The civil society has expressed concern over reported life threats to internationally acclaimed human rights campaigner Asma Jahangir and urged the government to take steps for her safety.
In a press releases issued on Friday, the Campaign for People’s Dignity and Security in Pakistan (CPDSP) condemned threats to Jahangir and asked Pakistani authorities to ensure her safety.
“Jahangir, a lawyer and human rights defender who has worked tirelessly for the most vulnerable citizens of Pakistan, is now threatened with violence by state agents,” said CPDSP members at a meeting held at SOAS, University of London. They demanded the role of intelligence agencies in public life be curtailed and the supremacy of Parliament be maintained.
They will petition the Parliamentary Committee on Defence to conduct a full independent inquiry into the threats and make their conclusions public.
The CPDSP, which was formed by a group of academics, journalists, lawyers and students to support human, dignity and security in Pakistan, urged the leadership of mainstream political parties to take a united stand for the protection of all human rights activists.
In a separate statement, Potohar Organisation for Development and Advocacy (PODA) also demanded protection for one of the country’s top human rights defenders.
“An attack on Jahangir will be an attack on all human rights defenders,” said PODA Director Sameena Nazir.
“Pakistan’s armed forces, the government, the parliament and all the law enforcement agencies must protect her”. She is one of the few people that Pakistan can be truly proud of”, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.
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