Monday, 20 April 2015

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan report 2014

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan report 2014
A damning report editorial Daily Times, April 20, 2015

That the state of human rights in Pakistan is woefully bad is no secret but it is the annual report compiled by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) that really drives this point home. Titled ‘The State of Human Rights in 2014’, its statistics portray a bleak and alarming picture of a country mired in violence, hate and militancy. As many as 1,723 Pakistanis lost their lives last year in terror attacks and 3,143 were injured. There were 1,206 militant attacks inside the country out of which 26 were suicide strikes. As many as 144 attacks were sectarian-fuelled and 14 journalists and media workers were killed in what the report has labelled the “most dangerous country in the world for journalists.” The figures get worse when the report veers towards the state of our hapless minorities: Hindus, Ahmedis, Christians, Zikris and Shias, none were safe. Blasphemy-related cases and charges were on the rise, especially against minority members. The entire report is a seething indictment of everything that is wrong with the country in the arena of human rights. The report also noted that the government has made no moves to introduce legislation to ensure the protection of our beleaguered minorities.

The 2014 report is not much different from the report released by the HRCP in 2013. Our national statistics relayed the same kind of doomsday scenario. Why is it that every year our eyes are opened yet the government turns the other cheek? It is impossible that these horrendous figures miss the attention of our authorities, so why are HRCP reports not used as a guide to better the state of human rights in our country? In 2014 we witnessed the brutal burning to death of a Christian couple in a brick kiln, attacks against women were unabashedly on the rise and polio teams were targeted and murdered more than ever before. These are not just numbers; they are the ground reality of what presently makes up the fabric of our society.

The HRCP must be congratulated for always trudging through the murky waters and making every effort to wake up the slumbering incumbents. It must be a tough job shouting from the rooftop every year to fix the state of affairs, to remedy the lot of the people but to never have your voice heard. For that, the HRCP deserves credit for sheer perseverance, for being the voice of the marginalised who just do not seem to matter. *

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