Pakistan must not become another Burma: Asma Jahangir

November 14th, 2007 - 10:24 am ICT by admin  

In an interview to the Washington Post, Jahangir, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), when asked what message she would like to give to the outside world said: “Yes, I think that it is now time for the world to start accepting that dictatorship cannot be excused under any pretext or the other. And it is best not to let it go down to a level where we all become Myanmar, and come to the stage of Burma. That prevention should be taken now. They should have zero tolerance for this.”

She said that the electronic media is completely shut down, and satellite dishes have been removed from the supermarket shelves, ostensibly by the military, to prevent people from getting or spreading any information about the emergency in Pakistan.

She said that she was leading a very busy life.

“I have been writing a lot, I have been receiving news, I have been watching with great anguish how my lawyer colleagues have been beaten up. And, so, for me it is far better than what has been difficult for most of the people in this country.”

She confirmed that hundreds and thousands of lawyers had been dragged to jail and a lot of violence has been perpetrated on them. Judges and seniors of the upper courts have been put under house arrest.

“There is a kind of uncertainty in the air. The people are uncomfortable and they are worried,” she added.

Urging the world not to turn a blind eye to violations of democracy and free speech in Pakistan, she called for maximum international pressure to be put on President General Pervez Musharraf.

The police however cut Jahangir, who is currently under house arrest, off midway through her conversation.

When the interviewer called her back, a male voice answered and said ’she was not allowed to talk anymore,’ because ’she was with the police.’

The interview was originally conducted for Turkey’s NTV-MSNBC news portal. (ANI)

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