US urges Pakistan to probe lawyer's killing

By AFP
Published: May 10, 2014
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Rashid Rehman. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Rashid Rehman. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

WASHINGTON: The United States Friday called on Pakistan to investigate the killing of a lawyer shot dead for defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy.

“We were deeply saddened by the murder of Rashid Rehman, an attorney and human rights defender in Pakistan,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

“We encourage Pakistani authorities, as we have in similar cases in Pakistan and around the world, to swiftly investigate this crime and bring to justice those responsible.”

Gunmen stormed Rehman’s office late May 7 and started firing indiscriminately, killing him and injuring two others.

Psaki spoke as Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns was visiting Pakistan Friday at what he said was a “moment of opportunity” in US-Pakistan ties.

Burns met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as well as other top ministers and advisors and army chief General Raheel Sharif.

“After some difficult years, our relationship is on a positive trajectory – a trajectory we hope to not only maintain, but accelerate,” Burns said in a statement.

Washington supported the prime minister’s bid “to reestablish authority over all Pakistani territory in whatever way Pakistan deems appropriate.”

And the US wanted to “especially urge him to sustain pressure on militant groups, deny them a safe-haven, and prevent cross-border attacks,” Burns said.

“Militancy continues to threaten Pakistan’s revival. Few countries have paid a heavier price than Pakistan in the fight against extremism.”

Ties have improved markedly since almost collapsing in 2011 amid a series of crises including the US raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The US has also reduced the number of drone attacks on the unruly border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan where al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents are believed to be hiding. Islamabad has publicly denounced drone attacks as a violation of sovereignty.

“Countering cross-border militancy and shutting down safe havens is critical not only for Pakistan’s long-term peace and prosperity but also for positive relations between Pakistan and all its neighbors, including Afghanistan,” Burns added.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • writer
    May 10, 2014 - 11:31AM

    That’s a bit rich coming from the USA considering what is happening in Venezuela at the moment with the mysterious assassinations of ex-intelligence head of Venezuela as well as personal bodyguard of president.

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  • ;-)chief
    May 10, 2014 - 11:46AM

    Does anybody have courage to probe TTP…..????Recommend

  • Last Word
    May 10, 2014 - 1:06PM

    A protest should be lodged by Pakistan asking US not to interfere in its internal matters as such incidences are quite routine which take place almost on daily basis.

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  • Fahim
    May 10, 2014 - 1:15PM

    Views about lawyers are ‘they are biggest liars’. They will use any unclean tactics to release their clients(even blasphemers). If lawyers would have good repute in society, he would haven’t been murdered.

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  • kamran Khan
    May 10, 2014 - 2:13PM

    why didn’t US urge Pakistan to probe the killing of the two young men murdered by raymond davis?

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  • Sham
    May 10, 2014 - 2:23PM

    Can America seriuosly mind their own business ?? like seriously please ??

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  • parvez
    May 10, 2014 - 2:28PM

    The serpent is upon us. We may be past the time to control extremism and militancy. the cleansing process must start from within our homes, offices, work places and mohallas. are we equal to the task? I think not.
    Rest in peace Rashid Rehman. It could have been me or anyone of the few sane people left in our country.

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  • May 10, 2014 - 4:02PM

    Sometimes its good to follow advice given in good faith. There’s no need to become defensive. Its for the good of the community and eventually for the nation.

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  • darbullah
    May 10, 2014 - 4:32PM

    @Sham:
    Can Pakistan handle its problems without asking money from America please? Like Seriously please?

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  • Aamir
    May 10, 2014 - 4:40PM

    @Fahim: so you imply that the lawyer was at fault and his murder was justified because he was representing someone alleged for blasphemy? What a pity the even the educated class thinks such murders are justified.
    If so then why is the entire judicial system there for? Let go out and decide ourselves?

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  • May 10, 2014 - 5:54PM

    Meanwhile Courts in Pakistan urge to observe strike daily.

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  • Mj
    May 10, 2014 - 7:44PM

    @Aamir:
    “What a pity the even the educated class thinks such murders are justified.”

    Literacy and education don’t always go together, unfortunately.

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  • Asif
    May 10, 2014 - 10:50PM

    @Sham
    Nice sentiments. But the reality is our begging bowl is replenished by US alms every year.
    Can we avoid begging and live with self-respect? that’s the (severall) billion dollar question.

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  • J
    May 10, 2014 - 10:58PM

    Thanks America. At least somebody cares for the oppressed people.

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  • Lunacyassailam
    May 11, 2014 - 12:13AM

    I hope India and Iran,along with Israel and Russia would Urge Pakistan to surrender their nuclear weapons and accept rule by India, Afghanistan and Iran.The eventual coming conclusion.Food,Daily Ration for labor and surrender will be extended by India.Opportunities for new Moslem mosques near the labour camps in Assam and possibly-next Punjab or Gujarat is a reality.Soon you will seen million of Pakistanis crossing the desert into India in search of new pastures.India would be ready for it.

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  • Xenia
    May 11, 2014 - 1:37AM

    @Dr Priyanka:
    Did US ask India about investigation or legislation about rapes in Rapistan/India.

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  • Naseer
    May 11, 2014 - 5:00AM

    @Sham: Can America seriuosly mind their own business ?? like seriously please ??

    With the law and order situation in Pakistan, the whole world may want to reign Pakistan. We are worst of the worst.

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  • james malish
    May 11, 2014 - 5:17AM

    US should mind its own business. It is NONE OF THE USA’s business who the agencies murder in pakistan, they own the country!.

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  • writer
    May 11, 2014 - 5:29AM

    nice to see @Dr Priyanka from India giving such vital advice, Yes agree with @Xenia what about the terrible rape cases that keep on happening in Incredible India, that too should be investigated for the good of the nation of India too seriously.

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  • Roshan
    May 11, 2014 - 3:51PM

    @Xenia:
    Why should they? India does not beg USA for dollar aid.

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  • Dhanish
    May 11, 2014 - 9:40PM

    @writer @xenia your country is no less in terms of rape be it 5year old or ten year old look into your own horrible cases appearing daily on news and than judge others shall we? The neighbouring country has enacted strict laws and time bound court cases for justice delivery. What have you done apart from quashing cases if there’s no four witnesses?
    And america uk France etc can’t advise other country on rapes these are amongst top five countries where rape crimes occur even if their population is ten times smaller then us, with america being first in such rape crimes in world got it?

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  • goldconsumer
    May 12, 2014 - 2:57PM

    @Lunacyassailam:
    Man! Are you an illusionist or have forgot to take your meds? A big LoL though. Made my day! For people like me living in the other side of your border, it gives me great pleasure to see people like you and alleged mass murderers soon to be PM of the country! Good luck with that! But do read our histoiry from 1980 onwards when we were the great ally of the US and we ourselves promoted extremism. Provided you do have some sense and sensibility to read and to understand i.e

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  • Visal
    May 13, 2014 - 4:51PM

    Xenia and all pakistanis do you belive that pure of land pakistan has no rape,because if source will given to you about pakistan rape then you will be die in shame.

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