News / Asia

    Pakistan's 2012 Human Rights Record Bleak

    A Pakistani Christian girl drinks milk as her brother sleeps, in a tent provided for Christian families whose homes were set on fire by a mob, in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2013.A Pakistani Christian girl drinks milk as her brother sleeps, in a tent provided for Christian families whose homes were set on fire by a mob, in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2013.
    x
    A Pakistani Christian girl drinks milk as her brother sleeps, in a tent provided for Christian families whose homes were set on fire by a mob, in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2013.
    A Pakistani Christian girl drinks milk as her brother sleeps, in a tent provided for Christian families whose homes were set on fire by a mob, in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2013.
    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says ethnic, sectarian, terrorist and politically linked violence in 2012 killed or wounded more than 8,000 people. The independent commission and analysts place much of the blame on a lack of effective governance.
     
    Pakistan's Human Rights Commission's report for 2012 paints a grim picture of terrorist attacks, increased targeted killings, sectarian attacks, disappearances, overcrowded prisons and child labor in the country.
     
    Ibn Abdur Rehman, secretary-general of the commission, said that as a result, peoples' confidence and trust in many institutions has declined.
     
    "The main trends in 2012 were that democracy came under strain; democratic institutions suffered a decline," said Rehman.

    Commission member Asma Jahangir said rising religious intolerance was one of the gravest and most lethal issues in 2012, far beyond that of loudly condemned drone attacks.
     
    "Because you see the number of people who have been killed in sectarian killings - 583 - and even if you look at the number of people killed in other terrorist attacks, [they] are far beyond people who have been killed under drone attacks, though we condemn drone attacks," said Jahangir.
     
    Pervasive violence

    More than 6,400 people were killed or injured last year in Pakistan in sectarian and terrorist violence. In comparison, there were between 240 and 400 casualties from the 48 drone attacks in tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.
     
    Jahangir said Pakistan over the years had failed to prevent the development of terrorism based on the exploitation of religion.
     
    "It has an enabling environment in society, and the kind of religiosity that we see in society is now in fact the biggest hurdle in the progress, not only economic progress social  progress, cultural  progress of this country and we are all to be blamed for it," said Jahangir.

    Analyst Imtiaz Gul, head of the Islamabad-based Center for Research and Security Studies, said the failure of Pakistan's state institutions, particularly the police and courts, has fueled human-rights violations.
     
    "When the government fails, when state institutions fail, I think increasingly then nationalist groups, criminal gangs, they try to take over, exercise their own authority for whatever cause they may be standing for. But it basically stems from the failure of the state to respond to public grievances, to political issues as well as social deprivations," said Gul.

    The report also notes that some 10 million children in Pakistan are engaged in child labor, that Pakistan has the world's second highest number of children aged five to nine who are not attending school, and the second lowest education spending in South Asia.
     
    Human Rights Commission member Asma Jahangir said, however, that despite its human rights failures, Pakistan had moved forward over the years.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
    April 05, 2013 7:25 AM
    When the Main Target of Federal Govt ARMY OF MINISTERS to increase their personal bank balance and buy properties in Western countries as to pass their life with family in comportable and peace ful manner this situation arised. No body is taking care of Poor Pakistani and their safety. Islam is a religion of peace. Even Prophet Mohammed PBUH days Christian used to pray in Madiana Prophet Mohammed PBUH main mosque in his presence.

    Now any christian can think to pray in Madiana Prophet Mohammed PBUH main mosque, according to saudi they will kill him in seconds. For general information those christians were from Najran and pray in front of him in group shape. We can rescue from this situation by GOD only other wise these looterssssssssssssssss will never leave there position. How GOD help Iraqis by removing Killer of so many innocent peoples in the name of Islam, He can remove current govt with more responsible and taking care of its own people. God help us from this situation.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora