ASIA/PAKISTAN- Asma Jahangir receives threats on behalf of secret Services: solidarity of the Church and civil society

Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - Asma Jahangir, well-known lawyer and leader in the protection of human rights in Pakistan, is in danger: her life is threatened by sectors of the Pakistani establishment and the powerful intelligence secret Services (ISI), as she herself reports. Civil society and the Church of Pakistan have raised voices of outrage and demonstrations of solidarity towards Jahangir. The Bishops of Pakistan, through the "Justice and Peace Commission", express "full solidarity and support to a person with whom we cooperate closely," Peter Jacob, executive Secretary of the Commission remarked in an interview with Fides Agency. Jacob recalls and shares " Jahangir's commitment to freedom of expression, legality, for religious minorities, democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan." Asma Jahangir is the founder and former President of the NGO "Human Rights Commission of Pakistan" (HRCP), former President of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, represented in the UN Council for Human Rights. The NGO HRCP has expressed "serious concern" and appealed to the international community, just as Catherine Ashton, High Representative for EU Foreign Policy finds herself in Pakistan. Even the Catholic lawyer Naeem Shaker told Fides "the condemnation of any form of intimidation, violence and oppression, stigmatizing areas that divert sectors of the state may do harm to a person committed in particular to the respect of human rights in Baluchistan."Threats received by Jahangir are caused mainly by her recent commitment to the thorny issue of Baluchistan, which agitates the country. In the troubled province of West Pakistan a serious lawlessness, impunity and abuse committed by the "Frontier Corps", the armed forces destined to the area, rocked by a rebellion of local groups has been going on for some time. Jahangir has denounced the phenomenon of abductions, disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Baloch activists, operated, in his opinion, by secret Services and the military of "Frontier Corps" which, according to some commentators, "boss around like dictators." According to official figures, over 2,000 people are missing, terrorist acts registered in recent years are 550, while more than 100,000 people have fled the province because of insecurity and disorder. After intense pressure, the Pakistani government created a few days ago a special committee composed of police force and judiciary officials to address the issue of Baluchistan. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 06/06/2012)