Pakistani government accused of ‘sabotage’ violating rights | Pakistan

Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, and his government have been accused of trying to “sabotage” the country’s independent human rights watchdog to prevent accountability for growing abuses and persecution. Is.

Lawmakers, activists and lawyers told the Guardian that Khan’s government had “punished” the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) of Pakistan over the reports and subjected human rights abuses and violence by the military. Is, which plays a strong role in running. Country.

On Monday, the Islamabad High Court directed the government to fill the vacancy left by the head of the NCHR, after it was accused of deliberately delaying the appointment of members of the new commission and chairperson for nearly two years. Yes, which left the caretaker state in the lurch. And the government is unable to perform its duties in accountability.

Senate Human Rights Committee Chairman Mustafa Nawaz Khokar said: “Since Imran Khan’s government came to power, the NCHR has been inactive. We have raised this issue two or three times, and since then human rights. The Senate commission concluded that the government was deliberately trying to sabotage the commission.

The NCHR, which has been inactive for almost two years, has been accused of undermining freedom of the press and human rights in Pakistan, as well as increasing disappearances enforced by military-affiliated agencies.

NCHR is a relatively in Pakistan. Is a new institution. The statement called for an independent inquiry into human rights abuses, advising the government on human rights issues and legislation, reviewing the government’s implementation of human rights laws, and addressing the issue on the national political agenda. Includes promotion.

Although it was established in 2012, it took three years for the commission to begin its work properly. The commission’s first term ended in May 2019, and it was the responsibility of the government’s Ministry of Human Rights to oversee the appointment of its new members, who are considered to be non-political.

However, almost two years later, no one has been assigned to the watchdog. Khokar said Khan’s government’s “alarming” human rights record was the reason for the NCHR’s immovability.

“Imran Khan has been brought to power by Khuda Hafiz [military] There is no need to challenge or hold the establishment accountable, “Khokar said.” If such an independent organization is allowed to function properly, then the true image of this government will emerge internationally. … They do not want human rights violations to be exposed.

An advertisement for positions on the committee was first placed in May 2019, but was later withdrawn without explanation. Another advertisement was released in July 2019, but in contrast to the previous one, a condition was added that no member of the commission should be over 65 years of age, which was then challenged as illegal. Was

Akhtar Cheema, a Pakistani Senate lawyer and former legal adviser, said the age limit was a way to delay appointments to the NCHR. “The government knew it would be challenged in a court of law and the election process would be delayed, because it is against the law.” And that’s what happened, “Cheema said.

Pakistan is a signatory to a number of international conventions on human rights, political rights and violence, and Cheema alleged that the NCHR was one way of angering the government by monitoring violations of these conventions, in particular. By the army.

He cited examples of NCHR reports that “the authorities in power had systematically violated the rights of minorities, and farmers in Okara, Punjab, had alleged that their lands But the army has seized it by force.

“There are many gray areas in Pakistan and the commission has the judicial power to initiate an inquiry, receive private complaints on human rights violations, investigate and investigate and publish its reports, all of them,” he said. Disturbed the government and the establishment. “

“The NCHR tried to report a few incidents of human rights violations and was therefore punished.”

Pakistan’s human rights minister, Shirin Mazari, denied that the government was obstructing the watchdog and said it had reshuffled the NCHR in October 2020. These posts are essential to prevent NCHR appointments from becoming politicized.

“The Prime Minister of Pakistan sent a list of priorities to the Leader of the Opposition in December, but the Leader of the Opposition has not yet sent us his nomination,” Mazari said. “We have repeatedly reminded them to send their priorities. Laziness is on the part of the opposition, not the government.

However, he was in jail when the government forwarded its priorities to the opposition leader. Sharif was arrested on September 28 last year on money laundering charges.

Ali Nawaz Chauhan, the first chairman of the NCHR, said the commission had published 35 reports over a four-year period, including a detailed report on the existence of violence in Pakistan, which angered Khan’s government. Who denied the existence of these corruptions.

Chauhan said that the previous government had also banned the work of the commission, but the biggest mess came after Khan came to power in 2018.

He said that it had become clear that Pakistan was not implementing violent conventions. Instead of punishing the commission for its work or reporting, the government should work on resolving human rights issues. Chauhan added that after May 2019, the appointment of new members should have taken not just two months but a month.

“They want us to lie to represent a positive image of Pakistan, but I believe it is better to improve Pakistan’s image while ensuring human rights.”

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