South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) expresses great concern over the threat made to Asma Jahangir’s life. On Monday evening, Asma revealed on Pakistani media that she had received credible information, that there was a plan by state actors to assassinate her.
Asma has always been a fierce defender of human rights, and strong critic of those who violate them. Her continuing criticism of the military and State security apparatus, particularly with regards to their actions in Balochistan, have made her a foe to these actors.
SAHR stands in solidarity with members of Pakistani civil society in their alarm over this threat to the life of Asma, particularly in light of the fact that targeted killings have become all too common in Pakistan, and “the fact that the finger of accusation has been pointed at the extraordinarily privileged state actors.”
Asma has always remained an unrelenting voice in support of human rights and democracy, and she continues to be, even in the face of such threats to her life. SAHR admires her continuing efforts and stands together with her in defence of the rights of people throughout South Asia.
SAHR strongly encourages the Pakistani government to investigate these threats against one of the country’s strongest and most vocal human rights defenders. Freedom of speech and expression is one of the cornerstones of democracy, and people should be able to express their opinions and criticisms of the State, without endangering their lives.
Hina Jilani Nimalka Fernando