Posts tagged ‘rights’

July 2, 2011

Seminar: Balochistan rights package; the glass is still ‘half-empty’

Speakers call for change in Islamabad’s mindset towards province.

ISLAMABAD: 

Vague implementation mechanism and lack of true representation in the provincial assembly is rendering Aghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan package slow and ineffective in delivering on Baloch people’s longstanding demand for rights. This was observed by a majority of speakers, particularly those belonging to nationalist parties of the restive province, at a seminar on  ‘Aghaz-i-Haqooq-i-Balochistan Package: Status and way forward’ held here on Thursday.

“The Balochis have been given constitutional guarantee to their rights under the 18th Amendment but the laws still remain unimplemented,” said Central Vice-President National Party, Dr Ishaq Baloch.

He added that the Balochistan problem could not be resolved until the federal government accepts and respects ethnic diversity in the country and gives them a right on their resources. Blaming successive governments for continuously treating Balochistan with discrimination for decades, Baloch said ‘Federation could only be saved if the federating units were truly recognised.’

Former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Wazir Ahmed Jogazai supported him, saying the Balochistan Assembly lacks true representation due to political polarisation in the province.

He stressed the need for establishment of an independent election commission, which could hold free and fair elections to ‘replace the current provincial government which lacks integrity and legitimacy.’

Pointing to the lack of implementation mechanism of Balochistan rights package, Raza Narejo, an expert on Balochistan affairs, said the mechanism for all political, administrative and constitutional matters must be in place, and tracking implementation should also be easily accessible.

Aziz Jamali, a government official working on the package’s implementation admitted that though the pace was slow, the government had managed to provide more than 5,000 jobs to the unemployed Baloch. An increased flow of financial resources to the provincial government was also made possible.

Former federal minister from Balochistan, Ayatullah Durrani of Pakistan Peoples Party agreed with Senator Haji Adeel of Awami National Party  that the implementation of the 39-point package was slow at present.

However, both the leaders urged upon the critics to look at the ‘half full glass’ than ‘half being empty’. They pointed out that the tripling of federal financial resources for Balochistan for the fiscal 2011-2012 beginning on July 1 this year, would not have been possible without the package.

Holding the Balochi sardars and tribal chieftains responsible for the injustices to the Balochi people, Ayatullah Durrani questioned as to ‘why not a single educational institution has been constructed by Jogezai, Jamalis, Achakzais, Bugtis and Raisanis’. Some of the speakers also demanded a change in Islamabad’s ‘mindset towards Balochistan’.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

June 30, 2011

State of human rights: Security forces calling the shots in Balochistan, says HRCP

Gas pipeline blown up in Dera Bugti. PHOTO: FILE/ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: 

Security forces are calling the shots in Balochistan while the provincial government “seems non-existent”, according the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday.


Releasing a report titled ‘Balochistan: Blinkered Slide into Chaos’ at a press conference, the HRCP painted an alarming picture of the situation in the restive province, warning that it could get even worse if immediate steps were not taken.


The report accused the security forces of being behind enforced disappearances in the province, and said that the bodies of 140 missing persons had been found, while 71 people were still missing in the province since July 2010 to May this year


“The Balochistan government seems non-existent…


They have surrendered their authority to security forces and they (forces) are calling the shots,” said HRCP Chairperson Zohra Yusuf at the press conference, which was also addressed by HRCP Secretary-General IA Rehman, President Supreme Court Bar Association and former chairperson of HRCP Asma Jehangir, Council member Hina Jillani and Saleema Hashmi.


The report says that 18 people were murdered in target killings, while five innocent citizens became victims of sectarian killings during 2011 in Balochistan.


The mission observed that there were credible allegations of the involvement of security forces, particularly the Frontier Constabulary (FC), in the cases of enforced disappearances. “There was material on record to substantiate claims of the families that the victims were disappeared by the FC or had been killed while in custody,” says the report.


The mission learnt that agents of the state as well as the insurgents and extremists operating in the province share a common disregard for rights of the citizens. “The insurgents have murdered ‘settlers’ in target killings with impunity, while the extremists have treated the members of religious minorities as fair game,” the commission further observed.


“Enforced disappearances continue to be reported from all parts of the province and little headway has been made in ensuring the release of a large number of missing persons from unacknowledged custody of security agencies,” Jahangir said while quoting the findings of the report.


The HRCP chairperson said that there was a sense of alienation among the people of Balochistan.  Yusuf added that there is a disturbing trend of bodies of missing persons being found with signs of torture.


Hina Jilani said that there was an imbalance between civil-military relations in the province, adding that there is no political space. “There is no mechanism of accountability of security forces and they do not interact with the public,” she said.


IA Rehman said that they should make it clear that the issue of Balochistan is not one of law and order, but a political issue.


The report says that the FIRs registered against personnel of security forces in enforced disappearances remained uninvestigated without exception and courts had failed to ensure compliance with their orders.


The fact-finding commission says that at least 78 organised gangs were reported to be involved in abduction for ransom in the province and there was a widespread perception that criminal gangs and individuals involved in heinous crime enjoyed support of politicians and security forces.


The commission observed that ‘Inquiry Commission on Enforced Disappearances’ set up to investigate the cases of the missing persons had been largely ineffective, leading to people’s frustration.


The fact-finding commission says that use of forces rather than political engagement remained the preferred approach in Balochistan and the promises made in the Balochistan Package remained little more than promises.


The commission has recommended that the illegal practice of enforced disappearances stop and all security forces in the province be brought under civilian control. It recommended that the powers of decision making and governance must be restored to civilian political authorities in the province.


A detained person must be promptly informed about the charges against him and in accordance with the constitutional guarantees, should be produced in court within 24 hours and his due process rights should be respected and facilitated, the commission said.



June 30, 2011

Islami Jamiat Talaba in Punjab University Different civil society and human rights organisations condemns

about 3 weeks ago – No comments

cops get training in child protection, HRs Islamabad The Islamabad Police officials are committed to ensure protection of human rights. Inspector General of Police (Islamabad) Wajid Ali Khan Durrani said this while addressing an award distribution ceremony for 300 peer educators under ‘Police Training and Capacity Building for Democracy and Human Rights Project’ at the

about 1 month ago – No comments

PESHAWAR: In collaboration with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI), the Ministry of Science & Technology organised a one-day science and technology exhibition here Thursday. Provincial Minister for Science and Information Technology Muhammad Ayub Ashari was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. Other officials of the ministry, its attached organisations,

about 1 month ago – No comments

Establishment Division seeks more time for degrees verification ISLAMABAD: Though Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani was quite upbeat when he announced deadline of April 4 for degrees verification of some 350,000 federal government employees but even after passage of revised deadline of April 25 the Establishment Division has once again sought more time from the

about 1 month ago – No comments

IJT attacked PU staff | Power outages & students IJT ‘thrashes’ two PU employees Lahore, April 30: Some Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists on Friday allegedly severely tortured and injured two employees of the Punjab University (PU) for removing the student organizationís posters from the university walls. The PU employees Muhammad Akram and Muntazir Mehdi

about 2 months ago – No comments

Referendum regarding HEC devolution HEC devolution rejected in Karachi, April 12: A referendum regarding the devolution of Higher Education Commission (HEC) was organised here at the University of Karachi (KU) by the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) on Monday. A total of 5,122 students participated in the referendum, out of which 4,926 students casted their votes

about 3 months ago – No comments

Change in curricula must for tolerant society Lahore: Speakers at a discussion, underlining the importance of a tolerant society, stressed the need for revisiting the curricula with an ultimate aim of sensitising the people of the country to take care of the weak. The discussion was held at the Dorab Patel Auditorium of Human Rights

about 5 months ago – No comments

Punjab University IJT illegal event Two PU officials suspended Lahore, Jan 24: Punjab University (PU) administration on Friday suspended the varsity’s Estate Officer and Assistant Security Officer for failing to control activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) from organising an illegal event on the campus the other day. A Punjab University official said Estate Officer

about 5 months ago – No comments

NED University book fair | BZU clash NED University’s 32nd annual book fair commences Karachi, Jan 19: The NED University of Engineering and Technology has commenced the 32nd annual book fair at Sadeeqain Lawn on Tuesday. The book fair was organised by Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT). About 50 stalls have been placed in the book

about 11 months ago – 8 comments

Govt plans new service structure for teachers Peshawar, July 07: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is planning to adopt new service structure for schoolteachers in order to ensure their promotions. “Once the new structure is introduced, the schoolteachers serving in different grades will be able to get promotion provided they have improved their qualifications,” said a