Dear President of Pakistan,
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding life security of Mr. Hussain Haqqani, former Ambassador to the United States of America.
I am shocked to know that Mr. Haqqani is facing threats to his life by the state intelligence agencies and fundamentalist groups, who have good support from the security establishment. Mr. Haqqani has expressed his concerns about the threats to his life to the London Telegraph and pointed out he would be assassinated like the former governor of Punjab province and a former federal minister on minority affairs.
The former Ambassador has been provided temporary shelter in Prime Minister’s House but government has failed to provide him protection from the state intelligence agencies and their cronies, the Muslim armed groups which are operating openly their nefarious designs by killing high profile personalities.
I was also informed that the case against Haqqani follows an ominous trend in Pakistan. The assassinations of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, and journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad this past year have created a culture of intimidation and fear that is stifling efforts to promote a more tolerant and democratic society. Significant segments of the Pakistani media have already judged Haqqani to be guilty of treason, which could inspire religious extremists to take the law into their own hands as they did with Taseer and Bhatti.
I am also concerned that his wife Farahnaz Ispahani, when finding no protection of his husband’s life, went to the United States and asked help from the USA authorities which is very serious view on the security affairs in Pakistan and it has given an impression that civilians have no contro on the security issues and all rest on the whims of military and its intelligence agencies.
It is shocking for me that the Ambassador’s wife is constantly followed by ISI agents working inside America. She should have the ability to live in USA free from intimidation and threats.
I was informed that the ISI’s involvement is visible in the trap laid for the ambassador in order to eliminate him from the scene in that its head, Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha, visited London and investigated the case himself by intimidating Mansoor Ijaz, the writer of the Memo, to place the blame on the Ambassador. The ISI chief went to London on his own self without taking permission from his boss, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The man’s arrogance is such that that he filed the affidavit to the Supreme Court without consulting the government in an effort to show his own superiority over the civilian law.
I therefore urge you to prosecute the Director General of ISI, Mr. Shuja Pasha, who is operating on his own without the permission of the Prime Minister for continuously using his offices for intimidating and coercing Hussain Haqqani during the court trial of the Memo case. Mr. Haqqani must be provided protection and the government should take action against the ISI officials and fundamentalists groups for threatening him.
The threats to his life and restrictions on his free movement is against the fundamental rights of an individual and also against the articles 15 and 19 of the constitution of Pakistan. It is also against the article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which is ratified by the Pakistan and under its obligations government has to ensure the freedom of expression and movement to Mr. Haqqani. Sadly it is the very institutions which should be providing protection, the armed forces and the ISI, which are the cause of the threats to his life.
William Nicholas Gomes