HRCP for end to confrontation


Lahore, April 26: While commenting on the Supreme Court verdict in the contempt case against the Prime Minister, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for an end to confrontation between the state organs. In a statement issued today the commission said:

“While it is gratifying to note that the Supreme Court held its hand while sentencing Prime Minister Gilani, nobody can be happy that matters came to the point that the head of an elected government was convicted of and sentenced for contempt of court and that the court could not avoid making its decision controversial. That the situation resulted from the maximal and rigid positions taken by the two essential pillars of the state – the executive and the judiciary – can only be regretted. The executive earned no credit by apparently defying the apex court’s orders, which must be accepted even when they do not seem to be correct or sound, and only time will tell what cause has been promoted by the judiciary by belabouring the executive, out of the hundreds of issues on which it is liable to be chastised, on the issue of its own contempt. ‘The tendency to treat what is legally permissible as mandatory needs to be reviewed and greater reliance placed on the principle that all institutions must work not only within their constitutional limits but also adopt policies and postures that strengthen each other. Unfortunately the matter between the state institutions does not look like ending soon. It is hardly necessary to point out that Pakistan needs both justice and democracy in ample measure and that justice without democracy will be as inadequate a dispensation as democracy without justice. The people who have been kept on tenterhooks for week after week only wish to see the end of a confrontation that is looking more and more ungainly. They must not be disappointed.

 (Zohra Yusuf)


Sectarian killings won’t stop sans tackling root cause: HRCP

Lahore, April 11: The continuing spilling of blood in sectarian killings in Quetta and Gilgit Baltistan manifests a blatant failure to address religious intolerance in society, which constitutes one of the biggest threats for the country, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said on Wednesday.

The Commission said in a statement: “HRCP is alarmed by the continuing sectarian bloodshed in Pakistan, particularly in Quetta and Gilgit Baltistan. The killings demonstrate a disturbing pattern and appear to be part of a well-planned sequence. It has been stated that miscreants from Afghanistan have been involved. That may be one problem but it certainly is not the only one. The mindless bloodshed that we witness day in and day out is rooted in religious intolerance cultivated by the state. Politics in the name of religion has substantially worsened what was already an appalling situation. It is alarming that no one responsible for these killings has been nabbed in years. The people are paying the price of indifference with their lives. Rather than wasting time on addressing mere symptoms,the root cause of the problem must be identified and addressed. Instead of living in denial, we must now identify the policies that strengthen extremism and promote faith-based hatred in society. These constitute the single biggest threat to Pakistan.

In these perilous times, all those who believe in people’s rights, human dignity and Pakistan’s future must not remain silent. Otherwise the consequences for the country will be unimaginably disastrous. It is time for the government, all democratic-minded political parties and conscious citizens to join hands to think of a way out of this brutal vortex in order to rescue the state that has been held to ransom by extremism and obscurantism.”


Zohra Yusuf


HRCP demands probe of conditions for troops at Siachen

Lahore, April 10: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed sorrow at the Siachen landslide that buried alive more than 120 soldiers and a dozen civilians and has stressed the need for measures to avoid such tragedies in the future.

A statement issued by the Commission on Tuesday said: “HRCP is grieved by the tragedy that befell 136 people, including 124 soldiers, who were hit by a massive landslide at Siachen and shares the anxiety and grief of the families concerned. The situation demands an inquiry to ascertain the conditions in which soldiers are stationed at the glacier and what measures are in place for their protection from the severity of the harsh climate as well as the hazards posed by the fickle nature of the terrain.

“It is unfortunate that Pakistan and India both continue to suffer human losses because of the fighting as well as the high toll taken by the elements and accidents at Siachen. The Commission particularly welcomes parliamentarians’ emphasis on Monday to resolve the dispute between India and Pakistan over Siachen through negotiations and calls upon the governments of both countries to resolve Siachen and indeed all contentious issues between them through amicable means. The two countries must attach priority to resolving their disputes through talks in order to ensure that they spend their resources on their people’s welfare and progress rather than their militaries’ upkeep and expensive rescue operations ‘at the world’s highest battlefield’.”


Zohra Yusuf