Pakistan: Daughter of rights activist Asma Jahangir kidnapped

Vigilantes kidnap reporter Muneeza Jahangir, daughter of leading Pakistani women's human rights activist, lawyer, and United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Asma Jahangir.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for immediate disbandment of vigilante squads maintained by the establishment or its favourite political party as their interference with citizens' normal affairs is not only unlawful it would lead to chaos. In a statement issued here today HRCP said:
"On Monday night (Dec. 31) a most deplorable incident took place in Gulberg area. A few young girls, including Muneeza Jahangir, HRCP Chairperson's daughter and a well-known TV producer / reporter, accompanied by a couple of young men, decided to take photographs of some election posters. Suddenly a bunch of armed toughs pounced upon them, mercilessly beat up a young man, dragged the girls and shut them up in the office of the son of the outgoing Punjab Chief Minister. The armed goons abused the girls and threatened them by pointing their guns at them, and offered the same treatment to Ms. Asma Jahangir when she arrived at the scene to rescue the girls. These men had no right or authority to resort to violence and imprison their victims in private premises. Worse, the culprits seemed to enjoy local authorities' patronage and were reportedly backed by a couple of police constables in uniform. HRCP calls for immediate disbandment of all such private storm-troopers as their unlawful activities will pose a serious threat to citizens' life and security and plunge society into a total chaos. The interim rulers must probe the matter and call the guilty to account, that is, if they have the power to do so."

Iqbal Haider,

Secretary-General, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

01 January 2007