Threat to Asma Jahangir’s life

Published: June 6, 2012

Asma says she never faced any pressure from govt during her tenure. PHOTO: TARIQ HASSAN/EXPRESS/FILE

Prominent lawyer, human rights activist, ex-Supreme Court Bar Association president and former UN rapporteur, Asma Jahangir, is having to seek protection for her life after being made aware of a plan to assassinate her. With her well-established reputation as an outspoken advocate for the rights of women, minorities and others, Ms Jahangir has faced death threats before. However, this time around there appears to be a more sinister dynamic to the whole affair. Ms Jahangir, who has also been a vocal critic of the military’s control over the civilian government, has blatantly pointed the finger and stated that this plan to kill her has been hatched at the very top level, comprising secret agencies and their backers. She has implied this on other occasions when referring to the murdered journalist Saleem Shahzad — who was killed last year — as an illustration of what can happen to persons who anger the ‘establishment’.

Ms Jahangir has made the threats known to the bar association, which has informed the government. Rangers have been deployed outside her Lahore home and the lawyer has said she has asked the government to offer security steps advised to her by foreign experts. She has also made it clear she will not leave the country, as is expected of those facing such threats and as others in the country, perhaps not made of the same mettle have done in the past.

The situation reflects the tragedy of our country. What we need today is more voices to speak out against such abhorrent actions. Until this happens tragedies and interventions in civilian rule, such as those seen in the past will continue. The silencing dissent through threats and bullets is intended to ensure this. We must all act to prevent such an outcome by refusing to remain quiet and exhibiting the kind of courage Ms Jahangir has, and is, demonstrating. By doing so she has upheld her loyalty to the country and has exposed the extent to which certain institutions will stoop to pave an easier path for themselves.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2012.

Reader Comments (9)

  • isloo
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Oh yea she is the only women feel threatened, rest of Pakistan is enjoying a guaranteed life

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  • Attorney Tausif Kamal
    Jun 7, 2012 - 8:36AM

    Thanks ET for your courageous and timely editorial. Ms Asma Jehangir is a national asset. She must be protected. She is a remarkable lawyer, so brave and so compassionate. She has fought and is fighting against tyranny and repression and has sacrificed tremendously to uphold our Constitution, rule of law and equal human rights for all, including minorities and women. Lately she has been resisting the excesses, unbridled ambition, power grab, personal vendetta and improper and unconstitutional orders of our SC. All the law abiding citizens of Pakistan should support her and condemn any threats to her by the establishment and the judiciary. More power to this courageous and brilliant lawyer.. I congratulate her for all she has done for democracy and freedom in our country.

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  • Bluejay
    Jun 7, 2012 - 8:39AM

    The crux of the matter is, how establishment can get away with the things they want to do.I will not be surprised if the very guards kept for her protection can get her the way they got
    salman Taseer.

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  • Mustafa Moiz
    Jun 7, 2012 - 1:11PM

    Asma Jehangir who didn’t speak out against Shiv Sena when she met Bal Thackeray. It seems its only her duty to speak out against Pakistan’s Armed forces.

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  • Brajanarayan
    Jun 7, 2012 - 5:09PM

    She is one of the few independent voices from Pakistan, who is internationally recognised. Threat to her life is another reflection where this country is leading to. Hope, wise people should realise this and educate the mass how to protect freedom of speech and get rid of violence from society.

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  • Jun 7, 2012 - 5:44PM

    She is brave women, we all are with her. We will never stop our struggle to end violence from our society. We are living in a society where every body have freedom of speech and no body can stop us to tell the truth.

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  • Jun 7, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Asma is a brave women and human right activist, we all are with her. No body can stop us to tell the truth
    .

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  • Brajanarayan
    Jun 7, 2012 - 7:03PM

    @Rubina Jamil:
    Hopefully this will be a fact, one day.

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  • Jun 14, 2012 - 5:33PM

    We support and salute to Asma Jahanghir for her couragious efforts for the deprived masses of Pakistan.
    She is a well known and well respected personality not only in Pakistan but also globally her services for human rights are well appreciated. Any attack, God forbidden, on her will be assumed as the attack on the face of Pakistan.

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