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.
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    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.

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    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.

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