Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Question of the violations of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms

Question of the violations of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms
By Dr Shabir Choudhry | Published 08/17/2006 | Human Rights | Unrated

Dr Shabir Choudhry

Dr Shabir Choudhry is Chairman Diplomatic Committee of JKLF, Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs and author of many books on Kashmir. He could be reached at:

View all articles by Dr Shabir Choudhry
Question of the violations of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms
Dr. Shabir Choudhry under the banner of World Peace Council NGO in Consultative Status with the UN spoke at the 58th Session of UN Human Rights Council Sub - Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Following is the text of his speech under agenda item 2 on 'Question of the violations of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms'.
Every human being is born free and naturally wants to enjoy his freedom. Every one deserves to enjoy freedom and live with dignity; but this right to enjoy freedom and human rights is encroached by those who are in position of power.
This deprivation of human rights is more severe in societies where there is no democracy; or in places which are still occupied by governments with imperialist designs. In these societies people are denied of their basic human rights because those in power do not create appropriate conditions that people can enjoy their social, cultural and economic rights.
Pakistan was established on great ideals of Islam, but unfortunately like many other undemocratic and despotic societies in the world, Pakistan has not been able to shake off imperialistic and undemocratic practices.
Governments which do not believe in liberal and plural societies are the worst offenders of human rights. They not only deprive their own people from fruits of democracy and human rights, but they extend their undemocratic practices to other areas. History is full of such examples where tyrants with imperialist designs have not only violated human rights of their own people but invaded territory which does not belong to them.
However, Israel is exception to this rule. Israel has democracy at home yet it is worst offender of human rights in the world. Israel has not only flouted many UN resolutions but has consistently unleashed state terrorism on Palestinians and its neighbours. The present war of aggression in Lebanon is inhuman and imperialist in design; and must be condemned by all civilised people of the world.
While strongly condemning Israel's naked aggression in Lebanon, I welcome the cease fire and hope that it will lead to honourable and permanent peace in the region.
America is a friend of Pakistan and American Department of State submitted a report to Congress on 8th March, 2006. The report entitled "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" states about Pakistan, and I quote:'The government's human rights record was poor, and serious problems remained... Security forces extrajudicially killed individuals associated with criminal and political groups in staged encounters... 'Unquote The report further identified some of the following human rights problems in Pakistan, and I quote:
• extrajudicial killings
• torture
• rape
• poor prison conditions
• arbitrary arrest
• lengthy pre-trial detention
• violations of due process and privacy rights
• lack of judicial independence
• harassment, intimidation, and arrest of journalists
• limits on freedom of association, religion, and movement
• imprisonment of political leaders
• corruption
• legal and societal discrimination against women
• child abuse
• trafficking in women and children, and child prostitution
Like many others I am also greatly concerned about violations of human
rights no matter where they take place, but as a Kashmiri it is only natural that my immediate concern is violations taking place in Jammu and Kashmir.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is forcibly divided since 1947, and people of the state suffer on both sides of the divide because of injustice, gun culture and denial of right of self determination.
Many hoped that after the earthquake disaster of 8th October 2005 , people of Azad Kashmir will get relief, help and emotional support to overcome the trauma. Indeed many people came to help them and we are grateful to them, but people were also target of systematic looting, corruption and kidnapping of young children and women. These kidnapped children and women have been sent to various cities in Pakistan for begging and prostitution.
Apart from that lack of planning, coordination and systematic corruption has resulted in relief work getting in to wrong hands. Because of these problems with the relief and support work, victims of the disaster suffered enormously; and above all this provided an opportunity to Jihadi groups to benefit from the situation.
These groups, because of their resources and good organisational work have won minds and hearts of the suffering people. According to very reliable sources some of the relief work has ended up in hands of the Jihadi groups; and this will create problems of its own in future.
Recent international media reports also confirm our worst fears that some money destined for earthquake victims has ended up else where and in view of this, we urge the UN to take charge of the relief work that help could reach to the victims of the disaster, and that help is not diverted to support those who are corrupt and who have anti people and democracy agenda.
We appreciate Pakistan's water and energy requirements, and to meet these requirements we urge Pakistan to build dams within Pakistani territory. Just because Pakistan has failed to get consensus to build dams within Pakistan, they have once again decided to uproot people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Previously Pakistan has successfully uprooted people of Mirpur when they illegally constructed Mangla Dam. Not only they uprooted innocent people but also refused to honour promises made with regard to compensation and other benefits.
Pakistani establishment armed with this experience of uprooting and crushing resistance of people of Mirpur, decided to use it to build a dam in Gilgit and Baltistan. We urge them to build dams inside Pakistan to meet their water and energy needs and not uproot people of Gilgit and Baltistan.
I thank you Chairperson.

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