The Real Face of Asma Jehangir

By Sajjad Shaukat

Since the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared the petitions by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and others as maintainable, while constituting a three-member judicial commission to probe into the memo controversy in a transparent manner, Asma Jahangir, the famous human rights activist and the counsel for former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani, criticized the Court order by giving caustic remarks.

In this regard, talking to reporters on December 30, 2011 at the Supreme Court building, Asma termed the court’s judgment as establishment-minded. She said that it was a dark day for the judiciary and misperceived that the civilian authority had come under the army through the court’s order. The counsel stated that she was forced to think that whether it was the judiciary of the people or the judiciary of the establishment.

Prior to the verdict of the Supreme Court and investigation report of the judicial commission, Asma Jehangir decided not to attend the hearing of the commission. It is quite illogical approach of Asma who has expressed her total no confidence in the judicial commission which is reflective of the traditional mindset of attacking courts when national interests are at stakes. After her failure to make a case for her client in a truly professional manner, she is now trying to politicize the memogate case by raising questions about independence of the Apex Court and integrity of the three chief justices of the high courts. Some circles rightly remark that her utterances should attract contempt of court proceedings.

After giving unjustified comments about the Court order, Asma Jehangir also appeared in some TV channels and left no stone unturned in maligning the Supreme Court of Pakistan. She has also repeatedly implicated Pak Army and country’s intelligence agency, ISI in this regard. On other hand, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI Chief Chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha have left it to the Supreme Court to decide the memo case. But in one way or the other, Asma is indicating her old stereotype-prejudices against Pak Army and country’s superior agency by following the blame game of US-led India and some western countries.

However, it is better to know the real face of Asma Jehangir. Notably, when Taliban militants occupied Swat, Dir and Buner including other adjoining areas, continuing their criminal activities like kidnappings, beheadings, hostage-takings for ransom, forced marriages etc., Asama became silent over the inhuman acts of the insurgents. But when Pakistan’s armed forces broke the backbone of the militants by the Swat and Malakand military operations, and ejected the insurgents out of the controlled regions including South Waziristan, Asma Jehangir’s vile propaganda took a new turn which included a number of other false dimensions such as exploiting the emotional state of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS), showing interviews of the innocent persons in which their tales of suffering were exaggerated—projecting self-created images of scattered dead bodies, collective graves and stories of burying without Islamic rituals. All these were unproved tales, mentioned by the human rights activists who were working under the supervision of Asma Jehangir. The real aim of such allegations against Pak Army was to distort its image in the eyes of foreign elements who were already not only tarnishing Pakistan’s image, but also its army and ISI.

On the other hand, Asma Jehangir gave no comments in relation to the fact that it was due to Pakistan Army which had sent many trucks of rations and bedding to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Mingora and other concerned regions. Our defence forces also donated a part of its daily ration to these suffering people, while deploying its medical resources in all the concerned camps. Pak Army also managed the evacuation of civilians from the war-zones, using all available resources. For this purpose, Special Support Group with more than 100 buses and many trucks facilitated moving out of the IDPs, trapped in the operation areas. For that aim, helicopters were used to lift civilians. A majority of the IDPs returned to their native homelands. In this context, following the lines of the foreign enemies, Asma has been misguiding the people, setting aside innumerable services of the Pakistan Army during floods, desilting of canals (Bhal Safai)—particularly during the Earthquake of 2005, entailing restoration of law and order on many occasions etc.

In fact, Asma can create some hostile justification for the sake of hostility by maligning Pak Army and ISI because in this way, she can not only get good media coverage in the foreign countries, but can also please her external masters.

As regards Human Rights Commission of Pakistan led by Asma Jehangir, in 2006, I had myself visited its head office, located in Lahore. I met some writers of a particular newspaper, who had been working there. I came to know that its members were being sent to various villages of Pakistan so as to note various crimes which were also published in magazines and afterwards these were sent to western countries, especially America with the sole aim to show the progress of this Commission which is financially supported by the US. No doubt, we must condemn these crimes in our society, but if we point out these anti-social activities to please our foreign masters, and in order to tarnish the image of our own country including its forces, such a practice itself becomes a greater crime.

In this connection, I ask HRCP’s Chairperson Asma Jehangir as to why multiple crimes, committed inside the United States are not being indicated by this Commission with detail. From time to time, a number of students have been shot in various American universities, but I did not read any statement of Asma Jehangir in that respect. And why there is no detailed statement against American forces, CIA and FBI which have so far tortured and killed a number of innocent Muslims entailing Pakistanis at various detention centres under the pretext of war against terrorism. She never spoke about atrocities, perpetrated by the American troops in Abu Ghraib, other CIA torture-cells, and human rights violations inside the US homeland where since 9/11; thousands of Muslims were targeted, labeling them as suspected persons. In the first year of his presidency, even Obama Administration had started investigation in that regard.

The fact of the matter is that Asma Jehangir is waiting for Nobel Prize which is mostly awarded to the western people and rarely to the Muslims. In this context, Asama is also making strenuous efforts by getting this award by showing to the US-led western countries that she is serving as human rights activists at the cost of Pakistan. As a matter of fact, one cannot note difference between her hypocrisy and the US-led Hindu-Jewish lobbies which are determined to disintegrate Pakistan which is the lonely nuclear state in the Islamic world. Nonetheless, all this shows the real face of Asma Jehangir.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations


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