Category Archives: HR in Pakistan

Criminal Neglect

Karachi has again become engulfed in the fire of sectarian conflict, protests, strikes and target killings. The criminal negligence accorded to the city by every incumbent administration has lead to the situation, where the citizens of Karachi live under the perpetual shadow of fear. While every major and aspiring political parties choose the metropolis for a show of strength and popularity, with empty promises and rhetoric to sweep the evils away, but none have yet shown the willingness to challenge the spreading intolerance and radicalism. The city, which has every segment of the society from throughout Pakistan represented, should have been a role model for the rest of the country. Instead it has assumed the notoriety of being one of the most dangerous cities in the world. cheap Rogaine 2%

Subverting the Media

Another journalist murdered and this time it was Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who took the responsibility of the attack. Mukarram Khan Atif was gunned down in Charsadda by the assailants, while praying at a mosque. Unfortunately, Pakistan is now being deemed as one of the most dangerous places globally for journalists, where according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), at least 17 journalists and media workers were killed in 2011. The journalist community has become caught in the middle of a conflict and is now easy pickings for both state and non-state actors. Among them another journalist was Saleem Shahzad. Recently the judicial commission investigating the murder of Saleem Shahzad concluded its activities and presented a report on the incident, which has been termed as inconclusive. The commission was not able to find the culprits who kidnapped the journalist from Islamabad in May and tortured him to death. The murderers roam free and remain out of grasp of the legal justice system, in probably every case where the media has been the victim. Unless and until the culprits attacking and subverting media freedom are not challenged and brought to justice, these incidents will continue to take place.

Misspelled Blasphemy

The intolerance and radicalism has been promoted at such levels by the mullahs, in our society that a misspelling by an eighth grade Christian girl has again stirred up the controversial blasphemy issue. This the place is Havelian and the accused misspelled the Urdu word “naat” meaning praise for the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) in her test. Given the level of education in Pakistan, there is also a doubt that the girl even knew or understood, what she was writing. The issue stirred enough emotions that the girl was expelled and her mother, who worked in a hospital, was transferred to another station. Although, the girl and her family apologized for the unintentional error, there are still looming fears of repercussions. We as Muslims have the highest respect for our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.), but even Islam preaches to forgive any unintentional mistakes. It makes one wonder, whether the same stern steps would have been taken, if the accused was a Muslim.

Good Taliban?

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have announced that it is their shoora, which will decide the fate of more than two dozen youths recently kidnapped on the Afghan-Pak border. While TTP Commander Maulvi Faqir is playing the good cop routine and has assured to influence the shoora, for the safe release of the youth. Many of the naïve may find this a good gesture by this particular mullah, but aren’t his own men responsible for the kidnappings? Now after carrying out this crime, he has produced a shoora out of nowhere to resolve the issue, claiming his limitations. This baseless criminal act has only been carried out to silence the brave resistance put up by the tribesmen against these elements.

See No Evil

Instead of looking into the report of Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Baluchistan and investigating the information laid down in it, our security establishment has plainly rejected it altogether. They have been, for reasons known and unknown; ignoring the hue and cry of citizens in the province. The citizens in Baluchistan are suffering at the hands of both militant and state elements, but the state apparatus always claim their hands to be clean of any foul play. This was also evident at Kharotabad, where unarmed people (alleged terrorists) were shot and killed, by security personnel, disregarding all laws of the land. It is important that if the buildup of grievances among the citizens of the province is to be curbed, the administration should take a serious initiative in preventing any future violation of human rights and investigate any such allegations, while providing justice to the victims.

Ceremonious Relief

In recent days interior Sindh has been worse affected from the floods, resulting from the monsoon rains. Surprisingly it has been reported in the media that the relief camps have not been able to operate, due to absence or non-availability of political personalities to inaugurate the camps. It is unfortunate that in this time of crisis, we are still looking at avenues for political point scoring at the expense of precious lives. Perhaps the personalities in question require a red carpet reception, with half the funds to be wasted on the inaugural ceremony and the other half to go in the pockets of their corrupt cronies. Despite the early warnings this year, it seems that a thorough initiative was not undertaken, otherwise the floods would not have left such trail of destruction.

The City of Body Bags

Karachi in recent days has become a city, where body bags are a routine sight and criminals call the shots. Mafia of every kind, ranging from extortionists to land grabbers; is carrying out its activities unabated. The daily death toll is in tens, while humanity seems to be fleeing from the city. Karachi seems to be presenting the view of a post apocalyptic city, where there is no rule of law. As Pakistani citizens we are all concerned, but only concern will not restore peace. We have become selfish and instead of joining hands as citizens, we have assumed that this problem is in Karachi and will stay confined to the city. What is there to assure that this fire will not spread to the rest of the country?

One Year Onwards

It has been a year since a private airliner crashed into the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, killing 152 passengers and crew. But the inquiry reports of the crash have still not been made public and the grieving relatives are still looking for answers. Findings from FIA and CAA investigations are present in the defense ministry, but due to unknown circumstances these are not being released. Individualland Pakistan supports the right of the people to know and have access to information. Under Article 19-A every citizen has the right to acquire information of public interest form relevant authorities. It is an appeal to the administration that the report and findings of the investigation into the crash should be made public, especially for the relatives and citizens at large. As this is also not an issue which falls under the category of State Secret, so no hindrance should be present in its release.

Irresponsible

A government spokesman in Islamabad termed U.S. Admiral Mike Mullens statement as “irresponsible”, in which he stated that the Pakistani Government had sanctioned Saleem Shahzad’s killing. One shudders to even think that this may be true; one prays that this is only be a misunderstanding. If this is true then it has defaced the nascent democratic structure of our country, for a long time. While the citizens of Pakistan have a long list of complains, where the institutions have failed to provide and the security situation has been deteriorating day by day; certain elements within the state are also carrying out killings? Let this not be true or it will be us, who will be termed irresponsible in the international community.

Prevalent Practice

The eagerly awaited Kharotabad tribunal report has been pushed into the darkest pits, out of public view, by the Government of Baluchistan. Although, it has been reported that the Chief Minister ordered to release the report within 24 hours, but no steps seem to have been taken yet in this regard. Already the news seems to be fading away, as people will forget and go about with their busy lives of cursing power outages and bracing for fuel shortages. The gross human rights violations being conducted by the same security apparatus, responsible for upholding the law and protection of citizens, is a horrifying situation. The withholding of this report only proves that the tradition of cover-ups is still prevalent in our official structure, rather than addressing the issue head-on.