ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP) have moved an adjournment motion in the Senate secretariat to discuss the reign of terror highlighted by the recent broad daylight assassination of human rights activist and advocate Supreme Court Rashid Rehman in Multan.
Signed by ANP's Afrasiab Khattak and PPP's Farhatullah Babar the motion says that the gruesome assassination of Rashid Rehman within a month after he had alerted the authorities about the threats to his life at the hands of some fanatics, whose names he also identified, had raised issues of grave and urgent public importance.
It said that last month Rashid Rehman had complained to the judge of the court that he was being threatened by some people to dissuade him from professionally defending an accused. It is most worrying that he was actually assassinated within a month of the threats hurled at him while his pleas to seek protection were not heeded.
In a statement Farhatullah Babar said that it was most disturbing that the defence of the legal rights of those accused of religious offences had become almost impossible.
Not only is it difficult to find defence lawyers in such cases the courts are often besieged by mobs demanding instant death even without due process.
He said that the talks mantra appeasing the militants has strengthened the hardliners and eroded the right to fair trial and due process in belief related cases.
While the vulnerable citizens feel terrorized because of shrinking space for defence available to them not so vulnerable sections of the populace are terrorized by the draconian measures envisaged in the Pakistan Protection Bill, he said.
"The adjournment motion is intended to highlight the all pervasive reign of terror and fear gripping the society and to brainstorm how to banish it from our midst," he added.