South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

* Riaz Fatyana tells NA committee that police torture jail inmates, whisk people away from homes, register fake cases against citizens

By Ijaz Kakakhel

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee on Human Rights was informed on Friday that law enforcement agencies were mostly involved in human rights violations in the country.

Committee Chairman, MNA Riaz Fatyana, told committee members at a meeting that police was engaged in torturing jail inmates, whisking people away from their homes and registering fake cases against citizens only to settle scores or under pressure from the influential parties. “Police usually implicates an innocent man in a false case and it takes years to prove his innocence,” said Fatyana.

The committee members concurred that it was mandatory for all citizens to respect human rights and appealed to the entire nation to unite so that protection of human rights could be ensured. “It is high time that parliamentarians, politicians, members of civil society, government servants and others play their roles in letter and spirit to ensure that sanctity of human rights remains unharmed,” they said, adding, “Even people in the Arab world demonstrated unity in their ranks to press for their rights, as was amply shown by their revolt against their respective regimes.”

Members of the committee severely criticised Pakistan Police and opined that it had completely failed in maintaining law and order. “Policemen often torture prisoners and drag gullible people into litigation by registering fake cases against them,” they said, asking the police to stop its policy of victimisation and persecution.

Syed Ayaz Ali Sherazi, Pakistan Muslim League-Q MNA, informed his colleagues about the brutalities of Thatta police and alleged that four fake FIRs were registered against him within three years.

The committee took serious notice that poverty-stricken people of Thatta led by their MNA had held a protest demonstration to demand relief in the aftermath of floods, whereas the police registered cases against them under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Ministry of Human Rights Secretary, Justice (r) Riaz Kayani, agreed with members of the committee and categorically stated that the cases lodged were completely fake. “Sherazi has every right to approach the court in connection with the FIR registered against him,” he added. The committee demanded that the regional police officer (RPO) of Hyderabad examine the case along with Sherazi and furnish report to the committee within two weeks.

In another case, a sub-committee was constituted under the chairmanship of MNA Dr Mehreen Razzaq Bhutto and comprising Kayani as its member to recommend action against Thatta Hyderabad police. “No victimisation will be tolerated with anybody in Thatta in the future,” members expressed the resolve. Pertaining to health issues, the committee expressed displeasure over Ministry of Health secretary for not attending the meeting despite repeated calls and messages.

The committee expressed concern that relevant departments had failed to implement the clauses of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue Act. “Even people from Europe and India visit Pakistan to purchase kidneys,” members said, adding, “Illegal transplantation of kidneys is still going on in the country.”

The committee recommended that M/O Health should launch effective monitoring programmes and awareness campaigns in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta. The committee constituted monitoring committees comprising parliamentarians for Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Multan and Peshawar to curb incidents of illegal transplantation of kidneys.

The committee also took serious notice of the sale of spurious drugs and criticised Tib Council in this regard. “Contagious diseases are spreading through hairdressers and dentists,” they lamented.

Source: The Daily Times – 12.03.2011