Organization and Structure

HRCP is a member-based organization, with an elected council, a number of office-bearers and a secretariat. The highest organ of HRCP is the general body comprising all members. The general body meets at least once every year. The executive authority of the organization vests in the Council that is elected every three years. The Council elects the organization’s office-bearers – Chairperson, not more than five Vice-Chairpersons, a Secretary General and a Treasurer. No office holder in government or a political party (at the national or provincial level) can be an office-bearer of HRCP. The Council meets at least twice every year. Besides monitoring human rights violations and seeking redress through public campaigns, lobbying and intervention in courts, HRCP organizes seminars, workshops and fact-finding missions. It also issues a quarterly Newsletter in English that comes out in January, April, July and October, monthly Jehd-i-Haq in Urdu, Sindhi, Pushto and Baluchi-Brahvi languages, and an annual report on the state of human rights in the country, both in English and Urdu.

HRCP office-bearers 2005-2008 are:

Chairperson Asma Jahangir
Secretary General Syed Iqbal Haider
Treasurer Shahid Kardar
Vice-Chairpersons
Hina Jillani (Punjab)
Zahoor Ahmad Shahwani (Balochistan)
Zohra Yusuf (Sindh)
Kamran Arif (NWFP)

HRCP Secretariat is headed by its Director I.A. Rehman. The main office of the secretariat is in Lahore, and branch offices are in Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. A Special Task Force is located in Hyderabad (Sindh) and another in Multan (Punjab). HRCP also runs a Centre for Democratic Development in Islamabad, and is supported by correspondents and activists across the country.

Membership: HRCP now has a countrywide membership. It has not been as keen on expanding its enrolment as on its members’ coming with an obvious commitment to the cause. The membership fee has been small out of consideration for the common citizens who, it was thought, most needed to be attracted to the movement. But the well-to-do members have been encouraged to contribute as much as they could. The general body has met once every year to take general stock of the human rights situation in the country, to receive the year’s performance and audit reports of the Commission, and to debate and vote on issues placed before it or raised by its members. Every three years it has elected a new Council.

Council: The strength of the Council can vary between 31 to 51 members. It is elected for a three-year tenure. Care has been taken that all the provinces are sufficiently represented and that there is also an appropriate presence on the governing body of women and the religious minorities. The Council meets twice every year to examine the Commission’s performance of the previous six months and to approve of the programme for the next six months. It also through its resolutions draws attention to any issues of current concern and proposed action.  

Affiliation: Although HRCP formed information exchange relationship with several international human rights organizations, it agreed to formal affiliation only with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). It also became a member of the French-based International Federation of Human Rights (IFDH) and a coalition of Asian NGOs, Forum Asia.

Funding: HRCP’s finances came principally from local sources through subscriptions and donations. A third source has been developed on an ad hoc project-by-project basis. The partners in this category come from Norway (NORAD), Germany (FNF) Netherlands (ICCO), Canada (CIDA and ICHRD) and Sweden (SIDA).. HRCP took a decision early on that it would accept no aid that may be interpreted as compromising its independence. So superpower sources were foreclosed from the start and HRCP had to thankfully decline such offers.

7 thoughts on “Organization and Structure

  1. Dear Sir/Madam

    May I know what is the legal status of HRCP in Pakistan? Under which law it is registered locally?

    A kind and prompt response will be highly appreciated from your end.

    Thanks n Regards
    Dr. Farooq Malik

  2. Dear,
    May I know what is the process of membership with HRCP? I wana to be a member of HRCP.
    responce will be highly appreciated from ur end

    thanks
    Muqader Shah

  3. Sexual Harassment at SmithKline Beecham (now Glaxo SmithKline Beecham)

    When is sexual harassment at workplace not sexual harassment? When the management thinks so! That seems to be the case as far as SmithKline Beecham, one of the largest multinational pharmaceutical companies is concerned. This is evident from the company’s unfair handling of my complaint of sexual harassment, against a male member of the higher management in its Pakistan office.

    As an employee of the company, I lodged a complaint of sexual harassment in 1996 against my supervisor, Abdul Qadir Molvi who was the Marketing Services Manager. He had been harassing me and a couple of days before my annual performance appraisal had asked me to give him Rs. 30,000 (about US$750, which was more than my monthly salary) as a `loan’. I did not give him the money, which upset him.

    Qadir Molvi continued his disgusting behaviour, making lewd remarks, telling dirty jokes in my presence, invading my personal space, and touching me unnecessarily. Several of my female colleagues told me that they had been suffering Molvi’s unwelcome sexual advances. One of them told me that she had asked for a transfer from his department. I found that, throughout the company, Molvi had the reputation of being a lecher.

    I reported the matter to his supervisor, Salman Burney, the then Marketing Director (currently CEO of Glaxo Smith Kline Beecham). Burney tried to laugh off the matter and said, `he probably likes you’! He then defended Molvi’s behaviour by ascribing it to his having been a `salesman’ and that such people were like that. He accused me of being over-sensitive’ and said that the integrity of my supervisor could not be questioned, as he was `a senior employee of the company and a family man with grown up daughters’. Needless to say, Burney did not take any steps to prevent Molvi from persisting in his usual vulgar fashion. In order to proceed further with my complaint I asked Human Resources to give me a copy of the company’s service rules and its policy on sexual harassment. I was told that they did not have any such thing nor was I entitled to ask for it!

    I persisted in my complaints and took up the matter with John Squires, the expatriate Managing Director of SmithKline Beecham at that time. Squires tried to prevent me from pursuing my complaint and adopted a threatening attitude, warning, `If you don’t like him, why don’t you leave’ In other words, if I wanted to work in the company, I should agree to be sexually harassed. I refused to give in and submitted a written complaint, putting the issue on record. Eventually, after much feet dragging, an inquiry was initiated into the matter and an all-male inquiry committee was set up, under the supervision of the Human Resources Director.

    The standard practice of inducting a female member into committees investigating the highly sensitive issue of sexual harassment was ignored, thus bringing into question the very integrity of the committee.

    The lodging of a formal complaint adds another dimension to acts of intimidation by the management in an effort to keep the lid on the issue. The inquiry committee, instead of playing the role of an unbiased body, followed the lead of the management, and formalised the intimidation process. In this instance it led to defamatory remarks, threats and ridicule by the higher management to coerce me to take back the complaint. The management threatened me and labeled me a `troublemaker’ and `whistle blower’. The inquiry committee asked me to give a list of witnesses, company employees who had suffered similar behaviour from Qadir Molvi. Upon learning of their names, the management approached the would-be witnesses and, using both intimidation and favours, tried to dissuade them from testifying in support of my complaint. The management pressure was so great that two out of four of my witnesses changed their position. One of them withdrew her earlier written statement and the other modified hers as per the direction of the top management. Three of my colleagues who had differences with me on various other issues were persuaded to speak out in support of my supervisor. One `supporter’, Erum Shakir was the person who had transferred from Molvi’s department because of his sexual harassment. All three were rewarded with promotions and foreign trips at the company’s expense soon after they gave statements which satisfied management.

    The protracted proceedings continued in fits and starts, with no remedial action being taken against the accused. During the investigation, Molvi approached one of my witnesses and confessed his offence in the presence of another colleague and offered to apologise to me provided I withdrew my complaint, saying it was a misunderstanding. I refused.

    Not finding any protection from the Pakistan office of the company, I approached Damien Carpanini, Human Resources Director at SmithKline Beecham’s Head Office in London, UK. I told Carpanini that I was not satisfied with the manner in which the inquiry was conducted and wanted to discuss the matter with him. He refused, saying that he had full confidence in the Pakistan management and that discussing the matter with me would mean he was allowing me to influence the decision of the inquiry committee.

    The inquiry committee eventually cleared Qadir Molvi of all charges and I was asked to report to him as before. I protested that I felt unsafe working with him as he had now grown even more indecent and aggressive. The Human Resources in London turned a deaf ear to my complaint and informed me that they were satisfied with the decision of the inquiry committee and were not interested in discussing the matter with me.

    In Karachi soon after the decision of the committee my supervisor began to call me to his room every ten to fifteen minutes. I suggested that he used the intercom phone for communication but he insisted I met him in person each time he called me. The Marketing Director told me that I would have to meet the supervisor whenever he called me in his office and would have to develop a `one-on-one’ relationship with him otherwise, I could lose my job. I told him that I did not want to meet him whenever he called me to his office as I was afraid of his indecent actions. My continued stand against, and refusals to give in to, the demands of the management earned me a two-line termination letter. No reasons for termination were given. However, I was told verbally by the Human Resources Department that in view of my aforementioned meeting with Salman Burney in which I had refused to meet Qadir Molvi my services were being terminated instantly. No written warning or notice was given in contradiction of company policy. Human Resources also warned that if I did not meet my supervisor before I left, I would lose the salary due to me. I refused to meet the supervisor.

    I was told that after my dismissal the Marketing Director told his colleagues that he had to fire me because I was mad. One of my supervisor’s witnesses went to the extent of contacting my former journalist colleagues in Karachi and tried to defame me.

    I suffered tremendously during and after the ordeal but have no intention of giving up. My experience shows why incidents of sexual harassment are not reported. The threat of ridicule, intimidation and termination is used in keeping women from coming forward. Those who do, pay dearly, not only in terms of career loss but also emotional trauma and stress.

  4. To,
    dear sir
    human rights commission.
    My mother request for refèrance againist additional rigistrar gulam mustafa channa sindh high court karachi.
    i submit under tameel begum widow of late nizamuddin r/o kotri mohammad kabir teshil mehrabpur distt :nausharo feroz.
    sir /medam i am poor &helplesslady i vicitam that my house premises belong to my diseased husband that g mustafa additional registrar want try to snatch my rights my orphen children totally windup and closed to my proper way inner and outer way passing way and he told me,to vacate the premises is not belong to us,u r fully entitled and empowered toget,and avail u will get justice my through court.
    Now he had constructed pillar i havesd severally avail get and tried.
    Ghulam mustafa channa is serving in sindh high court karachi sir .madm g.mustafa channa want,to,illegal,torture hrcp,equally provide justice,in human basis to my way equalley inner outer.
    Kindely rights above,named,person.
    Thanks u r sincerely
    tameel widow of late nizamudin.(cnic.no.)
    (45302-68460544-4) kotri kbair teshail mehrabpur distt:nausharo feroz.

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