South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly standing committee on human rights on Friday expressed grave concerns over worst violations of human rights due to deteriorating unrest for the last several years in Parachinar and recommended the Defence Ministry and Army Chief to address the issue by taking an appropriate military intervention in Kurram Agency.

The parliamentary panel also proposed provision of traveling and transportation facilities to residents of Parachinar either by plying ATR airplanes by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) or C-130 service by Pakistan Army.

The Standing Committee met under the chairmanship of Riaz Fatyana to discus the current state of human rights in the country with special reference to the blocked Toori and Bangash tribes in Parachinar.

Members including Dr Sumaira Yasir, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Araish Kumar, Raheela Yehya Baloch, Kishwar Zehra, Attyia Enayatullah, Robina Saadat Qaimkhawani, Advisor to Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Secretary Ministry of Human Rights Justice Riaz Kayani (Retd) and other high level concerned officials were present in the meeting which proposed that Parachinar should be declared as calamity-hit area and all students from the restive area should be provided with educational facilities until normalcy was brought there.

The committee also set up a four-member sub committee headed by Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar to make efforts to bring all the stakeholders to evolve reconciliation among them to restore peace and order in that area.

The NA body also sought personal involvement of Interior Minister, Rehman Malik with full assertion of his authority and expertise to bring warring tribes to reconciliation.

While issuing observation on the incident of coal mine blast in Balochistan killing more than 43 miners, committee recommended that victims’ families should immediately be provided with financial assistance of announced Rs 0.7 millions each.

The committee held the criminal negligence on the part of concerned department as responsible of perishing precious lives and summoned Federal Secretary Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources and Managing Director Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) to explain their position on non provision of promised facilities to miners in the coal mines in seven days.

The committee also sought a report on overall state of provision of facilities and precautionary measures taken by concerned organisations in all mines in the country.

Source: Business Recorder – 21.05.2011