By Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
The prominent Pakistani human rights activist and former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Ms Asma Jehangir has accused ISI and Pakistan Army for an alleged planning to get her killed by making use of Jihadi elements, operating in the country. She revealed that the information of this planning reached to her through highly reliable sources. During a private television talk show, Ms Asma Jehangir told the media anchor that, “information-leak from a responsible and highly credible source.”
We appreciate the sources indeed, the intelligence network of Ms Asma Jehangir, for timely informing her about the impending threats to the life of this international icon. To me, this source(s); the intelligence network of Ms Asma, seems to be more credible and extra-ordinarily equipped than, the ones maintained by the ISI and Army. Like everyone in the civil society of Pakistan, I as a neutral analyst share the concern of Ms Asma Jehangir; in fact, the threats to the life of this great lawyer and the eminent human rights activist.
Immediately after the revelation this human rights activists was provided with the extra security measures at her residence and during her movements. However, with the kind of intelligence network she has for herself, which can inform her about the secret planning of killing her, Ms Asma should be more confident about her security, rather asking the state to beef up her security. Asma Jehangir must be appreciated that, her intelligence apparatus has informed her well in advance that such a plan is in the offing. It means that, her network has virtually defeated her foes, (the state’s apparatus) if at all they had such a planning. Rather our intelligence agencies must learn from the intelligence sources of Ms Asma Jehangir, the real art of intelligence.
Life of everyone is precious and the Government should take threats to the life of anyone more seriously. Nevertheless, the life of Ms Asma is very valuable for the people of Pakistan and India too. Indeed, this eminent human rights activist has earned great respect and repute among Indian activists especially people like Bal Thackeray. Indeed, she too has lot of respect for Mr Thackeray, Air Commodore (retired) Uday Bhaskar and like-minded people. A few years back, during her meeting with Mr Bal Thackeray, Ms Asma made sure to dress herself like Thackeray; tailored Saffron suit. Indeed, she did not only dress like Thackeray, but also talk in the same tone, against the common foe. Everyone in Pakistan, know the Bal Thackeray’s association with the organization and his sentiments about Pakistan and its armed forces.
Like the threats to her life, the allegations she made against ISI and Army are equally serious and needs immediate investigations through a neutral mechanism. In this regard, we have a very credible and impartial justice system under the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan. Fortunately, the world recognizes that, Pakistan today has an independent judiciary, which talks about the rule of the law. In this case, the Chief justice has been taking action against anyone and everyone indiscriminately, who was found violating the law. So much so, he did not spare his son and has asked Government to take action against him and those involved in the case of bribery. Furthermore, challenging the legality and thereafter declaring illegitimate to the former Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gillani, is yet another major decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which is being hailed domestically as well as internationally.
As a realist and true practitioner, Ms Asma Jehangir should have knocked the door of Supreme Court of Pakistan for the provision of the speedy justice, rather than making outcry in the media and among the public. Moreover, as she said, a highly credible source has disclosed this all to her. This source could have provided credible evidence in the SC against the planning of murdering her, thus exposing the truth and culprits. This act would have provided her more sympathy among the Pakistani masse, besides impartially investigating the issue in detail; otherwise, her sympathizers including me would consider that she is just maligning the Army and ISI for reasons better known to her.
Ms Asma Jehangir said that, the Military establishment and ISI is planning to murder her as she has dared to raise voice to protect the lives and property of the Baloch people. What a coincidence, that, the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan is personally heading a Bench of the SC that is investigating the cases of the missing persons and killings in the province. Since she is fighting for the rights of the Baloch people, thus, her case can be investigated alongside the ongoing investigations taking place there. This would have rather strengthen her case and assertion of supporting the Baloch cause. Such an act would have earned more respect for her in the hearts of common Pakistani, who love Baloch masses and this beautiful land of Pakistan. Nevertheless, Asma Jehangir considers across the board and indiscriminate justice by the Supreme Court of Pakistan under the Chief Justice too as an undesired practice.
Since Ms Asma Jehangir opted neither to go to the court, nor formally asked the Government of Pakistan to investigate the accusations she made, there appeared doubts about the real motives behind these allegations. Army and ISI though denied these accusations of Ms Asma, but ignored those taking it as the routine matter. Indeed, today the easiest thing one can do in Pakistan is to blame Pak Army and ISI for anything that even has no relevance to them. To my reckoning Pakistan Army and premier intelligence agency of Pakistan; ISI consider these too low and below their standard to pursue these, indeed, considering these as the wastage of time.
Indeed, people like Ms Asma Jehangir and Hamid Mir are not the only national heroes to do this, but they have many companions to do that. Since Army and ISI were not paying attention to their day-to-day accusations, therefore, through fresh waves of allegations, Ms Asma tried to get the attention of the people of Pakistan and human rights organizations, especially of the India and West. Everyone in Pakistan is aware of those, leading and promoting the defaming campaign against ISI and armed forces of Pakistan.
Indeed, U.S and West together with their South Asian partners and their agents in Pakistan, spent billions of dollars to defame the organised institutions of Pakistan; the armed forces and ISI; the first line of its defence. This is part of their long-term agenda to defame and subsequently weaken the only organized institution in Pakistan. Government of Pakistan should have taken a note of these. Nevertheless, the people of Pakistan would really like to know the reality of these allegations and defaming campaign against its armed forces and premier intelligence set up. No one can be given a certificate to say anything about the national institutions of the country to please their masters. As a mature nation, we must understand the implications of such baseless allegations against our prestigious institutions. Through these act, enemies of Pakistan would like create hatred among the masses against our national institutions. Once there is hatred among the people against their security institutions, there would be demoralization among their rank and file. The combination of these elements would lead towards weakness of the institutions and the state. A state with weak institutions and demoralized armed forces would be an easy prey for foreign invasion and exploitation.
In fact, this would be a stage where, enemies of Pakistan would get an opportunity to exploit the situation for the implementation of their evil designs, against the national interests of Pakistan. Therefore, as a nation, we neither should sell ourselves to gain cheap popularity nor should become party to any such campaigning. National respect and prestige should be most dear to us over the petty personal gains.