This Article is From Dec 08, 2014

ISI Attempting to Turn Pakistan Into 'ISIstan': Rights Activist Asma Jahangir

Lahore: Rights activist Asma Jahangir has criticised Pakistan's powerful spy agency ISI for attempting to turn the country into "ISIstan" by controlling the security and democratic dispension.

"Attempts are being made to turn Pakistan into a security state. If they succeed they should better rename it 'ISIstan'," Ms Jahangir said.

"I want to give a message to those(military establishment) who consider security their right that Pakistan also belongs to its people," she said during a ceremony held by Joint Action Committee for Peoples Rights in Lahore on Friday.

The former president of Supreme Court Bar Association held the Inter-Services Intelligence responsible for people who were picked up by them but are now missing.

"We do not accept picking of people and throwing their bodies. Where are the 400 missing Pakhtuns -- residents of Khyber Pakhtaunkhaw province."

"People in Sindh and those belonging to the MQM are going missing and are being found dead. They say they are terrorists but why don't they take them to the courts," she said.

Ms Jahangir said Pakistan was becoming a "pure security state" and this could be stopped only through democracy.

She claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had no say in foreign policy.

"The prime minister has no say in formulating foreign policy of the country. The foreign policy is being handled in the name of security (by someone else)."

She said people in Pakistan want to give a better future to the next generation but "this was not possible under a security state."

"We want a country which is not isolated and where democracy rules," she said.

Ms Jahangir said she was launching a radio station next year to send "my voice to the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalised and those who are in jails without a sin."

She said a democratic system without protection of human rights was hollow. "Good or bad people can be democratically elected but it is always easy to fight for human rights under this system," she said.

The rights activist said Pakistan presently has the biggest challenge of improving its democratic system.