 24, 2015 10:28am

Sorry flawed argument.The people executed in Bangladesh were patriotic citizens of the then east Pakistan fighting for their country.The people in gulf countries jails and in military courts are 90 percent criminals.It is chalk and cheese.

Azhar jamil Nov 24, 2015 10:43am

She is absolutely right.Questions raised by her should be answered in a logical manner.

rich Nov 24, 2015 10:44am

looks like only the women in pakistan are the bravest,

malala, mukhtaran mai, asma jahagir, benezir Bhutto, sharmeen ect ect ect

Ali Nov 24, 2015 10:58am

I am not an expert on law but this much i am sure that the person who killed another have to be dealt with firm hand no mater he or she is handicap or not. My point of view is once he killed the person was his body was perfect or not? If his body was perfect and he wasn't having any problem then he should be hanged, because when the crime committed by him his body was with full of strength.

I appreciate you had vast experience in law and would support what i have said.

naveed Nov 24, 2015 10:58am

being against death penalty is one thing but not protesting innocent people being executed is another,you cant hide behind these arguments

BD Mukul Nov 24, 2015 11:03am

Agreed and super liked.

Kautiliya Nov 24, 2015 12:15pm

We need more sisters like you in Pakistan to call it as one sees it.

Asad Shairani Nov 24, 2015 12:34pm

She's arguably the bravest Pakistani alive.

Karachi Wally Nov 24, 2015 12:37pm

What a bad comparison Ms Asma!

Absolute absurdity!

Ahtesham Nov 24, 2015 01:28pm

A baseless and useless statement of Asma Jhangir...

Abdul Karim Nov 24, 2015 01:34pm

She is right

Abdul Karim Nov 24, 2015 01:35pm

This lady is better than most men here.

Taimur Nov 24, 2015 01:39pm

Ms Jahangir - I wish there were few more people like you in Pakistan.

Riyad Ahmed Nov 24, 2015 02:42pm

we are Bangladeshi, we agree with Ms. jahangir. Pakistan, don't play with our emotion.

ipsheta Nov 24, 2015 02:45pm

We are Bangladeshi, We are Muslim. we are not against of Pakistan, we are against of War criminal 1971

Utpal Nov 24, 2015 04:00pm

She is not only pride of Pakistan but pride of mankind.

Arslan Nov 24, 2015 06:46pm

This woman is one of the biggest anti Pakistan activist. Despite being a law practitioner her statements are most provocative.