South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

LAHORE: The institutions of the state must discard pursuit of personal agendas and join hands to reverse the worsening conditions for the populace, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Executive Council said in a statement issued on Saturday at the conclusion of its two-day meeting.

About situation in Balochistan, the Council observes, “The human rights situation is grave across the country but nowhere is it more so than in Balochistan, as bulk of the problems stem from poor political management.”

It demands the state must afford appropriate protection to all citizens and consider meaningful political measures to engage the disgruntled elements. The council says the religious minorities in Pakistan are faced with their grimmest hour in the country’s history.

The council says the state’s capacity to deal with violence perpetuated in the name of religion has seriously declined, and has almost been surrendered in Punjab. “There is complete impunity for individuals and groups inciting violence. The repeated cycles of killings in Karachi have left the citizens with an acute sense of insecurity,” It observes.

It demands all incidents of violence, irrespective of the perpetrators, must be investigated and those found responsible should be effectively prosecuted. Reports of judicial enquiries into mob justice, target killings and violence against minority communities must be made public and the recommendations suggested given weight, it further demands.

The commission feels alarmed at continued extra-legal killings across the country, including those carried out by police in the provinces, those in the country’s conflict areas and those in the form of the so-called ‘collateral damage’.

It says the people are extremely concerned over poor governance, particularly over the institutions of the state encroaching upon each others jurisdiction. All institutions must work in unison to overcome the complex challenges facing the country, the Council suggests.

According to the HRCP, the void left at the grassroots by winding up of the local government system has exacerbated the governance crisis. The local bodies elections must be held at the earliest to enable the people to run their affairs through their elected representatives.

Source: Dawn – 17.04.2011