Jahangir claims security establishment planning to kill her
Lahore: Leading rights activist Asma Jahangir has said she has received information that Pakistan`s powerful security establishment is planning to carry out a "murderous attack" on her, prompting civil society groups to condemn the threat to her life.
Jahangir, who is also a leading lawyer and campaigner for democracy, told TV news channels about the threats to her life late last night. She said a credible source had informed her about a "murderous attack" planned on her by state agencies, following which she had restricted her movements and decided to remain at home.
She contended that the plan to kill her had been hatched at the "highest level" of state agencies, which were apparently angered by her efforts to highlight human rights violation by security forces in the restive province of Balochistan. Jahangir also provided details of what she said were steps taken against her by Pakistan`s intelligence agencies. She alleged when a group of lawyers recently tried to book a venue for a meeting in which she was to participate, they were barred from doing so by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
On another occasion, some lawyers detained two persons who were part of a group that tried to attack her at a court complex, Jahangir said. "One of these persons had an Intelligence Bureau identity card and the other had an ISI card," she told a TV channel. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said a "highly credible source" had provided information about a serious threat to Jahangir.
"What makes the reported conspiracy to liquidate Asma Jahangir especially serious is, firstly, the environment of target killings in which dissident persons` dead bodies are being dumped all over, and, secondly, the fact that the finger of accusation has been pointed at the extraordinarily privileged state actors," HRCP said in a statement. Condemning the threats to Jahangir, the HRCP has made it clear to "all concerned, especially those who preside over the security apparatus," to not underestimate the consequences of any harm caused to Jahangir.
"This is not a conspiracy against one individual alone, as it is obviously a plot against Pakistan`s future as a democratic state, in which the threat to (Jahangir) may be only one, though a crucial, part," it said. Intellectuals, lawyers, academics, writers and civil society activists from across Pakistan too expressed grave concern over the threat to Jahangir.
Jahangir has at the forefront of campaigns to protect the oppressed and democracy. She recently defended Pakistan`s former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, in the Supreme Court after he was accused of being behind a mysterious memo that sought US help to stave off a coup in Pakistan.