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Human Rights Commission Critical of Pakistan


A leading Pakistani Human Rights group has issued its annual report, which criticizes the government for its human rights record. While other groups came under scrutiny, it was the authorities and official organizations in Pakistan that bore most of the criticism.

In the report, The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said the government in Islamabad is failing to protect its citizens from abuses, most notably persecution of minorities in the mostly Muslim nation.

The annual report also said the United States is responsible for nearly 1,000 ‘extra-legal’ deaths from drone attacks in the frontier territories between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The commission also said killings, kidnappings and other violence carried out by terrorists and criminals is further eroding the human rights situation.

But commission Chairman Mehdi Hassan says the government of Pakistan bears the greatest responsibility for human rights abuses in the past year.

"The problem is that most of the violations of human rights are from government functionaries or government agencies. Therefore it becomes a serious matter. If government agencies or government functionaries start violating human basic rights then who will protect the people?," Hassan said.

The commission also attacks against minorities, notably religious minorities, appear to be on the rise. In the past year there have been several attacks against Christian, Sikh and Hindu Pakistanis as well as minority groups such as Ahmadis and Balochis.

Human Rights Commission Secretary General I.A. Rehman also says victims of Pakistan's recent floods are not being cared for properly, addding to the human-rights problem.

"Twenty million people were affected. They are living here and there. And no one is talking about it. Large number of women are affected, large number of children are affect and nobody cares about them," Rehman said.

The commission urged the government to do more to speed assistance to those who are suffering as a result of the floods. Namely by streamlining repayment and financial help for losses.

Other recommendations included providing better education young people to increase their chances to pull themselves out of poverty.

The members of the commission also said it is the responsibility of the politicians in the country to fix these problems. But the report says in the current political climate those elected officials are more interested in making political gains in the short term, instead of solving long-term issues facing the country.

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