LAHORE: Well-known rights defender confirms he escaped an obvious assassination attempt.
One of Pakistan’s leading Christian lawyers, Sardar Mushtaq Gill confirmed earlier this week that he has endured yet another perceptible assassination attempt by a militant group. “I am being targeted by extremists who want me to end my legal support to victims in blasphemy cases,” said Sardar Musthtag Gill. He has formely been dynamically worked as the director of an advocacy group Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD).
Sardar Mushtaq Gill, who is in hiding, told an international news agency that gunshots were heard November 2 on the street outside his home, I was not at home at the time as my wife urged me in a mobile phone text message to stay away following previous threats,” he explained. He claimed his brother stumbled on bullet shells subsequent to the attack. The frightened human rights defender asked his brother to lodge a complaint at the local police station.
Note worthily, this isn’t the first terrorizing incident. He has previously made headlines after he was held at gunpoint in June this year by three armed men who threatened him of “dire consequences”, allegedly corresponding to his advocacy work. Almost a month later, some fighters of a militant group stormed at his home; an evident attempt to kill him. Moreover, legal representatives associated to LEAD have disclosed that they were harassed and endangered for their human rights work. Previously in June LEAD’s representatives purportedly petitioned the Lahore High Court to invalidate bail against individuals who had been allegedly involved in the Jospeh Colony arson in March 2013. Sardar Mushtaq Gill told that he anticipates more attacks against the Christian community if the perpetrators were to be freed. Nevertheless, he carried on,” LEAD lawyers were unable to attend a court hearing after being threatened by individuals who demanded that they withdrew the petition.”
Seeing the seriousness of the matter, Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif is therefore, urged to boost security of Sardar Mushtaq Gill and other minority Christians in the country. As an attempt to help Sardar Mushtaq Gill, William Nicholas Gomes- human rights ambassador for Salem-News.com has written a letter to PM Sharif, calling for an investigate into the incidents of harassment. “I believe that the gunshots in front of Sardar Mushtaq Gill’s house are directly related to his work in the defence of human rights,” Gomes wrote. In his letter, Gomes asked the Pakistani Prime Minister to make sure that authorities “carry out a thorough, impartial and immediate investigation into the recent shootings outside the lawyer’s home, as well as the previous attacks and intimidation directed at him.” Furthermore, Gomes insisted in his letter that the PM should issue orders to arrest those responsible for aggression while bring them “to justice in accordance with international standards” and to perk up security for Sardar Mushtaq Gill, his family, and other LEAD members.
“All human rights defenders in Pakistan should be able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including physical threats and intimidation,” Gomes wrote.