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Daughters of Asma Jehangir Assaulted

A statement has just be issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission calling attention to the assault on the daughters of Asma Jehangir, the leading Human Rights Activist in Pakistan where she alleges that her daughters assaulted and illegally held for several hours along with their friends by armed persons of the Pakistan Muslim League Q.

Daughters of Asma Jehangir assaulted and threatened by gunmen of the ruling party

The two daughters of Ms. Asma Jehangir, a well known lawyer, human rights activist and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of religion or belief, were assaulted and illegally held for several hours along with their friends by armed persons of the Pakistan Muslim League Q (PML-Q); they were beaten severely and threatened to be killed. One of the girls was pushed into a room and this was only prevented due to the intervention of their mother. Ms. Asma. Ms. Asma herself was also threatened by the gunmen who used very filthy language against her. When police were called to the scene they took the side of the gunmen who claimed to be police officers. However, only two out of this group were policemen and the 20 other gunmen belonged to the PML-Q.

This incident happened at 1.30am when Ms. Muneeza Jehangir, Asma¡¦s eldest daughter along with her younger sister Ms. Sulema Jehangir and other friends, were making a video clip for her television channel, the Geo TV. She was filming the ripped posters and banners of the political parties in Lahore city, Punjab province, after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former premier who was killed on December 27.

When they were filming the torn posters of the ruling party, which contained photographs of President Musharraf and other party leaders, some armed men arrived and held the two sisters and their companions at gun point. They were then ordered to follow the gunmen and when they resisted the gunmen beat them in public and dragged them to the PML-Q main election office of the province. At the office they were once again beaten and the men trained their guns on them. Someone then told the gunmen that the girls were the daughters of Asma Jehangir. The leader revealed that he was aware of their identities and then four of the gunmen started dragging the youngest one into a small room.

When she heard about this incident Ms. Asma Jehangir reached the party office but was refused entry as they physically restrained her and threatened her with their guns. Fortunately she managed to climb the iron gate of the party office and she saw that her eldest daughter and her friends were detained by more than ten armed persons and her youngest daughter was being carried by some other persons to a separate room. She immediately informed the Ghalib police station who reached the scene after some time. The police took the side of the armed men and pressurized the parents of the friends of her daughters to hand over the video tape which they did. The police then threatened the parents that they should not report this incident otherwise the girls would be kidnapped, raped and killed. The police also pressured the parents to stop Ms. Asma Jehangir from making this incident know and claimed that she would bear the responsibility for whatever might happen in the future.

The Asian Human Rights condemns this incident of kidnapping, the illegal holding and threats of violence against the daughters of Ms. Asma Jehangir by the armed elements of the PML-Q. This incident is an attempt to harass human rights activists and their family members for speaking out against the military regime.

The AHRC condemns this attack and calls upon the government of Pakistan to conduct an inquiry into this matter and to arrest the culprits. However, at the same time the AHRC is quite skeptical as to whether any inquiry will be made into this matter unless there is pressure from the civil rights movement in the country and the international community. In the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto it is quite likely that the military regime and the ruling party will attempt to silence the human rights and democratic activists. As the judges who defied the imposition of the state of emergency have been virtually dismissed from their posts there is little to be expected from the present judiciary of Pakistan by way of protection to citizens against acts of the regime and the ruling party. The AHRC calls upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to cause an inquiry into this incident and to take other appropriate action.

[AHRC – link]


20 Comments

  • Silence |

    Not a surprise that PML-Q is doing this, in last 60 years every dictator and his henchmen have done same thing.

    When Pakistan Army and ISI manages the splits in political parties, recruit and finance thugs and criminals to keep their Generals in power, what else we can expect.

    We have to choose from decide either we want Pakistan or Generals and criminals in puppet parties!

  • FaisalK |

    This is an outrage!!!!! i demand that the people who are responsible for this be brought to justice!!

  • Ali |

    Qatil leaguers and Muttahida Qatil murderers and their military supporters be shot at point blank range. Pakistan has become a gangsters paradise and no decent and educated person can survive in this God-forsaken land.

  • Jawan |

    Dear Aasma

    You still have not been able to realise that you are living in a new born Pakistan. May be you were previously involved in “human rights” activities in the old Pakistan. But let me tell you that those were the times when nobody looked after the interests of Pakistan sothey were never a priority. Please Aasam wakeup. Its new dawn now. Now we are living in a Pakistan where Pakistan comes first. Human rights, ethics, morality, maturity, personal integrity, justice, freedom of expression, political rights and equality are no more important. What is important is Pakistan. Rest of the things, being no longer required, we have burried long ago on costitution avenue in Islamanad and on Shahr e Faisal Karachi.

    Please realise that Pakistan comes first now. So forget about human rights in Pakistan as Pakistan does not have any human beings living in it anymore. Only slaves are here who bow down to the commands of the Pakistan who has given itself a new face by change of “skin”. So Q League being fully aware of interest of Pakistan, though slaves too, have been given an upper grade among the slaves. So they are also now the masters of ordinary slaves. Please do not bother them else you may face even harder beating next time. Please be thankfulto Q-League for letting you go alive. They could easily have disposed you off in larger national interest.

  • NAZIA |

    Like mother like daughters
    You are assests of a nation but now our nation has turned into dark jungle where mussarf is god father and chaudaries and wasi zafar like ministers are monsters of god father army.Whole lahoris are witnessing the usurp of power by PML Qabza group but as they are holding all state machinery so people are just saving their souls.GD 911 is a govt vehicle like many other govt vehicles that are using mussarf and pervaiz ellahi photos in election campagian.Mussarf really thinks he rules on fools like chaudaries or dumb nation that have no IQ.Every body in Pakistan knows that the guys who join military are those who are not capable of joining any recognised educational institution and are dumped into army.Mussarf’ selection and his promotion is also one of deadly dumb mistake done by selectors.For their mistakes whole nation is paying the price.They are as criminals as mussarf and surely called of infront of whole nation.

  • Shahid |

    it is shameful
    Pervaiz Elahi, musharaf and their families should not be allowed to live any more on this land. they should be killed

    it is the most hearties desire of every pakistani

  • Ali |

    Musharraf – the words you belabored when you came into office of ‘we have become a soft state because we do not have the rule of law’ still resonate in my head.
    The amount of praise I had for you then was beyond words, and now, the amount of curses I have for you are also beyond words. Burn in hell for lying to a nation of 150+ million!

  • Ahmed chowdhry |

    How can anyone dream of going back there with their daughters and wives is beyond me..Just a thought from a disillusioned NRP…

  • Shekhar Borhade, India |

    It is a cowardly act of PML(Q). They r tarnishing the very spirit of Quid-e-Azam. A party that cannot respect the dignity of women cannot protect it after coming to power.

  • Tabish |

    This incident is indeed quite shameful and regretfull for us. Lets make a commitment by not voting for the Pml-Q league in this election. This can be our pragmatic way of responding to this.

  • A Pakistani |

    It is very strange that rape victims specialist wowed for assault, not rape, this time. Perhaps the reason is that she is her daughter.

  • Yah Hala! |

    The story portrayed by the AHRC is completely bogus.
    According to the story, the girls were filming the torn posters. What you dont know is that, the girls were there with other people (their friends). They first tore down the posters before filming it.
    One of the daugters works for an Indian newspaper (do research and you will find out) and wanted to make the story a bit more interesting.

  • Vaneet Kundra, India |

    I feel sorry for brave persons like Asma Jehangir and her daughters. I wish Pakistan had more sane voices like her to make india and pakistan true friends, as they share the same culture, traditions, emotions and values. Hats off to Asma Jehangir, a woman of iron and steel. I have yet to see a woman like her in India. The only name which strikes me is Kiran Bedi, IPS officer In india. ASma Jehangir is a woman who is working in adversity and working for Indo-Pak Friendship. I wish There could be hundred or thousands of more Asma Jehangir’s to make this continent a peaceful place to live and enjoy the fruits of prosperity for both the nations. My SALAM to Asma Jehangir.

  • Arsalan Syed |

    It is no wonder that Pakistan's history is marred with adventures of hypocrites.

    On one hand they passed the Women's Protection Bill and on the other they are threatening a woman of raping her daughters!!

  • readinglord |

    I came to know about this incident only today and that too only by chance. I wonder how the report of such a serious vandalism was kept out of the media, both national and international, when they report the news of Mukhtar Mai even when she pisses.

  • Warrior |

    "The story is bogus."

    "The girls brought it on themselves by tearing down posters."

    "The daughter works for an Indian newspaper."

    With such outlandish, ridiculous, untrue and unsubstantiated claims, who can wonder why women and girl children of Pakistan are afraid to come forward when they are assulted, groped publically, dragged out of their homes and rapes, beaten, detained illegally without any legal assistance or laywer present?

    Either you get raped/assulted, detained, abducted and shut up or else you come forward and the pakistani males will be sure to call you a liar, a vandalist and provacateur and miscredit you in every possible way.

    I think it requires some really low individuals, void of any integrity or morals, to make such claims in order to discredit Mrs Jahangir and her daughters. I will interpret that as people who are simply pro rape and pro assult of women. You should be ashamed of your absurd conspiracy theories. It is amusing that every bloody time, something goes wrong, it must be India's fault.

    I suggest you two have yourself submitted for psychiatric examinations. What is next? Israel did this? No wait, it was the jews and US and UK and every single infidel out there right?

    I pray that Allah will guide you. I think you are lost causes but one can hope. Today Asma Jahangir, tomorrow it could be your mother, daughter, sister or wife. I suggest you study the social situation in Pakistan and the large scale abuse of women and their non-existing rights. I remind you of Dr Shazia, Miss Mukhtar Mai, Mukhtar Mai's brother (a child), Sonia Naz. I suspect you will call thse cases bogus too and ploys of India to discredit Pakistan.

    Get over yourselves and wake up and smell the coffee.

    I salute all those women and woman, who are putting their own lives, dignity and peace of mind at risk, so that women are secured rights.

    Allah warns in the Quran against bringing false accusations on believing women. Not that I expect this to hold any value for people such as you, who are only busy casting doubt on the whole affair writing it off as a simple case of vandalism.

    To A Pakistani, your question can best be answered by yourself. Picture your sister is assulted and detained by the pakistani police. Now picture a pakistani guy raising the question, why she wont call it rape.

    The fear of Allah has clearly disappeared from your hearts and your minds. Good to know.

    Shame on you.