KARACHI: Organizations along with more than 300 intellectual writers, from across the country strongly condemn recent hate speech, life threats and instigation against one of the most prominent writers of Pakistan Amar Jalil and demand from the State and the Government of Pakistan and Government of Sindh to provide security and protection to Amar Jalil and take stringent action against that instigating violence against him.
Intellectuals, human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers and students expressed deep concern on the situation and challenges posed to democracy, rule of law and human rights. The recent hate speech in the context of efforts to instigate violence, cause lawlessness and social unrest in Pakistan and specially in Sindh which is against the spirit of tolerant and plural Pakistan. It as conspiracy to open new fronts of terror in the country.
Recognizing the fundamental role that Sindh played in creation of Pakistan, citizens hope and demand that conspiracy to punish people of Sindh through these conspiracies will be immediately stopped and terror instigating groups will not be protected or encouraged in any form. People of Pakistan, all institutions of State and elected houses are not only well aware but appreciate the historical character of Sindh as tolerant and plural in nature and that very fact is identity of Pakistan and Sindh across Asia and the world. However, it has been noticed lately that small number of people and groups instigating violence in the name of religion have been encouraged and protected to give a message to civil society that not only sane voices can’t live in this country but doors of law and justice are also closed for them.
Amar Jalil through his writings has always stood against the powers that be and never minced his words to tell truth about religious, political and social bigotry and oppression. Citizens see hate speech against him as a message that rule of law doesn’t prevail and that a small group of people can control the freedom of speech and expression through violent means. Concerned people see this as an attempt to intimidate and harass sane voices of society. We condemn all attempts on free speech that use concocted and falsely made up charges of blasphemy as a tool to impose conservative lens on freedom of speech and expression.
We make following immediate demands and actions from Government of Pakistan, Government of Sindh, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Sindh High Court, Federal and Provincial Ministries of Law, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Human Rights and all relevant institutions specially National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA):
- All those people and groups should be immediately booked and arrested under Anti-terrorism act who have announced Head money for Amar Jalil in Umerkot, which is a direct attempt to instigate terror and divide the society.
- Those groups and people should be investigated and apprehended under Cybercrime Act who used an old video from 2017 out of context for their vested interest and widely circulated it on social media to instigate violence.
- As per the Article 9,11,14 and 19 of the constitution of Pakistan, the State is responsible for protection of life, liberty, dignity and integrity of all citizens therefore life and repute of Amar Jalil should be protected. More Importantly, all hate speeches and threats against him on social media and on all other platforms should be removed and stopped immediately. All measures should be taken by the State to ensure protection of his life and liberty.
- Under the National Action Plan and clauses 5, 8,9 and 11 of anti-terrorism act action should be taken against all those involved in instigating religious violence and paving the way for unrest and atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
We demand that the action on above demands should be taken before it is too late. All institutions of Pakistan should fulfil their responsibilities to protect life, liberty and freedoms of all citizens.