South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

* Stresses efforts for revival of local govt system, addressing the needs of IDPs, curbing terrorism and intolerance

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern over the fast deterioration of state of affairs of the country and urged the government to return to the task of governance and address the problems of the people.

A statement issued at the conclusion of the HRCP Council on Sunday said, “The HRCP expresses serious concern at the aggravation of the crisis of the state, caused primarily by a confrontation between institutions driven by insecurity or by self-righteousness. The entire government seems to have suffered a paralysis at a time when it faces the challenge of rehabilitating millions of people affected by floods, of saving the economy from a collapse, and of guaranteeing the citizens’ security of life and liberty.”

The tasks that demand immediate attention include the revival of the local government system, the lack of which contributed to the increased loss of life and property in floods, evaluation of the effect the measures aimed at ending a sense of alienation in Balochistan have had so far, addressing the needs of the internally displaced persons and the tribal people, efforts to curb terrorism and intolerance and protection of religious minorities.

Target killings in Balochistan remain a cause of serious concern, as does the fact that the creation of a commission on enforced disappearances does not seem to have satisfied the legitimate desire by families of those who have disappeared, for early resolution of the matter, necessitating a review of the whole system.

“The HRCP is alarmed at the continued political violence in Karachi, the complete inability of the state to hold anyone responsible for repeated waves of target killings in the city, and the increasing difficulty in holding any election in Karachi,” the statement added.

The HRCP warned that disappearances had increased in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and that in Balochistan at least 11 dead bodies of missing persons had been recovered in the last six months.

The HRCP regretted that the case of enforced disappearances in the Supreme Court had not been given the priority it deserved.

2010 had been a difficult year for religious minorities in Pakistan and the government must take meaningful measures to curb the promotion of faith-based hatred and violence, and afford adequate protection to communities that face specific threats. The statement also said that the HRCP expressed serious concern at the continued ‘militarisation’ of society and the glut of weapons in the country.

Source: Daily Times: 18.10.2010