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State of Human Rights in 2006

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Sources
The sources, where not quoted in the text, were HRCP surveys, fact-finding reports and communications from its correspondents and private citizens; official gazettes, economic and legal documents and other public releases and statements; reports in the national and regional press; and publications of international agencies like the UNDP, ILO, WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank. Considering the limitation of the official reports, press accounts and sample surveys conducted by NGOs, figures and assessments offered here may not always represent the full or the exact picture. They should be taken as a reflection of the trend during the year.

Pictures are by courtesy of The Herald, Karachi; The News, Lahore; The Dawn, Lahore - Karachi; Daily Times, Lahore; HRCP Special Task Forces at Hyderabad and Multan and other HRCP offices. The Commission is also thankful to its correspondents for some pictures.

Published by
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Aiwan-i-Jamhoor, 107-Tipu Block,New Garden Town, Lahore-54600 Tel: +92-42-5864994 Fax: +92-42-5883582 E-mail: hrcp@hrcp-web.org URL: www.hrcp-web.org

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Cover design:Visionaries, Lahore Controller computers: Rehan Latif Khan

Contents
Abbreviations Glossary Introduction

... 1 Guest column ... 5 Highlights ... 17 I Rule of law


Laws and law-making ... 25 Administration of justice ... 39

II

Enforcement of law Law and order ... 89 Jails, prisoners and disappearances Fundamental freedoms

... 91

III

Freedom of movement ... 133 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion Freedom of expression ... 151 Freedom of assembly ... 169 Freedom of association ... 175

... 139

IV V

Democratic development Political participation ... 183 Rights of the disadvantaged Women ... 197 Children ... 223 Labour ... 235 Social and economic rights Education ... 259 Health ... 273 Housing ... 283 Environment ... 291 Refugees ... 309 Appendices
HRCP activities ... 317 HRCP stands ... 333

VI

Abbreviations
ADB AJK ANP ARD Asian Development Bank Azad Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Party Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy. Formed late in 2000 to include the PML and PPP within a single broad alliance. Assistant Sub-Inspector [of Police] Additional Sessions Judge Anti-Terrorism Act Anti-Terrorism Court Balochistan High Court Basic Health Unit Capital Development Authority, Karachis is KDA, Lahores LDA, etc. Chief Election Commissioner ECL EIA DCO DIG DPO DSJ DSP CII CJ COAS CNIC CrPC CRC CIA Women Criminal Investigation Agency Council of Islamic Ideology Chief Justice Chief of Army Staff Computerized National Identity Card Criminal Procedure Code Convention on the Rights of the Child District Coordination Officer Deputy Inspector General [of Police / Prisons] District Police Officer District and Sessions Judge Deputy Superintendent of Police Exit Control List Environment Impact Assessment
Abbreviations i

ASI ASJ ATA ATC BHC BHU CDA

CEC

CEDAW Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against

EPA EPI FATA FCR FIA FIR HEC HRCP IG IMF ISI ISPR IUCN JI JJSO JUI (F) LHC

Environment Protection Agency Expanded Programme for Immunization Federally-Administered Tribal Areas Frontier Crimes Regulation Federal Investigation Agency First Information Report Higher Education Commission Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Inspector General [of Police] International Monetary Fund Inter-Services Intelligence Inter-Services Public Relations International Union for the Conservation of Nature Jamaat-e-Islami Juvenile Justice Systems Ordinance Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rahman Group) Lahore High Court (SHC is Sindh High Court, PHC Peshawar High Court etc) Lady Health Visitor Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore Member of the National Assembly Member of the Provincial Assembly

MQM MSF NA NAB NCSW NEQS NGO NIC NIRC NSC NWFP PAEC PATA PFUJ PHC PMA

Muttahida (formerly Mohajir) Qaumi Movement Muslim Students Federation National Assembly National Accountability Bureau National Commission on the Status of Women National Environment Quality Standards Non-government organisation National Identity Card National Industrial Relations Commission National Security Council North-West Frontier Province Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Provincially Administered Tribal Areas Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Peshawar High Court Pakistan Medical Association

LHV MCL MNA MPA

PML(N) Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group). PML-QA is Pakistan Muslim League, Quaid-e-Azam. PONM Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement. The PONM platform brings together the nationalist organisations of the smaller provinces.

ii

State of Human Rights in 2006

PPC PPP PS PTI RHC SC

Pakistan Penal Code Pakistan Peoples Party Police Station Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Rural Health Centre Supreme Court

Organization UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNICEF United Nations International Childrens Education Fund WAPDA Water and Power Development Authority WASA WB WHO WTO WWF Water and Sewerage Authority World Bank World Health Organization World Trade Organization Worldwide Fund for Nature

SAARC South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation SCARP SCBA SHC SHO SI SITE SMP SP SSP TB TJP TNSM UDHR UNDCP UNDP Salinity Control and Reclamation Project Supreme Court Bar Association Sindh High Court Station House Officer Sub-Inspector [of Police] Sindh Industrial Trading Estate Sipah Mohammadi, Pakistan Superintendent of Police Senior Superintendent of Police Tuberculosis Tehrik Jafria, Pakistan Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi Universal Declaration of Human Rights United Nations Drug Control Programme United Nations Development Programme

UNESCO United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural


Abbreviations iii

Glossary
[Terms commonly used in discourse on rights and laws.] Abadi: Settlement. Katchi abadi refers to temporary settlement of squatters Amir-ul-Momineen: Literally, the leader of the pious ones. This was the traditional title of the head of the early Islamic state Asnad: Certificates awarded by educational institutions. Amir: Literally, leader. Frequently used to refer to leaders of Muslim groups. Assalam-o-Alaikum: May peace be upon you. Muslim greeting Atta: Flour made from ground wheat. Azaan: The Muslim call to prayers Azad: Free Baitul Mal: Originally the state treasury in an Islamic state. In Pakistan the institution has been set up mainly for disbursement of zakat Baitul Zikr: House of prayers and pious exchange. The term Ahmadis now use in place of masjid or mosque, which was prohibited to them after they were declared non-Muslim Begar: Forced labour Bhatta: Allowance. Now euphemistically used for amounts regularly extorted from industrialists, traders, professionals and other citizens by petty functionaries, militant groups or criminal gangs Bheel: One of the castes into which pre-independence Indias Hindu society divided its people. Bheel is among the lowest and poorest in the hierarchy and mostly comprises
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farm labourers Bismillah: I begin with the name of Allah. Required expression by Muslims at the start of anything they do. Chadar and chardivari: Literally, sheet of cloth and four walls. Associated with women the phrase signifies that a womans place of honour is inside the four walls of home; and, if she must go out, she has to be wrapped from head to foot in a sort of winding sheet Chak: Tiny rural settlement in the Punjab, usually designated just by number and a letter of the alphabet. Challan: The polices prosecution brief. There are two categories of this: the first is based on a preliminary (first information) report, and the next, which is more formalised, follows from early investigations Chapati: Bread made from wheat flour. A staple food item in many parts of Pakistan. Chaudhri: Now also a common surname in Punjab, in its original sense it describes the head of a villages foremost landed family Cheera: From the word meaning .tearing up., it is a common method of third degree torture in which the victims legs are spread out to the maximum and kept immobilised in that position. The agony quickly makes the man admit in most cases whatever he is asked to confess by the police Darul Aman: Literally home of safety, it is the name of institutions set up or supported by government for the shelter of women needing temporary sanctuary or protection. Usually the courts send women whose cases are yet to be decided to such shelters Deeni madrassah or madrassah [Plural in Urdu: Madaris]: Literally, a religious school. At present many of the institutions are run for sectarian and fundamentalist ends. Numbering in thousands these seminaries usually maintain a harsh discipline and aim to raise devout corps of sometimes militant young devotees Deh: Small village Dera: Extended residential site of an influential figure in a village or other area Diyat: The blood money in return for which the next of kin of a murdered man may agree to forgive the killer. It is also monetary compensation for any lesser physical injury caused Ehtisab: Accountability Eidul Fitr: Festive occasion which marks the end of the Muslim month of fasting, Ramazan. Fiqah: Muslim jurisprudence Gaddi-nashin: Occupier of the usually hereditary seat of custodianship of a shrine
Abbreviations v

Gherao: A number of persons laying siege to someone superior to pressure him to listen, and hopefully to yield, to their demands. Literally, to surround Hadd: Plural hudood: Islamic punishment Hari: Sindhi peasant, tenant or farm labourer Hujra: Retiring room of an Imam or any religious person or outhouse Iddat: The period a Muslim woman is required to spend in relative seclusion after divorce or death of her husband Iftar: The fare for breaking fast Ijtihad: Research and reinterpretation of Islamic intent in relation to specific issues. Ijtima: Congregation Imam: Prayer leader Imambargah: Shias place of holy congregation Isha: The Muslim prayer due after nightfall Jirga: A gathering of elders, which especially in tribal societies settles disputes, decides criminal cases etc Kalima: Quranic formulation of a basic Islamic tenet Karo kari: A traditional, feudal custom which still continues whereby couples found in, or more often merely suspected of, adulterous relationship are summarily done to death by the family members themselves. The law takes a lenient view of this crime of honour, which often leads it to be abused Katchi abadi: Settlement of homes, many made of unbaked bricks or timber and cloth, which have cropped up across the country. Khan: A term frequently used to refer to an influential feudal in the area. Khan is also a common surname. Khidmat committees: Service bodies, comprising government nominees, required to check failures of public institutions and officials Khula: Divorce in which the move for the dissolution of marriage comes from the wifes side. The procedure for this is different from talaq, the divorce pronounced by the husband. It is usually far more difficult for the woman to obtain a divorce in this fashion Kutchery: Court. The kutchery of recent currency is the former prime ministers weekly audience at his private residence in his hometown, Lahore, for receiving public complaints Maghreb: Time at sunset. Also the Muslim prayer due then Malik: A tribal chief. Other variants are Sardar and Khan Marla: 25 sq yds or 21 sq metres. 20 marlas make a kanal Mehr: The money the groom pledges to the bride at the time of the wedding as a
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token of his earnestness Mera Ghar: Literally, .my house. The name of a housing scheme launched by the government of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Moharrir: Police station clerk who records complaints and crime reports. Mullah: Formerly an appellation for an Islamic scholar, now it often refers pejoratively to a semi-literate fanatical campaigner and pronouncer of the orthodox Islamic view in the community. Closer to its original sense are maulana, moulvi and alim (for religious scholar, plural ulema). Muharrum: Muslim month of mourning, most devoutedly marked by Shias. Naib Qasid: Peon Najis: Something religiously regarded as impure, impermissible. Nazim: Mayor - Naib Nazim: Deputy Mayor Nikahkhwan: The officially appointed moulvi, a religious person, who solemnizes marriages Nikahnama: The document making note of a marriage contract with various clauses listed under it to determine the agreement reached at the time of the marriage with respect to dowry, mehr and other matters. Panchayat: A gathering of elders Patharidar: The village feudal who quietly patronises and provides protection to criminal gangs or individuals while using them to tame his enemies and help in maintenance of his hold over the commonalty and his status among his peers. Some also have a cut in the dacoits booty Peshgi: Advance payment against labour Pir: A religious figure who often, because he is believed to be spiritually close to some venerable saint of the past, acquires a wide following of his own. The devotees of a pir look up to him as a spiritual, and even a physical, healer, guide and source of salvation Pucca: Literally solid. Generally refers to houses made of baked brick etc. Qabza: Forceful seizure and occupation Qatl: Murder; Qatl-i-amd: Premeditated murder Qazf: False imputation of immorality against a woman Qazi: A judge of an Islamic court; in Islamic tradition the man entrusted to mete out justice. Qisas: Punishment identical to the crime: eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth Ramazan: The Muslim month of fasting Roti: Bread made from wheat-flour, traditionally accompanying meals. Swara: Gift of a girl in marriage in settlement of a tribal dispute
Abbreviations v i i

Sehri: The meal completed before dawn that marks the start of the Muslim fast during the month of Ramazan. Shalwar: Loose pants tied at the waist with a cord. Shalwar kameez, a loose trouser worn with a long shirt, or kameez, is a common form of dress for both men and women Tandoor: Open oven used to bake bread. Tonga: Horse drawn carriage used as transport. Ulema: Persons learned in Islam and Islamic practice Ushr: Islamic land tithe Vani: Tradition according to which women are surrendered for compounding a murder case. The same tradition is known as swara in the NWFP. Wadera: Feudal lord, with all the connotations of (a) his repressive character in relation to the body of peasantry and community who live on and off the lands he owns, and (b) his influence with the local official functionaries and their superiors. Allied and more neutral terms are zamindar, the man who owns large tracts of agricultural land, and jagirdar, the person who has inherited extensive lands gifted to his ancestors by former colonial and other rulers for services rendered Watta Satta: The kind of parentally arranged marriage in which a brother and sister of one family are married to the siblings of another. Tradition favours this because the landed inheritance of the two brides remains within the two families and also because it is thought to offer a kind of insurance of good treatment of the daughters thus exchanged between the families Zakat: A tithe Islam imposes on every Muslim as a fixed proportion of his/her income and wealth and meant as a contribution to help the poor and the needy Zakir: Religious preacher who mostly recounts events of the Islamic past, usually now in Moharram at the annual commemoration of Imam Husains sacrifice at Karbala Ziarat: Devout travel to and from prayers at the holiest shrines. A special Shia observance Zina: Adultery. Rape is zina-bil-jabr

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Introduction
The final four months of 2005 and the year 2006 the period this report covers found much of the country caught in a state of bitter internal strife. Military action in Balochistan and the North and South Waziristan agencies cost grave loss of life. Still more disturbing was the callousness with which citizens were made the targets of bombs, missiles and bullets which were used against them by the armed forces. Such actions were generally justified on the grounds of national security interests and the war on terror. The issue of enforced disappearances assumed more ominous proportions. More and more citizens across the country were picked up and whisked away apparently by State intelligence agencies, to secret centres of detention maintained by them. Some of those released after weeks, months or years at these centres reported being subjected to severe torture and constant humiliation. Others were too frightened to talk about their ordeal. HRCP recorded the names of hundreds of missing persons across the country, the largest number in Balochistan. Persons suspected of involvement in the Baloch nationalist struggle, and, increasingly, those struggling for the rights of Sindhi people were frequently targetted during the period under review. Websites run by such groups were banned and numerous attempts made to silence the voices raised by these people. Dissent was also ruthlessly punished when it came from the media or from other sources. Scores of media professionals were picked up, intimidated or arrested. Some, like Hayatullah Khan from Waziristan, were killed for attempting
Introduction 1

to perform their professional duties. Repressive laws restricting media freedoms remained in place and access to information was largely denied to citizens. Pro-Taliban forces were permitted to exert their own writ over parts of the NWFP, where girls schools where forcibly shut down, video and music shops bombed and individuals threatened for in any way opposing enforced orthodoxy. Illegal FM radio stations run by clerics incited gangs to inflict violence on each other and terrorise people in many towns and villages where gang warfare broke out. Scores were killed as a consequence of such clashes. The fact that organizations supporting jihad (holy war) were still functioning was evidenced in the wake of the disastrous earthquake of October 8, 2005, which, according to official figures, claimed at least 73,000 lives. Many others were severely injured and millions lost their homes and lands. Immediately after the quake, in Azad Kashmir and the NWFP, jihadi forces were among the first to begin rescue and relief work. Official efforts, particularly in the earliest days of the calamity, were slow with the military reaching many areas only four days after the tragedy. Though these efforts improved in later days as massive international aid poured in and relief organizations took up work, thousands of survivors remained without shelter into October 2006, a year after the disaster and spent another winter in tents or makeshift huts. Corruption, a lack of transparency and a failure to involve local people in relief efforts all contributed, according to HRCPs findings, to the immense difficulties faced in providing adequate housing and livelihood for people across the affected zone. The rise in intolerance brought new threats for NGOs and particularly women workers. Women in the country also continued to face violence in its many forms, with an increase reported in cases involving the amputation of legs, hands or feet. The intensified debate at many forums on issues facing women, spurred on by the presence of a larger number of women in assemblies, led to the passage of the Protection of Women Bill in November 2006, after many months of opposition from orthodox elements. The Bill was a step forward and included significant changes in the rape and adultery laws. Other discriminatory laws however remained on the statute books. The socio-economic grievances of people worsened. Their desperation was reflected in the increased number of suicides that took place during the year, with hundreds of people choosing to take their own lives. Most among
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them were young. While epidemics such as the dengue fever which hit the country towards the end of 2006 caused a great deal of anxiety and resulted in the loss of many lives, it was issues such as the lack of safe drinking water and poor sanitation which took the worst toll on the health of people. Thousands were affected by water-borne infections of all kinds, and hundreds lost their lives to them. The right to free assembly was severely restricted, with police thugs in many cases using extreme brutality to deal with peaceful protests. While police occupied themselves with bludgeoning law-abiding citizens the law and order situation worsened in all cities and many smaller towns. Armed robberies, murders, rapes and incidents of car theft were reported daily by the dozen. People were in some cases killed for the sake of a mobile phone worth only a few thousand rupees, as disregard for life grew in an increasingly brutalized society. Amidst growing anarchy and turbulence, some more rational notes were struck. In a judgement late in 2006, the Lahore High Court (LHC) held that the defilation of the Holy Quran was a crime against State, rather than against any individual, and as such a complaint could be brought only by the state. This promised relief in a situation where accusations of blasphemy, often as an outcome of petty rivalry, were increasingly common. Activism by civil society picked up pace, with efforts on to draw attention to concerns such as child abuse, bonded labour and the plight of women. The larger number of electronic media channels and FM radio stations broadcasting across the country provided room for many such issues to be taken up. The fact that more people were aware of their rights and willing to defy the oppressive hold of tradition to attain them, came in Mianwali, as, at the end of 2005, three educated young women refused to be given away as vani brides to the husbands they had been wed to in infancy. Other similar acts of defiance were also reported, supported by civil society organizations and in some cases at least, the government as well. More women than ever before reported rape, molestation or domestic violence, breaking free of the shrouds of secrecy that had for decades prevented them from even speaking out against wrongs inflicted on them. This increased awareness among oppressed people of their rights, and the role played in this by a wide range of civil society organizations, provided
Introduction 3

a ray of hope for the future, suggesting that the courage and will of citizens could in time help them overcome the immense difficulties they faced. NOTE: This report covers the period from October 2005 to December 15, 2006. As far as possible, figures for 2006 and 2005 have been provided separately. HRCPs annual report will from 2007 on cover the calendar year
This annual report includes a guest column. The column, on pertinent current issues, will be a feature of future reports as well.. We have quoted figures compiled by orgaqnizations working in various sectors, but are unable to verify this data.

-- Kamila Hyat

State of Human Rights in 2006

Highlights
Laws
The adoption of the Protection of Women Act, 2006 was the most significant development in terms of legislation. An amendment to Section 497 the Code of Criminal Procedure made women entitled to bail in non-bailable cases, with the exception of some offences. 1,200 women were released from jail under the presidential ordinance The MMA government in the NWFP pushed through a slightly diluted version of the Hasba Bill. On a reference made by the President, the Supreme Court stopped the Frontier government from enacting measures included in the new law. The government preferred legislation through the Presidents power to issue ordinances to parliamentary procedure for enacting laws.

Judiciary
Decisions relating to the elevation of judges to the apex court were criticized by lawyers. The government continued attempts to set up a special court to deal with commercial cases. The Supreme Court, in June 2006, declared the sale of the Pakistan Steel Mills invalid. State agencies frustrated superior courts efforts to ensure justice in
Highlights 1 7

cases of involuntary disappearance. A large number of cases were taken up by the Supreme Court in the exercise of its suo motu powers.

Law and order


The conflict in Balochistan and military actions in Waziristan adversely affected the welfare of people. At least 110 people lost their lives during the period under review in terrorist attacks. Battles between rival clerics in the NWFP endangered the lives of people. In some areas, local militias imposed Taliban-style rule. There was an increase in murder, dacoity and street crime. Cases of extra-judicial killings by police continued to mount. Torture was endemic in police lock-ups and a number of deaths in custody were reported.

Jails, prisoners and disappearances


The illegal detention of hundreds of people who had disappeared emerged as an extremely pressing human rights problem. HRCP received reports of at least 400 disappearances. It had documented details of 150 persons by the end of 2006. Violence broke out at many jails and usually resulted from an attempt by prisoners to protest torture, maltreatment or other violations of their rights, especially those mentioned in the jail manual. Over 7,000 prisoners remained on death row with up to ten condemned persons sometimes crammed into cells intended to house one. The acceleration in the bilateral process of the identification, release and repatriation of Pakistani and Indian prisoners offered relief to some. Others continued to be held.

Freedom of movement
Bars were placed on the movement of many clerics in a bid to prevent sectarian tension, but speeches preaching hate were freely circulated on CDs, videos or tape. The names of at least 17 Baloch nationalists were placed on the ECL. Delays in granting passports restricted the rights of many Pakistanis
1 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

to travel.

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion


The climate of intolerance remained unchanged. Violent riots shook major cities after the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons perceived by Muslims as blasphemous. Ahmadis remained effectively barred from voting. There was an increase in the incidents of non-Muslim girls forced conversion to Islam. The LHC ruled that defiling of the Holy Quran was a crime against the State rather than an individual and hence prosecution should be possible only on a complaint by the State.

Freedom of expression
At least four media professionals were killed during the year. Others disappeared or faced intimidation from intelligence agencies. Pakistan fell in the rankings of international media freedom monitoring organizations. At least 38 websites belonging to Balochi or Sindhi organizations were banned during the year. Actions were taken by PEMRA under the sweeping powers it enjoyed, against television and radio channels. Two TV and one radio channel were taken off air for varying periods. The Punjab Chief Minister also punished a TV channel by blocking it for several days.

Freedom of assembly
Dozens of activists of political and religious parties were detained for organizing rallies. Peaceful citizens attempting to draw attention to their grievances were on various occasions subjected to police brutality.

Freedom of association
Militant elements presented an increased threat to NGO activists in the NWFP, especially women. At least three female NGO workers were murdered. No action was taken against those issuing threats or delivering edicts
Highlights 1 9

that threatened associations. Hostility towards NGOs was demonstrated by members of government and there were reports of new legislation to control spheres in which NGOs could function.

Political participation
Ruthless actions were taken in Balochistan and other parts of the country to crush dissent. There were accusations of corruption during elections to the Senate. Allegations of malpractice also surfaced as new rolls were prepared for polling. Opposition political parties said at least 600 serving or retired military men were holding posts in the federal government. Hundreds of political activists were arrested.

Women
There was no significant change in the number of violent crimes committed against women. The number of cases involving amputation of limbs and mutilation increased. The Protection of Women Bill, passed after much controversy in November 2006, offered some relief. Other discriminatory laws remained in place. Women councillors in some parts of the NWFP were not allowed to attend council sessions. Countrywide, far fewer women were registered as voters than men. There was an increase in incidents of gang-rape, including cases involving minor girls.

Children
Children orphaned or separated from their parents in the October 8, 2005 quake remained at risk even a year after the disaster. Children continued to be made victims of violent crimes with the cases of kidnapping for ransom rising across the country. At least 50,000 children lived on the streets, according to estimates by rights groups. Although Pakistan ratified ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of
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Child Labour in 2001, children continued to be employed in dangerous occupations, including mining,

Labour
At least 1,717 people committed suicide in 2006, mainly due to stresses imposed by their socio-economic plight. Privitization of giant public sector concerns was not transparent and was often extremely controversial. At least six cases of the abuse of domestic employees were reported during the period under review. There were approximately 1.7 million bonded labourers.

Education
Pakistan spent around two percent of its GDP on education, the lowest figure among South Asian countries. While government policies focussed on enrollment, reports from many parts of the country stated existing facilities were in a dismal state. In Sindh, less than five per cent of rural girls attended middle schools. There were vast discrepancies in literacy rates between provinces and regions. Compared to a national literacy rate of 53 percent, literacy stood at only 20 percent in some districts of Balochistan. Unethical practices and declining standards plagued higher education. The number of madrassahs continued to grow rapidly.

Health
Health statistics, particularly for women and children, were amongst the worst in the world. There was one doctor for every 1,900 people according to the PMA. The mosquito-borne dengue virus claimed dozens of lives. The official response to the crisis was poor. Up to 44 percent of people in the country suffered from clinical depression.

Environment
The earthquake of October 8, 2005 killed at least 73,000 people in AJK and northern parts of Pakistan. The disaster presented an immense humanitarian challenge which
Highlights 2 1

persisted till the end of 2006. Safe drinking water was not available to most people in the country. Per capita water availability shrank to 1105 cubic metres, just above the scarcity level of 1000 cubic metres. Citizens fought back against authorities for their right to trees, parks and open spaces but their success was rare. There was no official word on reports of atomic waste dumping in Dera Ghazi Khan district. Toxic waste dumped in open places caused loss of life and injury.

Housing
The acute shortage of housing in urban centres was not addressed, while many existing houses were of poor quality. A grave housing crisis persisted in quake-hit areas. At least 200,000 persons had been displaced by the controversial Lyari Expressway in Karachi. Many victims had been resettled in far-flung areas, denying them access to work, education or healthcare.

Refugees
At least 65,000 Afghan refugees were repatriated in 2006. Those who remained faced harassment and pressure to return from Pakistani authorities. There were allegations of widespread corruption and mismanagement in the registration of Afghan refugees, which was begun in October 2006. The number of internally displaced people in the country, including those displaced as a result of fighting in Balochistan and Waziristan, increased but there was no official data concerning their number or their situation.

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What the Protection of Women Act does and what is left undone
-- Asma Jahangir Religion has remained central to all political discourse in Pakistan. At the same time, governments have been able to manoeuvre skilfully the force of religiosity into public policy. Every government has added its own brand of religious flavour to the political environment in the country. A few have subsequently retracted or regretted falling for the temptation of using religion, and yet it has repeatedly been used as a convenient tool for survival. The passage of the Protection of Women Act (PWA) is no exception to the rule. Those supporting the law insist that its stated objective is to bring the law in conformity with the injunctions of Islam. For the consumption of international public opinion, they boast of taking on religious stereotypes. The opposition to the PWA is painting it as a piece of profanity. In essence the PWA has simply addressed some, and by no means all, of the glaring discriminations and injustices meted out to women by the promulgation of the Hudood Ordinances in 1979. The amendments to two of the five Hudood Ordinances adopted through the PWA are significant but these do not fully address all human rights issues thrown up by the Zia enactments under the Hudood label. Mercifully, with the passage of the PWA false accusations of zina against women should dramatically drop. As such the new legislation has rectified the most conspicuous
Guest column 5

injustice meted out to women under the Hudood laws and has taken a step further towards making marital rape a crime. However, while the PWA is an important step in repairing some of the damage done by the so-called Islamisation policies of the late dictator General Zia-ul-Haq, it has retained the overall legal framework introduced by him. An unfocused attempt at partly rationalizing Zias handiwork is not a substantial conquest that may deserve the hype the government is indulging in. It has in no way challenged the role of the mullah in institutionalizing his controversial brand of Islam within the legal system of Pakistan. Both the government and the right-wing religious parties have expediently seized upon the PWA to lend weight to their populist agendas. The government has finally shown a plausible accomplishment to justify its claim of pursuing an agenda of enlightened moderation. The MMA (a coalition of religio-political parties) too has seized upon this opportunity to gain political mileage in an awkward phase of its political life. Its lukewarm opposition to the governments counter-terrorism measures in the provinces that it rules had eroded its credibility. It was on the lookout to take up an alternative soft agenda to oppose the regime. Human rights groups find themselves in a snare. While welcoming the PWA they have to impress upon the public the need to watch out as the roots of religious extremism have not all been weeded out of the Hudood laws. Zia-ul-Haq promulgated the Hudood Ordinances on 9 February 1979 on the twelfth of Rabi-ul-Awwal (the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)). With much fanfare, the action was announced as the first legislative step in Zias Islamisation process. The declared objective was to bring existing legislation in conformity with the injunctions of Islam and the President was satisfied that circumstances existed which rendered it necessary to take immediate action. 32 years after independence, the military dictator woke up to the critical need to control the sexuality of citizens by taking an immediate action and to subject them to the worst forms of punishment. In reality, the Hudood laws and subsequently the mechanism established to sustain them and the future of Islamisation has institutionalized obscurantist Islam and provided a foothold to the mullah in the realm of lawmaking. To give teeth to his pseudo-Islamisation zeal Zias military government set up the Federal Shariat Court. Along with the promulgation of the Hudood Ordinances, the Presidential Order 3 of 1979 granted the High Courts jurisdiction to hear appeals against
6 State of Human Rights in 2006

convictions under them. All offences under the Hudood Ordinances have always been tried in ordinary criminal courts with Muslim judges mandatorily presiding. As soon as the laws became operational, allegations of zina flooded the courts. The first wave of allegations was directed against young couples marrying against the wishes of their parents. The High Courts granted bail in most cases. Soon thereafter the appellate jurisdiction of the High Courts in matters of Hudood laws was transferred to a newly-crafted Federal Shariat Court (FSC) established in 1980. The Hudood Ordinances were the precursor to a conversion of the judiciary. Lawyers appearing in the FSC have to be Muslims, unless any of the litigants is a non-Muslim. All eight judges of the FSC must be Muslim. Amongst them three judges are ulema with no legal training. Decisions of the FSC are binding on the High Courts. The process of Islamisation went further in granting the FSC the jurisdiction to strike down laws found to be repugnant to Islam and to lay down guidelines for Islamizing the law under review. The FSC seeks assistance from ulema in deciding matters of Islamisation. As such, the relationship between the Hudood Ordinances and the setting up of the FSC is one of inter-dependence as long as the Ordinances survive, the FSC will remain a parallel judicial as well as a legislative body. Notwithstanding a number of positive rulings made by the FSC, its retrogressive judgements have not only brought misery to women and religious minorities but have also ruptured some established legal principles. Amongst other decisions, land reforms were declared unIslamic, mandatory death penalty was prescribed for blasphemy and murder was made compoundable by the introduction of the law of Qisas and Diyat. In addition, couples who had minor discrepancies in their marriage contract were awarded penal sanctions. A number of rape complaints were converted into charges of zina and the accused female-complainant was sentenced. Female complainants of rape who were pregnant were punished for zina. At least three hadd sentences were upheld which ordered amputation of limbs of the accused who had no resources even to engage a lawyer. Public whipping of women was ordered. Public outrage at each individual case dampened the FSCs zeal somewhat but, from time to time, it has been coming up with dogmatic rulings. The self-righteous character of the FSC has also rubbed off on the entire judicial system. The ordinary judiciary in Pakistan has eagerly embraced a conservative outlook. Its legal approach, appearance and demeanor have undergone a transformation.
Guest column 7

Instead of an application of the rule of law, there is much display of unwarranted religiosity. The Hudood Ordinances comprised five separate laws. The Prohibition order prescribed punishments for using or carrying any kind of activity relating to alcohol or drugs. Punishments for theft and armed robbery were prescribed in the Offences Against Property (Enforcement of Hadood) Ordinance, 1979. The Zina Ordinance dealt with sexual crimes, including rape. It made all sex outside of marriage a serious penal offence, and defined it as zina. Subsequently in 1997, the crime of gangrape was added, which carried a mandatory death sentence. False accusations of zina (sex outside of marriage) were made punishable in the Qazf Ordinance. Finally, the Whipping Ordinance laid down the procedure for punishment through whipping. [See chart at the end of the chapter]. A number of provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code were simply carried over to the Hudood Ordinances but the new elements these laws introduced raised controversy and led to rigid formulations supposedly on the basis of belief. The Hudood Ordinances introduced two sets of punishments Hadd and Taazir. Hadd punishments included stoning to death, amputation of limbs and public whippings. Until 1986, 23 hadd sentences had been passed, 13 of amputation of limbs, seven of stoning to death and six of public whipping. Stoning to death or amputation of hands was never executed. Eventually all appeals (with the exception of one) were accepted and superior courts overturned the decisions of trial courts or of the FSC. Several fundamental reasons appear to have discouraged execution of such hadd punishments fear of adverse international and domestic public opinion, the strict evidentiary requirements and the precise conditions for sustaining Hadd sentences. In the early 80s medical professionals refused to amputate the hand of a convict while lawyers and leaders of civil liberties opposed these punishments. Most importantly, Zia himself did not want to execute hadd punishments and yet was keen on retaining them. This reinforced his agenda of so-called Islamisation and served as an instrument of tyranny without having to face an explosion at every execution of hadd sentence. The PWA retains hadd punishments except in the case of rape. Stoning to death for zina and amputation of limbs remain intact in the Hudood Ordinances even after the amendments made by the PWA. A number of strict evidentiary requirements for awarding hadd are an
8 State of Human Rights in 2006

important safeguard against passing of severe sentences but some prerequisite qualifications establish a discriminatory pattern in the legal system of Pakistan. The evidence of women is not accepted for hadd conviction. Testimony of non-Muslims is only accepted if the accused is also a non-Muslim. Confession of the accused is liable for hadd punishment. These principles have been retained in the Hudood Ordinances; they are not affected by the adoption of the PWA. The gender discrimination in the law of evidence has seriously undermined womens legal status. Subsequent legislation on the value of evidence also discriminates against women. Denial of equal rights to religious minorities is a serious violation of their rights and gives rise to religious intolerance. Execution of extreme punishments based on confessions can be risky and has been interpreted in a bigoted manner such as punishing pregnant complainants for rape. The government argues that since hadd is never executed, the discriminatory nature of the law becomes meaningless. On the contrary, hadd punishments have an enormous appeal amongst the orthodoxy and even an authoritarian government will refuse to lay its hand on them. Their endorsement justifies Zias Islamisation process and more importantly leaves the temptation for the orthodoxy to agitate for their implementation at an appropriate moment in time. In the past, religious groups have used such opportunities to make governments nervous, often under a covert partnership with the military. As stated earlier every offence under the Hudood Ordinances prescribes two sets of punishments: hadd and taazir. Punishments of taazir and the evidence required for establishing an offence are virtually the same as in the post-Hudood legal system. Thus, the common argument that a victim of rape had to produce four adult male Muslim witnesses to prove the offence or that unless she did so she would be punished for zina has caused much harm. Absence of evidentiary requirements for attracting hadd punishment would automatically be followed by taazir punishment and the procedure under it. Rape can be proved by the testimony of the victim, medical and other circumstantial evidence. Punishment of taazir for the rape under the Hudood Ordinances extended to 25 years of imprisonment. The predicament for women was the implementation of a law that permitted the indictment of those complaining of having been raped and the introduction of zina as a serious offence with a broad definition. Those who married against the wishes of their families, wives who wished to seek separation and single women could
Guest column 9

effortlessly be accused of zina and promptly arrested by the police. Decisions of superior courts reported in law journals include those awarding pregnant single women hadd punishments for zina after they complained of rape but were unable to prove it under ordinary law of evidence. Proof of rape in all jurisdictions is testing but that does not put the complainant at the risk of being punished for zina. Pakistans courts have also used a bizarre logic for interpreting extramarital pregnancy of a female as a confession of having committed zina. A number of notorious cases raised serious concerns but the law was not reformed. Instead, the executive colluded with the judiciary in managing the outcome of each case so as to make its impact less dramatic. Allah Bux and Fehmida had got married. Fehmida was found pregnant and the date of Nikah was under dispute. The court awarded Allah Bux stoning to death and Fehmida 100 lashes in public. Following a public outrage a retrial was ordered. Jehan Mina, a 15-year-old girl was awarded hadd. She had complained of being raped by her relatives. Her pregnancy was treated as a confession of zina. Subsequently her sentence was converted to Taazir and she was unfortunately sentenced to imprisonment and whipped. Shahida Parveen and Muhammad Sarwar were sentenced to stoning to death. Shahida had remarried and the court found that her divorce from her previous husband suffered from some legal flaw. Again, after a public outcry the case was ordered for retrial. In the same way, the FSC intervened, on the request of Zia himself, to rescue Safia Bibi, a blind girl, from being punished for zina. She too had complained of rape. There are several reported cases where courts have passed strictures against women and degraded them. Women of over 70 years to girls as young as 11 have been imprisoned on charges of zina, mostly as Taazir punishment for zina. One therefore appreciates the fact that the PWA has made some amendments that ensure zina charges cannot be made with ease and the Taazir punishment for it is now lighter and the offence has been made bailable. Pakistans Penal Code did not prescribe punishments for women for sexual crimes before the introduction of the Hudood Ordinances. The offence of adultery did not prescribe any punishment for the female co-accused. It was a matter for private complaint and did not leave the police free to take action. It was a bailable offence and the complainant could withdraw the allegations. Cases of adultery before zina became a crime - and when women could not be punished for sexual crimes - were rare. It is thus evident that once the law made it possible for a woman to be punished, it was invoked viciously and unscrupulously. The offence of zina under the Hudood Ordinance was punishable under
1 0 State of Human Rights in 2006

taazir with rigorous imprisonment extending to ten years and with 30 lashes as well as with a fine. It was a non-bailable offence, though women had a better chance of being granted bail than men. In its initial years, a zealous judiciary and a ruthless police system harshly implemented the law. Police reports for the offence of zina show that each year over 1,500 cases were registered against women. Between 1980 and 1987, the FSC heard 3,399 appeals in zina cases. Statistics collected in 1988 showed that around 46% of all female prisoners were accused of zina, while in 2005 the figure had dropped to 18%. The Offence of Qazf Ordinance, which was ostensibly promulgated as a safety valve against false accusation of zina was weak and ineffective. It was further watered down by court decisions, where no one making false accusations against his wife could be punished under qazf. Understandably, only 1.24% of complaints of qazf were filed as against accusations of zina, despite the fact that over 90% of zina offenders were eventually acquitted in appeal. The PWA has amended two out of the five Hudood Ordinances. The Whipping Ordinance was made ineffective by banning all whippings except in cases of hadd. As hadd has never been executed, it virtually abolishes whipping. No punishment of taazir carrying a whipping sentence has been executed since 1988 and a new law finally banned it in 1996. The Prohibition Order and Offences Against Property Ordinance remain untouched. The Qazf Ordinance has been amended in a slipshod manner and effectiveness of change is yet to be tested. The Offence of Zina Ordinance has been radically amended. All its provisions with the exception of Hadd punishment for zina have been moved back to the Pakistan Penal Code with some modifications. An addition in the law requires all complaints of zina falling under hadd to be lodged in a court along with the evidence of four male Muslim witnesses of unimpeachable character before the accused can be indicted or even summoned. In addition the PWA has repealed Hadd punishment for rape. Under the post-PWA legal regime the offence of zina liable to taazir falls under the PPC. It requires all complaints of zina (attracting taazir punishment) to be lodged in a court after two eyewitnesses depose on oath having seen the commission of the crime. As such, the police can no longer have a free hand in arresting people who are accused of zina and filing of whimsical complaints of zina will no longer be possible. More importantly, punishment for the offence of zina liable to Taazir has been reduced. The maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years and the offence has been made bailable. These commendable amendments should protect women against being dragged to
Guest column 1 1

prisons on phoney charges of zina but they do not in any way acknowledge an equal status for women under Pakistans laws. Quite the reverse. By retaining the notion of recognizing the evidence of Muslim males alone, the lawmakers have reinforced the impression that women and non-Muslims are inferior citizens. The PWA has made other important changes too. Gang-rape no longer carries a mandatory death sentence. Imprisonment for life is provided as an alternative sentence. Sexual act on a female under the age of 16 with or without her consent will be defined as rape. Complaints of rape cannot be converted into accusations of zina. The PWA appears to have mildly strengthened the law of Qazf but its cumbersome procedure may discourage prosecution under it. Marital rape has been made an offence. In the pre-Hudood laws marital rape against a wife under 13 years of age was a crime. The PWA has not prescribed any ceiling on the age of the wife. Often marital rape has been associated with western values, but criminalizing it in Pakistans culture is relevant and just. It is an acceptable tradition in our society for a couple to contract formal nikah even years before rukhsati takes place. A legal marriage is contracted but the wife may formally be given away after a few months or years. After the promulgation of Hudood laws such paper wives could be abducted by their husbands and raped with impunity. Revenge rapes by paperhusbands have been reported following a dispute between the families of such spouses. Pakistans lawmakers need to be encouraged to act independently and with courage. Blindly following military dictates will earn them neither credit nor credibility. Ironically an important number of legislators who supported the PWA on the orders of Musharrafs military rule had previously voted to protect the Hudood Ordinances in 1985, on instructions from Zia. Many of them are on record as having justified them and indeed expressed their firm belief that the Hudood Ordinances were divine laws. One military regime endorsed them while its successor has found it fit to partially reverse their impact. Political parties have invariably avoided taking principled positions out of fear of criticism from the religious groups and their military allies. Nevertheless, political forces still expect another face of the same military to defang the mullah and roll back their extremist agenda. The few issues of concern in the Hudood Ordinances redressed by the present parliament can at best be received as a windfall but not as an indication of a policy shift regarding human rights. This is not an occasion to salute dictatorship.
1 2 State of Human Rights in 2006

The Hudood Ordinances Ordinance 1. The Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order IV of 1979 Crime Dealing with or using drugs or alcohol Hadd a. Only for drinking alcohol whipping numbering 80 stripes in public

Punishment Taazir b. For drinking alcohol maximum of 3 years imprisonment or lashes not exceeding 30 stripes or both. c. Drugs depending on the quantity and crime from 2 years to life imprisonment with whippings. PWA impact No change

2. The Offences Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979

Theft, armed robbery

a. Theft first offence amputation of right hand from the joint of the wrist. b. Second offence amputation of foot. c. Third offence, imprisonment for life. d. Armed robbery same as above, except if murder has also been committed death penalty will be awarded.

Same as was prescribed in the PPC before the promulgation of the Hudood Ordinances.

No change

Guest column 1 3

The Hudood Ordinances Ordinance 3. The Execution of the Punishment of Whipping Ordinance, 1979 4. The Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979 5. Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979 Crime For all crimes under the Hudood Ordinances Hadd --

Punishment Taazir -PWA impact No change

False accusation of zina a form of libel.

Whipping numbering 80 stripes.

Imprisonment which may extend to 2 years or with whipping not exceeding forty stripes including fine 1. Zina rigorous imprisonment for a term extending to 10 years and whipping 30 stripes. 2. Zina bil jabr (rape) imprisonment for not less than 4 and not more than 25 years and whipping 30 stripes. 2a. Gang-rape punishable with death. 3. Life and 30 stripes. 4. 25 years and fine.

Slight ineffective changes

1.

Zina

2. Zinabiljabr (rape) 3. Kidnapping, abducting or inducing women to compel for marriage. 4. Kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to unnatural lust. 5. selling person for purposes of prostitution. 6. Buying person for purposes of prostitution.

1. Zina hadd; 100 lashes for minors and stoning to death for adult married people. 2. Zina bil jabr (rape) same as above.

1. Hadd punishment for rape repealed 2. All offences except Hadd punishment for zina moved to the PPC. 3. Made punishment for zina liable to Tazir punishable upto 5 years and made it bailable 4. All sexual act of penetration against females under 16 years to be

1 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

The Hudood Ordinance Ordinance Crime 7. Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage. 8. Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a woman. Hadd

Punishment Taazir 5. Life and 30 stripes. 6. Life and 30 stripes. 7. Imprisonment extending to 25 years and 30 stripes. 8. Imprisonment extending to seven years and 30 stripes. PWA impact considered rape. 5. Marital rape becomes an offence. 6. Complaints of rape cannot be converted into charges of zina.

Guest column 1 5

Rule of Law

III

Laws and law-making 2 3

2 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

Laws and law-making


... fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to the law and public morality, [shall be guaranteed] ... the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured. Constitution of Pakistan Preamble To enjoy the protection of law and to be treated in accordance with law is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan. Article 4 Any law, or any custom or usage having the force of law, insofar as it is inconsistent with the rights conferred by this chapter [on Fundamental Rights] shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void. Article 8(1) It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law Universal Declaration of Human Rights Preamble Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or indirectly or through freely chosen representatives. Article 21(1)

The women protection law


The most significant development, for more reasons than one, in the area of lawmaking over the 16-month period under review was the adoption of the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2006. The measure involved changes in the
Laws and law-making 2 5

Zina and Qazf ordinances, two of the five controversial laws promulgated by Gen. Ziaul Haq in 1979 as part of what he had described as a plan to Islamise the countrys penal laws. While the measure fell short of the demand for repeal of the Hudood ordinances, vigorously pressed not only by women activists but also by independent jurists and lawyers, it may provide considerable relief to women. It was, therefore, hailed as an important first step towards reducing prosecution of women under discriminatory laws. According to the statement of objects and reasons, the primary object of all these amendments is to make zina and rape punishable only in accordance with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, to prevent exploitation, curb abuse of police powers and create a just and egalitarian society. The argument developed by the government in justification of the enactment was that while the offences of zina and qazf were mentioned in the Quran, Gen Zia had included in the ordinances on these offences a number of other offences which were neither defined in the Quran and Sunnah nor had any punishment for these acts been prescribed. All such offences fell within the states legislative jurisdiction. Accordingly, all these offences have been removed from the two Hudood ordinances and inserted in their proper places in the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, the government said: The Act makes the following changes in the laws: The offence of rape (zina-bil-jabr) and the punishment for it have been deleted from the zina ordinance and restored to the PPC as sections 375 and 376. The offence has been defined as an act forcibly committed by a man upon a woman, thus obliterating the pre- 1979 implication in the PPC that a male could also be raped. Consent of the woman will not be a defence if she is less than 16 years of age. Punishment for rape will be death or imprisonment for 10 to 25 years. Hadd punishment for rape has been repealed. Rape of a wife can now be punishable. Hitherto the only penalty for gang-rape was death. Now life imprisonment has been prescribed as an alternative punishment. The procedure for rape and gang-rape cases will be governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Cases will be heard by normal courts of criminal jurisdiction as was done earlier but now appeals also will be filed in normal courts and not the FSC. Hadd punishment for zina has been retained in the Zina Ordinance. The definition of adults who can be awarded this punishment remains unchanged. A male of 18 and a female of 16 (or at attaining puberty) can be subjected to Hadd punishment. Appeals will lie to the FSC. However, all complaints of zina liable to Hadd can be made only through
2 6 State of Human Rights in 2006

private complaints to the Sessions court by producing four adult, male, Muslim witnesses. Zina liable to Tazir punishment has been shifted to the PPC. The offence is bailable and punishment is imprisonment for up to 5 years. All complaints will be made through private complaints sypported by two adult, make, Muslim witnesses. The six offences taken out of the zina ordinance (its sections 11 to 16) and restored to the Penal Code are: Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel marriage etc- now 365 B of PPC; Kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to unnatural lust- now 367-A of PPC; Selling person for purposes of prostitution, etcnow 371-A of PPC: Buying person for purposes of prostitution, etcnow 371B of PPC: Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage now 493-A of PPC: and Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a womannow 496-A of PPC. The provision (sec 3) to the effect that the zina ordinance over-rode other laws has been deleted. Hadd punishment for qazf has been deleted. A court may take notice of a false complaint of zina on its own but the law is not very clear as to how that will proceed. The above mentioned changes in the zina and qazf ordinances were made in the bill as introduced in the national Assembly in August 2006 and as approved with amendments by the Select Committee on 4 September 2006. An important amendment to the original bill made by the Select Committee was deletion of a section that make publicizing identity of a woman in case of zina or rape an offence punishable with imprisonment for upto six month or /and fine. After the bill had been processed by the Select Committee the government consulted some religions scholars, apparently in a bid to placate the alliance of religio-political parties, MMA, whose members had reacted violently when the bill was first introduced in the National Assembly. As a result of these exchanges, which often became acrimonious, the following additions to the bill were made by the government: 1. A new section (496-B) was added to the PPC regarding the offence of Lewdness (later on changed to fornication), defined as: A man and a woman not married to each other are said to commit lewdness (fornication) if they wilfully have sexual intercourse with one another. Punishment for the offence: imprisonment for upto five years and fine of upto 10 thousand rupees. 2. Levelling false accusation of extra-marital sex or giving evidence of a false charge were made liable to the same punishment as prescribed for the offence. 3. Both offences (extra-marital sex and false accusation) were made bailable and triable by magistrates (I class). 4. A new section (5-A) was added to the zina ordinance to the effect that no case registered under the lewdness (fornication) provision of the PPC (the new sec 496-B)
Laws and law-making 2 7

can be converted into a case under the zina provision (sec 5) of the zina ordinance, nor vice versa. While the MMA totally rejected the bill, both before and after it became law, independent critics maintained that an opportunity to scrap the zina ordinance had been missed. They also criticized the enactment on the following grounds: i) The provision for stoning to death as punishment for adultery and pre-marital sex both keeps alive the controversy whether the penalty had been prescribed in Islam that Gen. Zia had arbitrarily suppressed. ii) While the punishment of whipping has been abolished in the country, it has been retained in the zina ordinance (punishment for zina for non-Muhsan). iii) Extra-marital sex is now an offence both under PPC and the zina ordinance and the forum, the procedure and the penalty under one of these laws are different from what the other law prescribes. The freedom of choice allowed to the complainant could cause confusion. Subsequently, General Pervez Musharraf announced: the government has decided to carry out a series of legislation to eliminate social injustices against women, including manipulation of the law of inheritance, trafficking of women, forced marriages, marriages with the Holy Quran, practice of vani and the divorce issue.

Bail for women


Another legislation designed to mitigate the suffering of women in conflict with law was an amendment in July to sec 497 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, whereby women were made entitled to bail in non-bailable cases, except for certain offences. According to official announcements 1, 200 women had won release on bail within a few weeks of the issuance of the presidential ordinance. The text of the ordinance is also follows: Amendment of section 497, Act V of 1898.In the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898), in sub-section (1), in the first proviso, the words or any women shall be omitted and after the first proviso amended as aforesaid, the following new provisos shall be inserted, namely: Provided further that a woman accused of such an offence shall be released on bail, as if the offence is bailable, notwithstanding anything contained in Schedule-II to this Code or any other law for the time being in force; Provided further that a woman may not be so released if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that she has been guilty of an offence relating to terrorism, financial corruption and murder and such offence is punishable with death or imprisonment for life or imprisonment for ten years, unless having regard to the facts
2 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

and circumstances of the case, the court directs that she may be released on bail: Provided further that where a woman accused of an offence is refused bail under the foregoing proviso, she shall be released on bail if she has been detained for a continuous period of six months and whose trial for such offence has not been concluded, unless the court is of the opinion that the delay in the trial of the accused has been occasioned by an act or omission of the accused or any other persons acting on her behalf: Even before it was amended the CrPC provided for bail to women. Section 497 of the code and the first proviso said: 497: When bail may be taken in case of non-bailable offence: (1) When any person accused of a non-baillable offence is arrested or detained without warrant by an officerin-charge of a police station, or appears or is brought before a court, he may be released on bail, but he shall not be so released if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that he has been guilty of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life or imprisonment for 10 years. Provided that the court may direct that any person under the age of sixteen years or any woman or any sick or infirm persons accused of such an offence be released on bail. However, under the earlier provision women were generally not fortunate enough to secure bail if they were accused of non- bailable offences, especially under the hudood ordinances. The amending ordinance made grant of bail to women much easier, though it did not address the many other problems a woman charged with offences under the hudood ordinances attracted. This ordinance was issued on 7 July 2006. It was neither approved by Parliament nor reissued before the expiry of four months and therefore it lapsed on 6 November 2006 another instance of lack of due diligence on the part of law-makers.

The Hasba Bill again


If the Protection of Women Act represented an attempt to reduce the damage to Pakistans law code done by Gen. Ziaul Haqs politically motivated exploitation of the peoples religious sentiment, about the same time the MMA government in the Frontier Province renewed its effort to follow in his footsteps it pushed through the provincial assembly a somewhat diluted version of its Hasba Bill of 2003. The 2003 draft had been censured by the Council of Islamic Ideology and the provincial governor. Undeterred by adverse views the government steamrollered the bill through the assembly. It was eventually halted by the Supreme Court which, on a reference from the President, gave the opinion that many provisions of the bill were ultra vires of the constitution. These provisions were vague, overbroad, and unreasonable. They were based on excessive delegation of jurisdiction, denied the
Laws and law-making 2 9

citizens their right of access to justice and attempted to set up a parallel judicial system. In the new Hasba Bill the Mohtasibs powers have been curtailed and the more blatant forms of interference with citizens life and belief abandoned. However, it is doubtful that the measure is not violative of the fundamental rights and the scheme of judiciary in the constitution. More than that, the bid to abuse religious emotions for political ends could not be mistaken. On a reference made by the President, as requested by the provincial governor, the Supreme Court in December 2006 stopped the Frontier government from enacting the measure.

Sindh FOI ordinance


While complaints of non-enforcement and non-utilisation of the federal Freedom of Information Ordinance of 2002 continued unabated, Sindh became the first province to get a provincial law on the subject. The Sindh Freedom of Information Ordinance was issued in August 2006.

Of alien husbands
The private members bills killed in standing committees included a move to allow citizenship to foreign nationals who got married to Pakistani women. According to a press report the bill was opposed on the following grounds: The case of a foreign man marrying a Pakistani woman was different from that of a foreign woman marrying a Pakistani man. The move would help many illegal immigrants to live in Pakistan. Foreigners could divorce their Pakistani wives and retain Pakistan nationality. On the one hand the divorce rate would rise and, on the other hand, many foreign nationals would marry Pakistani women only to get Pakistans citizenship. As a result of the influx of foreign husbands of Pakistani women, the unemployment ratio would rise. Afghan refugees, Bengalis and Biharis will be the largest groups that could abuse the proposed law. It would also provide legal ingress to Indian men into Pakistan. Foreign states could plant their agents in Pakistan.

Rule by ordinance
Throughout the period under review (September 2005-December 2006) the government preferred legislation through the Presidents power to issue ordinance, to meet an emergency and while the National Assembly is not in session, to adoption of measures after a thorough debate in parliament. While a large number of bills were introduced in parliament in 2006 (52 bills had
3 0 State of Human Rights in 2006

been introduced by September 13 in the National Assembly alone), the six legislative measures that became laws after adoption by parliament were: Act I: The Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan Act , 2006; assented 6 January, gazetted 16 January; to provide for the establishment of the Institute. Act II: The Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) (Amendment) Act, 2006; assented and gazetted March 1; to amend the Act of 1996. Act III: The Finance Act, 2006; assented and gazetted July 1; to give effect to budget proposals 2006-07. Act IV: The Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious Displays and Wasteful Expenses) (Amendment) Act, 2006; assented 12 September, gazetted 18 September; to relax the restriction on wedding meals and allow one dish, which means salan, rice with roti and one sweet dish Act V: The Federal Public Service Commission (Amendment) Act, 2006; assented 30 September, gazetted 5 October; to amend ordinance XLV of 1977 and reduce the FPSC members tenure from five years to three. Act VI: The Protection of Women (Criminal Law Amendment) Act 2006; assented December 1. Federal ordinances are valid for four months only. On the expiry of this period they lapse, unless approved in the meantime by parliament. They can be issued only to meet an emergency and while National Assembly is not in session. Ordinances issued on the eve of a new National Assembly session fall in the category of unfair legislative practices. However, the Pakistan government has repeatedly violated this principle. For instance a national Assembly session was scheduled to open on 4 August 2006. A day earlier (3 August) six ordinances (No xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, xx, and xxi) were promulgated. Reissuing of an ordinance a short time before its expiry is a tactic increasingly employed to keep extraordinary legislation alive. The Police Order (Chief Executives Order 22 of 2002) is one of the most frequently and most comprehensively amended laws in Pakistans recent history (after the Constitution, of course). Ordinance III of 2005, dated 23 March 2005, amended Articles 2, 10, 11, 12, 15, 18, 21, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36,37 (substituted), 38 (substituted), 39 (substituted), 40, 41, 42 (substituted), 44 (substituted), 45, 46, 47, 48 chapter VI (omitted), 73, 74,75,77 (substituted), 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 89, 92, 100, 112, 134, 135, 152, 155, 168, 169, omitted Articles 103 to 108 and added Article 186-A and schedule IV. Instead of getting this important piece of extraordinary legislation approved by Parliament, the government reissued it on 23 July 2005, again on 22 November 2005, again on 23 March 2006, again on 27 July 2006. If, for reasons that can be imagined, an ordinance cannot be reissued before it
Laws and law-making 3 1

lapses it is reissued with retrospective effect. Law experts have often criticised the practice of keeping ordinances alive in this manner. For instance, Pakistan Intellectual Property Rights Organization was issued on 8 April 2005, and expired on 7 August 2005. It was reissued on 10 August 2005 and was deemed to be effective from 7 August (the date on which the preceding ordinance had expired). The ordinance was reissued on 4 December 2005 and again lapsed on 3 April 2006. However, it was reissued on 22 April 2006 but made effective from 4 April 2006. The measure was reissued on 3 August 2006. The Alternative Energy Development Board Ordinance was issued on 30 April 2005. It was reissued on 27 August 2005, again on 16 January 2006 (made effective from 27 December 2005), again on 26 April 2006. The Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreements and Foreign Arbitral Awards) Ordinance was issued on 14 July 2005, was reissued on 3 December 2005 (effective from 11 November 2005), again reissued on 18 March 2006, and again on 14 July 2006. The Federal Public Service Commission (Amendment) Ordinance was issued on 27 August 2005, was reissued on 22 December 2005, again on 21, April 2006, and again on 3 August 2006. The National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance was issued on 4 December 2005. It was reissued on 22 April 2006 (with effect from 3 April 2006), again on 3 August 2006. Ordinances issued between 27 August and 31 December 2005 Ordinances issued till 27 August 2005 were covered in the State of Human Rights in 2005. The following ordinances were issued between 27 August and 31 December 2005. All ordinances take effect immediately unless stated otherwise. 1. Ordinance XVI of 2005; Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2005; 27 August; to amend Act XVII of 1996. 2. Ordinance XVII of 2005; Alternative Energy Development Board Ordinance; 27 August; to provide for the establishment of the board. 3. Ordinance XVIII of 2005; Police Order (Third Amendment) Ordinances; 22 November; to amend the Police Order of 2002. 4. Ordinance XIX of 2005; Societies Registration (Second Amendment) Ordinance; First December; to amend Act XXI of 1860 and provide for registration of madressas. 5. Ordinance XX of 2005; Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreements and Foreign Arbitral Awards) Ordinance; 3 December; to be deemed effective from Nov 1, 2005; to give effect to a UN convention. 6. Ordinance XXI of 2005; Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan
3 2 State of Human Rights in 2006

Ordinance; 4 December; to be deemed effective from 7 December 2005; to establish the said organization. 7. Ordinance XXII of 2005; National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance; 4 December; to amend the Ordinance XVIII of 1999 and provide for two deputy chairmen of NAB instead of one. 8. Ordinance XXIII of 2005; Institute of Space Technology Ordinance; 4 December; to provide for the establishment of the said institute. 9. Ordinance XXIV of 2005; Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Ordinance; 27 December; to be deemed effective from 19 November 2005; to amend Act V of 1976. 10. Ordinance XXV of 2005; Federal Public Service Commission (Second Amendment) Ordinance; 22 December; to amend ordinance XLV of 1977 and reduce the term of members. 11. Ordinance XXVI of 2005; National Database and Registration Authority (Second Amendment) Ordinance; 22 December; to amend ordinance VIII of 2000. Ordinances issued during 2006 I. Alternative Energy Development Board Ordinance; 16 January; to provide for the establishment of the said board. II. Public Investments (Financial safeguards) (Amendment) Ordinance; 14 March; to amend ordinance XLVI of 1960. III. Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreements and Foreign Arbitral Awards) Ordinance; 18 March; to enforce a UN convention. IV. Police Order (Amendment) Ordinance; 21 March; to amend Order 22 of 2002. V. Federal Public Service Commission (First Amendment) Ordinance; 21 April; to amend ordinance XLV of 1977. VI. National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance; 22 April; to amend ordinance XVIII of 1999. VII. Intellectual Property Organisation; 22 April; to establish the said organization. VIII. Alternative Energy Development Board Ordinance; 11 May; to set up the said board and keep ordinance I of 2006 alive. IX. Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Ordinance; 13 May; to amend the Act of 1975. X. National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Ordinance; 25 May; to amend ordinance VIII of 2000. XI. Institute of Space Technology Ordinance; 31 May; to establish the said
Laws and law-making 3 3

institute. XII. Banks (Nationalisation) (Amendment) Ordinance; 31 May; to amend Act XIX of 1974. XIII. Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance; 7 July; to amend Act V of 1898 and allow women bail in non-bailable offences. XIV. Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreements and Foreign Arbitral Awards) Ordinance; 14 July; to keep ordinance III of 2006 alive. XV. Police Order (Second Amendment) Ordinance; 27 July; to amend Order 22 of 2002. XVI. Khushhali Bank (Amendment) Ordinance; 3 August; to amend ordinance XXXII of 2000. XVII. Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan (Reorganisation and Conversion) Ordinance; 3 August; for reorganisation of the bank and its conversion into a public limited company. XVIII. Federal Public Service Commission (Second Amendment) Ordinance; 3 August; to further amend ordinance XLV of 1977. XIX. National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance; 3 August; to replace ordinance VI of 2006 and amend ordinance XVIII of 1999. XX. Patents (Second Amendment) Ordinance; 3 August; to amend ordinance LXI of 2000. XXI. Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan Ordinance; 3 August; to provide for the establishment of the said organization. XXII. Islamabad Capital Territory Private Educational Institutions (Regulation and Promotion) Ordinance; 21 September; to register and regulate private educational institutions in Islamabad. XXIII. Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Ordinance; 2 October; to amend Act V of 1975 XXIV. Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Ordinance; 5 October; to establish DHA Islamabad XXV. The Institute of Space Technology Ordinance; 9 October; to set up the institute. Deemed to be effective from 3 August 2006. XXVI. The National Database and Registration Authority Ordinance; 19 October; to amend Ordinance VIII of 2000. XXVII. The National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Ordinance; 1 November; to further amend ordinance VIII of 2000. XXVIII. The Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority
3 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

Ordinance; 1 November; to set up the Authority. XXIX. The Banks (Nationalisation) (Second Amendment) Ordinance; 4 November; to further amend Act XIX of 1974. During the final weeks of 2006, several more ordinances were issued. These included: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Ordinance; 8 November; to grant degree-awarding status to PIDE, Islamabad. National Vocational and Technical Education Commission Ordinance; 8 November; to provide for regulation, coordination and policy direction for technical education and vocational education training. National School of Public Policy (Amendment) Ordinance; 10 November; to amend ordinance of 2002. Settlement of Investment Disputes Ordinance; 10 November; to implement an international convention. National Disaster Management Commission Ordinance; 23 December.

Order on judges salaries


On 22 November 2006, the President issued his Order 3 of 2006 whereby the emoluments of judges of superior courts were revised upwards. Their salaries were now fixed as follows: Chief Justice of Pakistan : Rs. 106,600 /p.m. Judge of the Supreme Court : Rs. 100,700 /p.m. Chief Justice of a High Court : Rs. 98,800 /p.m. Judge of a High Court : Rs. 95,000 /p.m.

LJCP proposals
The Law and Justice Commission made a number of proposals to reform laws. It proposed that the scale of fines as punishment in statutes be revised as under: statutes made 1851-1900: five-fold increase statutes made 1900-1950: four-fold increase statutes made 1950-1975: three-fold increase statutes made 1975-1995: two-fold increase statutes made after 1995: no increase The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance should be amended to oblige husband/ father of the child to provide maintenance and cost to a divorced woman with a child during its suckling period. The Judicial Officers Protection Act 1850 should be repealed. The Act protected
Laws and law-making 3 5

judicial officers against civil liability. Move in the light of a decision by the Shariat Appellate Bench striking down sec 197 Cr PC and sec 75 Criminal Law Amendment Act 1958, lifting protection against criminal liability. Fatal Accidents Act 1855 be repealed as compensation is provided in Diyat and Qisas law. Kazis Act, 1880, Sarais Act 1867, and Recusant Witnesses Act 1853 be repealed as utility exhausted. At its meeting in Quetta in June 2006 the Law and Justice Commission disposed of the following business: The Commission took notice of delay in cases under the Zina ordinance and the suffering caused to women trapped under it. Directions were issued that such cases should be decided on priority basis within three months. The district and session judges were directed to visit prisons and ensure that no person charged with a bailable offence was kept in prison. Such persons could be released on personal bonds or furnishing of surety. Reference was made to a similar directive issued by the SC some time earlier. In order to eliminate chances of fraud and forgery by executing deeds in back dates, the LJC decided on an amendment to rules so that stamp papers could be printed with serial numbers and bearing dates of printing and the vendors obliged to keep record of sale and its date. The Commission noted the increase in litigation caused by defective drafting of deeds by inadequately educated/trained petition writers. It resolved that through an amendment to the Registration Act the Inspector-general of Registration should be empowered to regulate the work of conveyance writing and only qualified persons should be granted licence as conveyancers. The LJC disapproved of the banks practice of imposing service charges on account holders whose deposits fell below Rs.5,000 and deductions at the time of closure of accounts as unnecessary burdens on the poor that would discourage opening of accounts, especially by peasants and workers. The law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) also approved a number of jail reform proposals: 1. Amendments to statutes i) The punishment of prisoners by putting them in bar fetters should be abolished. ii) The whipping of prisoners for jail offences should be abolished iii) In case of a major penalty awarded by the jail superintendent a prisoner should have the right of appeal to the I-G (Prisons). iv) Prisoners should be allowed to meet their spouses in privacy and certificates
3 6 State of Human Rights in 2006

of meetings duly issued. v) Women, especially those under 18 or above 50 years of age and who are not charged with heinous crimes, should be liberally allowed bail. vi) Hudood cases should be decided within four months. 2. Amendments to rules i) Prisoners may be allowed to keep radio sets (with headphones), wrist watches, books, papers, pens/pencils without prior permission by prison authorities. ii) All class C convicts may be allowed to wear their own clothes instead of the prison dress. iii) The scale of remission in punishment on grounds of education should be graded and greater remission allowed for acquiring higher degrees. iv) Children should be allowed to meet parents in prison. v) Inspectors-general of prisons, district judges, district nazims and health directors should visit prisons every three months. vi) Immediate judicial probe by ADSJ into a detainees death/ suicide. vii) Alien prisoners be allowed benefit of consular access and legal assistance, immediate repatriation on completion of sentence and those convicted of minor offences be deported to home countries. viii) Prisoners be detained near home towns so that relatives could visit them easily. ix) Political prisoners be kept separate from criminals. x) Mentally disturbed persons should not be kept in prisons. xi) The period for filing appeals with high courts against death sentence may be increased to 60 days. 3. Administrative reform i) New prisons should be built with proper facilities. The condition of existing jails/lock-ups be improved by providing fans, toilets, benches. Prisoners should have outdoor and indoor sports facilities. ii) The number of prisoners in a death cell should not exceed its capacity. iii) Women and juvenile prisoners should be given proper education and training. iv) Industries in jails be revived and private sector encouraged to set up industrial units in jails. Prisoners should be trained for work in industrial units and should be paid for their work. The National Judicial Policy-making Committee stated that it was a statutory obligation of provincial governments to appoint one woman judge of family court in
Laws and law-making 3 7

each district but this obligation was yet to be fulfilled. The National Judicial Policy-making Committee also resolved that the Family Courts Act be amended to facilitate early execution of decrees granted by family courts in favour of women. Urged a campaign to increase public awareness of Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929.

Recommendations
1. HRCP is of the firm opinion that all discriminatory laws must be brought in conformity with international human rights standards. As such, while the recent changes made through the Protection of Women Act are significant, they do not guarantee equal treatment to all citizens. Moreover, the Federal Shariat Court, the appellate forum for appeal, does not fulfill the criteria of an independent judiciary. The Hudood Ordinances and the FSC should be brought in conformity with the principles of human rights standards. 2. Law-making through ordinances should be strongly discouraged. Members of parliament must remain vigilant in matters of legislation through ordinances.

3 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

Administration of justice
To enjoy the protection of law and to be treated in accordance with law is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan. In particular (a) no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law, (b) no person shall be prevented from or be hindered in doing that which is not prohibited by law; and (c) no person shall be compelled to do that which the law does not require him to do. Constitution of Pakistan Article 4(1) and (2) No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law Article 9 All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. Article 25(1) There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone. Article 25(2) The state shall ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice Article 37(2) No property shall be compulsorily acquired or taken possession of save for a public purpose and save by authority of law ... Article 24(2) Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Preamble
Administration of justice 3 9

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law Article 6 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. Article 7 Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the Constitution or by law. Article 8 Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. Article 10 No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Article 17(2) No one within the jurisdiction of a State Party to the present Optional protocol [on abolition of death penalty] shall be executed. Each State Party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction. Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR Article 1

SC at full strength
Decisions relating to the elevation of judges to the apex court again did not escape criticism by lawyers. At the beginning of September 2005, the Supreme Court comprised 15 judges (including the Chief Justice) as against the sanctioned strength of 17, and one of them was due to retire soon. With a view to restoring the court to its sanctioned strength, the President elevated the Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court and two judges of the Lahore High Court to the apex court. The Bar Council took exception to what it described as elevation of LHCs junior judges for the third time in a row. Contrary to the rules laid down by the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court was not elevated to the Supreme Court. According to the leaders of the bar councils, the decision was acceptable to the CJ and that compromised his independence. Soon afterwards, the outgoing SC judge, Justice Hamid Ali Mirza, and Justice(R) Karamat Nazir Bhandari were appointed ad hoc judges of the SC for one year. In September 2006, Justice Hamid Ali Mirza was again appointed ad hoc judge for a year and Justice Ghulam Rabbani of the LHC was chosen as a SC ad hoc judge for six
4 0 State of Human Rights in 2006

months. Article 182 of the Constitution allows the Chief Justice of the country to appoint ad hoc judges of the SC. With the appointment of ad hoc judges the SC exceeded the sanctioned strength by two.

A depleted FSC
That posting on the Federal Shariat Court is not fancied by many and filling vacancies on it does not figure on the Law Ministrys priority list was again proved in 2006. The Shariat Court stopped functioning when its Chief Justice retired on May 8. After some days the appointment of a Lahore High Court judge as the new FSC CJ was notified but he declined. A retired judge of the Supreme Court was also reported to have declined. Finally, Justice (R ) Haziqul Khairi assumed charge as CJ at the beginning of June. Within a few days four judges (out of six) retired on the completion of their contract. Another judge retired some days later and the court comprised only the new CJ and one judge (an aalim). In the last week of October the only judge at the FSC was the C.J. The number of cases before the court at that time was reported to be more than 3,000, and quite a few people languished in jail because of delay in hearing of appeals. Environmental Tribunals Non-appointment of judges on Provincial Environmental Tribunals earned the governments strictures from the Supreme Court.

Federal court again


Undeterred by its failure to set up a federal court for cases of commerce, industry and trade in 2005, the government prepared a new formula for the creation of special courts to deal with commercial cases. Two draft bills were released by the federal law ministry in April 2006 for public comments. One of the proposals envisages the creation of a Federal High Court for Islamabad Capital Territory by raising the Federal Capital to the status of a province. The Law Minister says the move is designed to reduce the burden of work on the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court under whose jurisdiction the capital area at present falls. According to some critics, the idea is to take matters concerning the federal ministries out of LHC hands. The second draft proposes splitting up of each of the four high courts into three divisions civil, criminal and commercial and creation of an inspection wing. It is said the commercial division will hear cases arising from business transactions,
Administration of justice 4 1

including foreign investment, negotiable instruments, exports and imports, carriage of goods by land, air, sea or by pipeline, exploitation of oil, gas or other natural resources, insurance, banking, markets, exchanges, business agency and companies. Hearing of commercial cases will be on day-to-day basis and will continue till completion. The inspection wing at each high court, it is said, will supervise and control the subordinate judiciary. The wing will be headed by a retired high court judge who will have a couple of district judges as members. Critics of the proposals maintain the high courts are already following schemes similar to what is now suggested and any departure from the current practice is at the moment not warranted.

SC review
A full court meeting of the Supreme Court, at the beginning of July 2006, reviewed the performance of the judiciary. The court expressed satisfaction at the success of measures taken to reduce pendency at the apex court. It noted that the number of cases pending in the SC on July 1, 2005 was 25,808. Over the following 12 months, 12, 331 new cases were added to the list. During this period 23,353 cases were disposed of, thus reducing the number of cases pending on July 1, 2006, to 14,786. A serious issue addressed by the court related to complaints of corrupt practices by the subordinate courts and litigants. These practices could not go unchecked. The court therefore resolved that if, during the hearing of an appeal, a judgement was found lacking in the required standards of judiciousness and smacked of foul play and corrupt practices, the court would pass appropriate strictures to be placed on the dossier of the judicial officers concerned. Further, the orders so passed would be sent to the relevant quarters for implementation. A special cell at the SC secretariat would monitor implementation.

Workload at superior courts


Statistics on cases pending in the countrys superior courts for the period 19952005, released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, offered little cause for complacency. Supreme Court: The number of fresh appeals in the Supreme Court rose from 1,872 in 1995 to 2,180 in 2005. The disposal rate rose from 876 in 1995 to 3,348 in 2005. The number of appeals pending for disposal rose from 3,823 in 1995 to 6,724 in 2004 but declined to 5,556 in 2005. The number of of fresh petitions in the SC rose from 2,831 in 1995 to 14,656 in
4 2 State of Human Rights in 2006

2004 but fell to 7,360 in 2005. The disposal rate increased from 4,663 in 1995 to 9,433 in 2001 and further higher to 12,009 in 2005. The petitions pending for disposal increased from 2,003 in 1995 to 20,890 in 2004 but fell to 16,241 in 2005. High Courts: The number of appeals registered with the high courts rose from 7,478 in 1995 to 15,953 in 2002 and then fell to 12,543 in 2005. The disposal rate also rose from 5,426 in 1995 to 16,109 in 2003 and then declined to 11,954 in 2005. The number of cases pending for disposal rose steadily from 20,829 in 1995 to 37,122 in 2005. The performance of the high courts in dealing with petitions was somewhat better. Fresh petitions increased from 76,854 in 1995 to 103,127 in 2002 but fell to 84,732 in 2005. The disposal rate improved from 73,830 in 1995 to 113,134 in 2002 but fell to 79,927 in 2005. The number of cases pending disposal rose from 69,193 in 1995 to 78,543 in 1997 but declined to 55,981 in 2005. The Lahore High Court accounted for the largest number of cases of all high courts. The figures for them for 1995-2005 were:
Court Category 1995 Highest 2005

Lahore High Court

Sindh High Court

Peshawar High Court

Appeals Disposal Pending Petitions Disposal Pending Appeals Disposal Pending Petitions Disposal Pending Appeals Disposal Pending Petitions Disposal Pending

(Fresh)

(New)

(Fresh)

(New)

(Fresh)

(New)

4,279 11,306 (2002) 3,259 10,909 (2003) 12,311 27,705 (2005) 66,284 85,653 (2002) 65,955 90,155 (2001) 52,289 60,253 (1997) 2,102 4,049 (2000) 1,310 4,358 (2001) 5,847 7,870 (2000) 5,005 6,446 (2001) 2,857 6,661 (2002) 9,588 10,400 (1997) 570 1,900 (2004) 398 2,463 (2000) 2,512 3,875 (1999) 2,115 11,145 (1999) 1,678 14,728 (2002) 7,007 12,274 (2001)

9,446 9,027 27,705 71,452 68,073 41,992 637 568 5,611 1,751 2,001 6,001 1,564 1,272 2,793 8,659 6,892 6,558

Administration of justice 4 3

Court

Category

1995

Highest

2005

Balochistan High Court Appeals (Fresh) Disposal Pending Petitions (New) Disposal Pending

527 459 159 3,450 3,340 309

1,290 (2001) 1,148 (2001) 1,113 6,270 6,341 1,521 (2002) (1999) (1999) (2004)

896 987 1,013 2,870 2,961 1,430

Judges conduct
The Supreme Judicial Council approved (November 2005) the rules and procedure for disposal of complaints against judges. The procedure of inquiry, drafted by a committee of two SC judges, provides for the manner and method of receiving information or complaint pertaining to the misconduct of a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, issuing show cause notice to the judge concerned, hearing of proceedings, formulation of opinion and submission of recommendations to the President. The procedure lays down that the SJC will take cognizance of information received by it, or any of its members or its secretary and which alleges incapacity or misconduct of a judge. A few weeks earlier, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had decided to form a two-member committee (JJ Rana Bhagwan Das and Javed Iqbal of the SC) to draft rules and procedures for the accountability of judges. The Council observed that following amendments to Article 209 of the Constitution vide the 17th Amendment, whereby the SJC had been allowed power of suo motu action against judges, it was necessary to prepare and adopt procedures and set up an institutional mechanism for receiving complaints against judges and deciding them.

Ombudsman
The failure of the Federal Ombudsman to remove citizens grievances against the administration was confirmed when the Law Minister told the National Assembly that the Presidents secretariat had reversed 136 decisions of the Ombudsman during a single year (2005-6). The figure could go up as another 102 cases were pending with the Presidents secretariat. A news report claimed that government departments had taken to challenging the
4 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

Ombudsmans orders in an increasing number of cases.

Significant cases
Steel mills In one of the most significant verdicts handed down by the Supreme Court, and the one that caused high shockwaves, the sale of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) was declared invalid. (June 2006) PSM, the countrys largest steel producer (capacity 1.1 million tons yearly) and its largest industrial unit, was incorporated as a cent per cent state enterprise in 1968 after a decade-long wrangle in the cabinet on whether Pakistan at all needed a steel mills and started functioning in the early eighties. In 1997 the government decided to privatize the mills and got this decision approved by the Council of Common Interests. However, the idea was dropped in 1998. An overall restructuring of the mills was started in May 2000. As a result, its performance showed dramatic improvement, especially when compared with its poor record in the early years of its life. Profit after deducting tax rose from Rs.1, 024 million in 2002-3 to Rs.4, 852 million in 2003-4 and Rs. 6, 734 million in 2004-05. The process of privatization was restarted in March 2005. Out of the 19 parties that expressed interest in purchasing the mills, nine prospective bidders were approved after statements of qualifications. At the end of the bidding process, a consortium of three parties (Arif Habib group of Pakistan, Al- Tuwairqi group of Saudi Arabia and Magnitogorak Iron and Steel Works of Russia) was declared the successful bidder and the letter of acceptance was promptly issued. The SC heard arguments on three petitions and the lawyers belonged to the top professional echelon and decided them by a short order which comprised the following points: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) must be made functional within six weeks. It would be in order if the matter of PSM privatization is referred to the CCI for consideration. The Privatisation Commission Ordinance No L11 of 2000 is not ultra vires of the Constitution. The process of privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation stands vitiated by acts of omission and commission on the part of certain state functionaries, reflecting violation of mandatory provisions of law and the rules framed thereunder, which adversely affected the decisions qua prequalification of a member of the successful consortium (Mr. Arif Habib), valuation of the project, and the final terms offered to the successful consortium, which were not in accord with the initial public offering given
Administration of justice 4 5

through advertisement. For the foregoing reasons, the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) dated 31 March 2006 and Share Purchase Agreement dated 24 April 2006 are declared as void and of no legal effect. Before the matter came up in the SC the Sindh High Court had briefly examined petitions by PSM Workers Union and others in which privatization of the unit had been challenged. The court held that before a federal undertaking was privatized, approval by the CCI was mandatory. However, the court decided not to intervene because the provincial government had consented to PSM privatization, and the petitions were dismissed in limine. The SC verdict generated a heated public debate. Most of the people took the view the government had been found responsible for selling off national assets cheaply and that it had been indicted for incompetence and favouritism both. Demands for the governments resignation were made in several quarters. The government decided to set up the CCI and prepare a new plan for PSM privatization. It also filed a review petition and so did Mr. Arif Habib. An unexplained development was the replacement of the PSM chief executive who had increased the companys profits.

Disappearances
A most significant feature of administration of justice during the period under review was the state agencies success in frustrating the superior courts efforts to ensure justice in cases of involuntary disappearance. Not all of the hundreds of disappearances reported till the end of 2006 (the figures ranged between 400 cases processed by HRCP and 600 cases claimed by other parties) were brought before the courts but even the few in which relief from the judiciary was solicited were sufficient to highlight the judiciarys helplessness in imposing its writ on certain sections of the administration, generally described as intelligence agencies. A petition in the LHC (Rawalpindi bench) stated that one Imran, belonging to Islamabad, had gone to see an officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) at the latters request and had been missing since. The court asked the state counsel to inquire from the ISI if Imran was in their custody. The question was answered in the negative. Another petition to the LHC (Rawalpindi bench) related to the disappearance of nuclear scientist Attiqur Rahman, who was alleged to have been picked up in 2004. Under the habeas corpus law, petitioners seeking recovery of illegally detained persons are required to inform the court of the authority holding a detainee and the place of detention. If the authority so named denies responsibility and if the person supposed to be detained cannot be found at the place mentioned by the petitioner the
4 6 State of Human Rights in 2006

petition fails. Eventually, the superior courts had to address this problem in 2006, as will be seen later. Petitioner Ameena came to the Peshawar High Court to seek the recovery of her husband, Ibn Amin, who, she alleged, had been picked up by an intelligence agency two years earlier. A question was directed towards the ISI and was denied. The fruitless pursuit of cases of enforced disappearances was best illustrated by proceedings in the Sindh High Court that had to deal with the cases of about 10 alleged detainees in 2006. Affan Laghari, an IBA student, was said to have been picked up in October, 2004. After a couple of hearings, the court asked the federal defence secretary to file an affidavit about Affans whereabouts after verification from the agencies concerned. The court asked the federal government to trace the whereabouts of Dr. Safdar Sarki, who was alleged to have been picked up by an intelligence agency. After several hearings the defence ministry declared neither ISI nor any other agency was holding Dr. Sarki. The court received similar answers to queries about Ali Mohammad (held in May 2004) and M. Ramzan ( picked up in 2003). In June 2006, the SHC had before it, several cases in addition to the cases of Affan Leghari and Dr Sarki. Munir Mengal, executive designate of a new TV channel project, was picked up on 4 April 2006 on his arrival in Karachi from Dubai. Two Jamhoori Watan Party leaders, Abdur Rauf Sasoli and Saeed Brohi, were believed to be in the custody of intelligence agencies, and the court was trying to persuade the Ministries of Interior and Defence to trace their whereabouts. Petitions had been moved for the recovery of Liaqat Husain Nayyar and Nisar Haider, belonging to a Shia group. On 29 June 2006 the SHC took up 10 disappearance petitions together and gave the state a last chance to escape censure by disclosing the whereabouts of the detainees on the next date of hearing (11 July 2006) On 11 July 2006 the court was told that Liaqat Husain Nayyar and Nisar Haider had been released and had returned home but the court directive about the other detainees had not been compiled with. Finally, on 19 July 2006 an affidavit by the Secretary-general, Ministry of Defence, was filed to the effect that Munir Mengal had not been arrested/held by the ISI or MI, nor was he wanted by the agencies. It was made clear in the affidavit that the ministry of defence exercised only administrative control over the ISI and MI. It did not have any operational control over these secret services or jurisdiction to enforce the courts directives to them. However, the ministry could communicate the courts directives to the agencies and present (to the court) their responses. Identical statements were made in respect of other similar petitions before the
Administration of justice 4 7

court. The counsel for the petitioners assailed the submission of proforma statements in several cases of disappearance. The court then tried to break the impasse by holding the government responsible for tracing all involuntarily disappeared persons regardless of the next of kins ignorance of the place of confinement or denials of the administration regarding their custody. The court declared the provincial and federal governments could not wash their hands off by saying that the whereabouts of missing persons were not known or that they might have been detained by an agency not working under the control of a particular ministry. Saying that the government was responsible for tracing the whereabouts of any citizen or other person who disappeared in the country, the court asked for information from the state about the authority that controlled the various agencies and who was to be held responsible if a person disappeared. Further, the governments counsel was asked to give details of the governments efforts to trace each of the missing persons by July 31. A similar observation was made some time earlier by the Lahore High Court in the case of Ataur Rehman, who had been picked up from his Model Town house in Lahore in May 2006. The court said it was the obligation of the federal government to submit a report if a citizen was held by the agencies. In case this was not done, the court directed the Secretary, Ministry of Interior, to appear, otherwise he would be deemed to have obstructed the courts proceedings. Eventually, the matter came up before the Supreme Court in appeals by Mrs Masood Janjua and others relating to 41 involuntarily disappeared people. The state counsel submitted that the government had already traced nine missing person and the Ministry of Interior had prepared a comprehensive report on the subject. He could not submit the report in the court because it was yet to be signed by the secretary to the ministry. The CJ observed it was the responsibility of the government to trace the people reported missing and decided to resume hearing on 10 November 2006. On November 10, the apex court told the government to furnish by December 1, 2006, details of the whereabouts of about 40 missing people whose families had reason to believe they were being held by intelligence agencies. At hearings during NovemberDecember the court was told 14 more missing people had been found. The case was carried into 2007. The bleak fact that stood out after all the calls on the judiciary regarding people detained by state agencies without acknowledgement was that, while some of the disappeared- detainees were released by their captors after being warned against opening their months, no prominent detainee was released by the intelligence agencies on any courts orders. The possibility that an intelligence agency could ensure the detention of a person
4 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

and yet deny his being in its custody was brought out in the case of Nazir Ahmad who was kept in a police lock-up for two years. [See also Chapter on Jails, prisoners and disappearances]. A tell-tale case The case of Nazir Ahmad, who had been held for his alleged involvement in an attempt on Gen. Musharrafs life, also came up before the Supreme Court. A habeas corpus petition, alleging that Nazir Ahmad had been detained by the police for two years without an FIR, was moved in the LHC (Rawalpindi bench). The court appointed a bailiff to recover the detainee. The bailiff found the detainee at the lock-up of P.S. Civil Lines, Rawalpindi, but there was no mention of his arrest in the daily diary. He took the diary into his possession but when he tried to take the detainee with him he was prevented from doing so and even the diary was snatched from his hand. He was told by a police official that as Nazir Ahmad was involved in a high profile case he could not be surrendered to the bailiff. The court issued notice to the police officers named by the bailiff. However, before the date of hearing the judge who was seized with the case was transferred to the main bench at Lahore. The judge who then heard the case asked the DIG concerned to hold an inquiry. When the SC was moved by an advocate, it expressed its annoyance over the fact that instead of producing the detainee before the LHC the police had implicated him in a terrorist case while he had been in prison for two years. The Punjab police chief submitted before the SC that a case had been registered against the SP and SHO concerned for wrongfully confining Nazir Ahmad and obstructing a high court bailiff. Besides, Nazir Ahmad had been charged under the ATA for possessing weapons and explosives and maps of sensitive installations, and an AT court had remanded him to the police custody. He prayed that the case be disposed of. The court did not agree and asked him to reinvestigate the case. Before the SC took up the matter again the case took a dramatic turn. On a request by the police the Anti-terrorism Court No.1, Rawalpindi, acquitted Nazir Ahmad of all charges levelled against him. At the same time, the federal government ordered his detention (for three months) under sec 3 of the Security of Pakistan Act, 1952. Informed of Nazir Ahmads latest status the SC ordered the habeas corpus petition disposed of. Two years in detention The matter of the disappearance of Umar Rahman, of village Biakand in Swat
Administration of justice 4 9

district (Frontier), was raised before the Peshawar High Court by his wife through a habeas corpus petition in August 2006. The petitioner stated that Umar Rahman was picked up by an intelligence agency from his village on 29 August 2004, along with his father, Mohammad Rahim, and another man named Abdul Qayyum. Mohammad Rahim and Abdul Qayyum were released after one day and 22 days, respectively, but Umar Rahman had not been freed. About two years had passed since he was arrested but no case had been registered against him, nor had he been produced before any court. At the next hearing the court issued notice to seven parties including the DG, ISI. The detainee returned home in November 2006. In two other cases of missing persons, the SC expressed a strong disapproval of the police administrations lack of respect for the courts directives.

The court had turned into a petition a letter from Mrs. Maimoona Bashir complaining of non-recovery of her husband, a Sialkot trader. After the Sialkot DPO had reported failure to recover the trader on four hearings the court directed the provincial police chief to replace him with some other officer. Delay in transferring the DPO resulted in a message to the IG that retaining the officer in his position amounted to defiance of the court. Similar was the court reaction when an SP who had been assigned the task of recovering a girl (who had been abducted) was transferred from his post. The IG was told that for this transfer he owed the court an explanation. From Guantanamo to .. The Peshawar High Court was moved (October 2006) for relief in the case of Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost, who had spent about three years in Guantanamo Bay and had now been arrested in Peshawar. Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost and his younger brother, Badruzzaman, were arrested in Peshawar in Nov 2001, on allegations made by an Afghan religious organization that were apparently false. They were handed over to the US authorities in Fabruary 2002. After being detained in Afghanistan for some weeks they reached Guantanamo Bay detention centre on May 1, 2002. Both were eventually released Badruzzaman in September 2004 and Muslim Dost in April 2005. On 29 September 2006 Muslim Dost was arrested in Peshawar by a team comprising officials belonging to the local police and an intelligence agency. A petition filed in the PHC said the detainee was not produced in any court and no case had been registered against him. The court was requested to order the detainees production before it and set aside the order of his detention. The court was also urged
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to direct the respondents not to transfer the detainee outside its jurisdiction. The petition described the detainee as a poet, magazine editor, and author of 37 books. Perhaps a serious offence by him and his brother was the publication of an account of their ordeal at Guantanamo and at the hands of law-enforcing agencies in Pakistan.

A year of suo motu cases


Another feature of the judiciarys performance during the period under review was the large number of cases taken up by the Supreme Court in the exercise of its suo motu powers. Taken together these cases constituted a stunning indictment of public administration for its incapacity, even under judicial goading, to catch wrongdoers and to gurantee redress to the aggrieved. The issues dealt with in these cases ranged from police failure to recover abducted women and children and defiance of court orders by the various branches of the executive to non-implementation of laws and public welfare measures. Authority betrayed no sign of contrition or even embarrassment at the apex courts strictures on its acts of commission and omission, week after week, but conscious citizens had good reason to feel appalled. If matters that should have been settled at the lowest rung of the administration had to be taken up by the countrys highest court, then there was a great deal rotten in the state apparatus. From top to bottom. The suo motu cases consumed a considerable part of the Supreme Courts precious time. Most of the cases were heard by full benches headed by the chief justice himself. Many of the matters were quickly resolved but quite a few remained on the cause list for months on end. A question naturally arose: could extensive encroachment on the Supreme Courts resources be justified? Especially in view of the fact that a good part of public opinion would like to see the SC workload reduced by ensuring adequate functioning of the lower tiers of the judicial system. The relief made available to a sizeable section of society attracted highly appreciative notices in the media. It also encouraged the tendency to treat the Supreme Court as a redress forum of the first resort. An impression gained ground that the court should, or could, take up each and every matter of public concern. One of the demands raised in the media was that the Supreme Court should decide the Kalabagh Dam issue. When Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed quite a few groups, including some politicians and lawyers, requested the court to take suo motu notice. The danger of public expectations growing to a point beyond the mandate and resources of the judicial system was perhaps obvious. Some thought was also needed to be given to the frustration caused to the people if the judiciarys writ was not respected, or not respected promptly, by an obdurate and arrogant executive. If a patient has to be repeatedly given regular doses of a standard medicine over an inordinately long time, questions do ariseand not all
Administration of justice 5 1

of them about the seriousness of the patients affliction. The cases taken up suo motu by the Supreme Court included:

The New Murree Project Surrender of girls under vani custom Violation of bar to wedding feasts Sonia Naz vs the police Medical colleges entry test Abduction and sale of a Frontier girl Condition of aliens in Adiala Jail Complaint against a former Naib Nazim of Okara Non-recovery of Munno Bheels children A girl raped Death of 50 people in bus fire Plight of a womanhusband killed, child burnt Police failure to recover an abducted girl A case of vani from Arifwala Mistakes in law books and journals Arrest of 3 children for petty theft A judges murder in tribal areas Couple in prison for 5 yearsfor love marriage Construction of shops on Chakwal college land Sale of expired drugs Death of old teacher (denied pension) Denial of bail to petty offenders Electrocution of 3 boys in Mirpurkhas Occupation of an orchard plot by a high official Large scale sale of kidneys Journalist Hayatullahs murder Acquittal of youth (for high connections) Police officials private torture cells Cutting down of trees in Lahore Vani/swara cases: Jacobabad, Layyah Boy loses arms: touched electric wires Sale of kidneys, Sheikhupura Flaw in education system Murder of a womans son Non-recovery of a minor girl Deaths caused by polluted water

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A death in custody Non-recovery of a child abductee Bonded labour In prison for baseless charge Harassment of a woman teacher An enforced disappearance Felling of trees Death in custody A case of missing children Non-implementation of the law on smoking False case against a newsman Dangerous buildings in Murree Sale of spurious drugs Death in a Lahore jail Death by doctors negligence Death of three children in Chakwal (negligence) Self-immolation bid outside the court Seizure of primary school Girls at brick- kiln freed Harassment of a rape victim by Tehsil Nazim Karo Kari in Sukkur Housing society irregularitiesKarachi Housing society irregularitiesin Lahore Bonded labour twice Extra-legal killing in Islamabad Fee structure in primary schools Firing by a District Nazims son The list is not exhaustive. Does anyone need more information to learn about the lot of the ordinary citizen in Pakistan? However, quite a few cases affecting the under-privileged could not receive the SCs attention under suo motu procedure. For instance the petitions pending for years regarding the grievance of State Bank employees and the plight of the D.G. Khan population affected by radiation. Serious concern was expressed by senior lawyers regarding the selectivity of the Supreme Court on its suo motu jurisdiction. They feared that the effectiveness and impartiality of the apex court might be undermined if suo motu jurisdiction was used as often as hitherto. They suggest that it should be used in exceptional circumstances and

Administration of justice 5 3

matters disposed of expeditiously. Clear rules for invoking this jurisdiction must be laid down by the Supreme Court.

Kite-flying banned
One of the public interest issues that received priority attention from the Supreme Court was the loss of precious lives and disruption of power supply caused by the use of metal wire and chemically-treated string in kite-flying. In October 2005 the court imposed a ban on kite- flying for a month. Manufacture, sale and purchase of kites were also banned. The provincial police chiefs and district nazims were made responsible for ensuring compliance. The manufacturers and sellers of kites, and twine, metal wire, nylon cord, used in flying kites, were told to present their cases before the court. At the next hearing on December 8, 2005, the court censured the police for its failure to enforce the ban on kite-flying. While the Punjab government claimed that 356 cases of violation of the ban had been registered between October 25 and November 18 and 364 people had been arrested, the court took a serious view of 46 fatal casualties caused by kite- string during the ban period. The counsel for victim families pressed for a complete ban on kite-flying. The counsel for kite manufacturers opposed restrictions on their trade and described them as violative of their constitutional rights. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court extended the ban till January 26, 2006. Before the expiry of the ban period the government issued the Punjab Prohibition of Kite-flying Ordinance 2006, which authorized District Nazims to allow kite-flying for upto 15 days in spring and provided for registration of kite-manufacturers and traders and fixation of period of business by them. Taking up the matter on January 27, 2006, the court directed the Punjab government to notify rules for registration of kite-manufacturers and traders and stressed the need to ensure that if kite-flying was permitted for a fortnight the period was the same for all parts of the province. The court was informed that 111 cases of violation had been reported and all the offenders had been released on bail. An Islamabad ASI produced three child offenders, one of them 6 years old. The court expressed great displeasure at the arrest of children, ordered their release and restoration to their parents, and directed the Islamabad police chief to suspend the SI concerned. The counsel for WAPDA informed the court that only 8,000 trippings were reported during the ban period (against 26,000 in the preceding year) and WAPDA had saved Rs. 80 million. He said Lesco was willing to pay Rs.1.2 million per year to support the labourers engaged in kite-flying business. The court also ordered relief for persons suffering twine-cuts. In its order the court allowed kite-flying for 15 days (Feb 25-March 10) after
5 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

which a complete ban on kite-flying would be enforced. A welfare body of lawyers moved the LHC for action against police chiefs and nazims for failure to enforce the ban on kite-flying. The court directed the Punjab police chief to submit record of deaths/injuries caused by kite- string during the period when flying of kites was allowed. The SC took up the matter again after the expiry of the period during which kite flying had been allowed by the Punjab government and decided to ban kite- flying throughout the country. The court observed that as the Punjab government had allowed flying of kites under its own ordinance it was responsible for the loss of life caused by kite-flying. The WAPDA counsel had informed the court that 26 people had been killed due to kiteflying. The Punjab government said it was prepared to pay compensation to families of twine victims but the transaction could not be described as diyat. The SC accepted the plea. President has power of pardon A five-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice, ruled (September 2005) that under Article 45 of the Constitution the President had unlimited powers at his discretion to pardon any convict and under no law could this power be curtailed. The provinces and some departments could also waive punishments and pardon convicts under the established laws, the Chief Justice said while announcing the courts short order on several petitions in which the presidential power to pardon was one of the issues. The questions before the court were: Can a person who has served his sentence of imprisonment for an offence under Sec. 302 of the PPC be awarded the alternative death penalty? In case this is done, will this second punishment not be in conflict with Article 13 of the Constitution? Does the President have the power of pardon under Article 45of the Constitution even after the enactment of the Qisas and Diyat law and consequent changes in the PPC? As regards the first issue, the court ruled that, under Article 13 of the Constitution, a person who had served a life term could neither be awarded death sentence nor could his sentence be enhancd. (Online, PPI/Dawn, The News, 16 September 2005). Wedding meals Attempts to reduce expenditure on wedding receptions consumed a considerable time of the Supreme Court. In November 2004 the SC had rejected several petitions challenging a Punjab Act.
Administration of justice 5 5

It had also ruled against the Punjab governments decision to allow a single dish meal at wedding receptions and said the federal enactment banning the serving of anything other than hot or cold soft drinks held the field throughout the country. In September 2005 the Court summoned the Advocates-general of all the four provinces to explain why its decision was not being fully implemented. In the last quarter of 2005, quite a few large wedding feasts, in violation of the law [Marriage (Prohibition of Ostentatious Display) Ordinance] and Supreme Court orders were reported in the Press. All of the offenders were hauled up for contempt. However, people holding high public offices continued to be reported to have attended marriage functions where lavish feasts were served. Thus, hundreds of respondents (129 from Punjab alone) appeared in the Supreme Court on April 17, 2006. The Supreme Court told all courts seized with their cases to conclude trials within three weeks. Although the Supreme Court proceedings in the matter had some deterrent effect on those hosting lavish feasts, the ruling coalition flew off at a tangent and brought a bill in the National Assembly aimed at allowing one-dish meals at wedding receptions duly acknowledged as such. (Wedding feasts under other labels had never ceased). The bill received priority treatment, was quickly adopted by Parliament and became law in September 2006. It describes the one dish permitted as salan, rice with roti and one sweet dish.

Bar to forgiving
A full bench of the Supreme Court observed that it was necessary for a court to satisfy itself that a murder victims family had forgiven the killer without pressure before allowing the latter to be freed. One Nazir Ahmad was charged with the killing of a child. His lawyer submitted before the SC that the victims family had forgiven Nazir and therefore he should be released. The court observed that rich and powerful men could often force poor families to forgive them and that such compromises were subject to approval by courts, The sessions judge concerned was asked to furnish the compromise deed.

Military court cases


The Supreme Court upheld a LHC decision and ruled that high courts did not have power to overturn decisions of military courts even if some of the convicts were civilians. Twelve men had been convicted of making an attempt on Gen. Musharrafs life and sentenced to death. The LHC rejected their petitions challenging the military courts
5 6 State of Human Rights in 2006

decision. The SC admitted the convicts appeal for hearing but decided it did not have the jurisdiction to intervene. The trial military court had sentenced 10 accused to death and had awarded one accused imprisonment for life and 20 years imprisonment to another. A military court of appeal enhanced the sentence for these two also to death.

Womens inheritance
The SC was called upon to decide, in the middle of 2006, whether the Sialkot Jats could be forced to give women land, as part of their inheritance, under a law based on shariah. The petitioners case was that their grandfather had died in July 1947 before the Punjab Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1948 was promulgated. Although the Jats followed rivaj (customary law), under which women did not inherit land, two daughters were given a share of the land left by the deceased under a court order in 1950. The SC rejected the petition and declared that no custom could override the rights women had been offered under the shariah.

Madrassah degrees
The long-pending case involving a challenge to the election of more than 70 MNAs/ MPAs on the strength of education certificates issued by religious seminaries was taken up by the Supreme Court on 19 September 2006. As none of the respondents was present, the court adjourned hearing after ordering issuance of fresh notices to them. An unusual feature of the proceedings was the appearance of the Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and his announcement that he would himself represent his ministry as well as the National Assembly Speaker and the Senate Chairman. He also declared that he knew the respondents (MMA leaders) would not appear as they know the consequences.

Fettered detainees
The Supreme Court took up the case of prisoners who were kept in fetters at Lahores Kot Lakhpat Jail on the basis of a letter to the CJ from an under-trial detainee who alleged that he had been kept in fetters in a small cell for 10 months. Turning the letter into a petition, the court called for reports from the Punjab I-G (Prisons) and the Legal Aid Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC). The police produced the detainee who was guilty of complaining to the highest
Administration of justice 5 7

judicial authority in the land fettered and handcuffed and barely able to walk. A jail official asserted he had been involved in 53 crimes. The accused said he had been charged in five cases only. In any case, the court observed that no prisoner could be subjected to such treatment no matter how grave his offence was. The PBC report described in detail the inhuman treatment of detainees at Kot Lakhpat. It said a PBC team that visited the jail found 76 detainees in the punishment wardall in fetters and some handcuffed too. The team was told that the detainees were receiving special treatment under orders by the I-G (Prisons) and the DSJ also had approved this on the ground that the prisoners were hardened criminals and had been involved in heinous crimes. On receipt of this report the SC found the situation in Kot Lakhpat jail alarming and observed that the jail officials were not only defying SC orders against keeping prisoners in chains, they were also violating fundamental human rights and norms of human dignity. The court directed the DSJ, Lahore, to hear the next day the cases of the 76 fettered detainees, let the court know whether he had been doing his duty by visiting the jail every month, and report on the allegation that under-trials were given in remand without production in any court. At the next hearing, the DSJ informed the court he had set up a committee to examine the cases of more them 100 detainees in fetters. The court disapproved of the DSJs avoidance of its directive and directed him again to visit Kot Lakhpat and examine each case on individual basis after giving the detainees a patient hearing. An Assistant Superintendent of Kot Lakhpat Jail explained that after the SC ban on fetters in 1990 the Superintendents of jails had been deprived of their powers to fetter any detainee and now this was done only on the I-Gs orders. When the matter again came up before the SC (October 2006) the jail administration apparently succeeded in meeting the challenge to the practice of putting fetters on prisoners. An Additional Advocate-general of Punjab informed the court that the Prison Rules authorized jail superintendents to impose fetters on prisoners subject to prior direction of the I-G (Prisons). The DSJ, Lahore, submitted in his report that the Punjab Government had put offenders accused of certain crimes in the categories of dangerous, hardened or professional criminals, and all under-trial prisoners involved in terrorist or sectarian activity were to be fettered. The DSJ stated that under the instructions of the I-G (Prisons), the prisoners would be considered hardened, dangerous, desperate and professional criminals if they were involved in multiple cases of dacoity and robbery, murder, rape during dacoity or robbery, abduction for ransom, murder during burglary, house trespass by night,
5 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

kidnapping and abducting a person under the age of 14 years for murder or to subject the abducted person to lust, were involved in cases falling under the Espionage Act, had escaped or made an attempt to escape lawful custody, were proclaimed offenders or if law and order situations were created in jails by their behaviour. With the given criteria in mind, the cases of the 95 fettered prisoners in Kot Lakhpat had been examined. The fetters on 11 prisoners had been removed while five cases had been referred to the doctor. As for the original complainant and other prisoners who had been kept in fetters for more than a year, their fetters had been removed (so long as they were inside the jail) in view of their good conduct. The DSJ also reported that three of the 58 prisoners at the Lahore District Jail had been freed of fetters while cases of 55 prisoners had been reconsidered. The SC ruled that nobody shall be kept in jail in fetters without approval by district judges on the recommendation of the I-G (Prisons).

Police torture cells


The Supreme Court directed the Sindh government to take effective actions to ensure elimination of torture cells run by police officers. The court heard one Nadeem Arain who had complained of having been kidnapped, detained and tortured by the police in a private torture cell. He said after he had complained to the SC each of his tormentors had offered him Rs. 500,000 in compensation if he withdrew his complaint. He was also threatened that women from his family would be kidnapped if he did not agree to this offer. He had thus been forced to shift half of his family to Punjab. The Mirpurkhas DIG, Police, who had been summoned by the court, submitted that 10 police officers, including four SHOs, who had been running torture cells in Sanghar, Mirpurkhas and Jole, had been arrested. Some of them had been dismissed.

Innocents in jail
Five innocent persons who had spent five years in jail brought their case before the SC (July 2006). They had been arrested in December 1996 in connection with an FIR for the abduction and murder of a woman, Malkani Bibi. They were acquitted by the trial court in 2001. Subsequently they came to know that the woman for whose abduction and murder they were implicated had been in a prison on a theft charge. They wished to know the justification for their detention for years on end. Malkani Bibi herself appeared in the SC and confirmed that when the case of her abduction and murder was registered she was in prison. On its inquiry as to how the FIR was registered and the case started, the court was informed that the case had been investigated by a DSP and four other police officials. The court asked the Rawalpindi sessions judge to file a detailed report and also
Administration of justice 5 9

suggest what compensation could be allowed to the petitioners. At a subsequent hearing the court ordered action against the four police officers who had dealt with the case and approved the challan.

The Okara case


Another case taken up by the Supreme Court suo motu and in which quite a few distinguished actors joined hands to resist and circumvent the courts directives grew out of a womens complaint of exploitation and betrayal against a former Naib Nazim of Okara district. Ms. Shahnaz Fatima wrote to the SC Chief Justice that a former Naib Nazim of Okara dictrict, Rizvi, had an affair with her younger sister, Mehnaz Fatima (20), whom he had promised to marry. She gave birth to a girl in March 2005. Instead of honouring his promise to marry Mehnaz, Rizvi tried to buy her silence for about Rs. 400,000. The court turned the letter into a petition and started hearing the matter. Rizvi denied all charges. Mehnaz offered to make a statement despite suggestions (obviously meant to deter her from pursuing the case) that she could be hauled up under the Zina ordinance. A series of unusual developments took place during the period under review. On the first of December 2005 the SC ordered DNA tests to determine whether Rizvi was the father of Mehnazs baby. The three went to a defence medical laboratory in Rawalpindi for the DNA tests which could not be carried out reportedly for want of the GHQs permission. Subsequently the accused succeeded in avoiding DNA testing. Meanwhile, Mehnaz, described in news dispatches as an unwed mother, died and the district police officer dealing with the case was apparently punished for his labours and transferred out of Okara. The SC reprimanded the Punjab government and had the transfer order reversed. The case survives on the cause list. The conclusion reached by the public is that justice seems to have been held at bay by a galaxy of honourable men, including some prominent custodians of peoples rights in the legal fraternity.

Bonded labour
The Supreme Court issued a directive to the provincial governments to legislate for the protection of brick-kiln workers rights and to make rules and regulations to ensure fair contracts between workers and kiln owners. The issue arose when the court took notice of a letter to the CJ by a brick-kiln workers union leader who had charged the employers with exploitation of workers and had also accused his employers of killing his son. The court called for a report from the Punjab government. The report by the Punjab Labour Secretary affirmed that thousands of brick-kiln
6 0 State of Human Rights in 2006

workers in the province were vulnerable to insecurity and exploitation as a result of collusion between police and brick-kiln owners. The source of all ills in the brick-kiln sector was the system of peshgi. The following points were made in the report: Despite a SC verdict declaring peshgi illegal and the enforcement of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1992, poor labourers continued to demand and receive advance payment of wages. Since payments of advance were not legal, these were not documented and both employers and workers tried to exploit the situation. Weaker and illiterate workers did not know how much they owed the employers and surrendered to exploitation. Some others took huge amounts as peshgi and then disappeared, and the kiln-owners used coercion to deal with them. Advance payments were also used as a third party debt, whereby a brick-kiln owner acquired the services of a worker by clearing his debt to the previous employer. The Supreme Court directed all the four provincial chief secretaries to launch a campaign to end exploitation of brick- kiln workers. On a suo motu notice the court heard a complaint regarding illegal detention of 18 brick-kiln workers by a contractor in Muzaffargarh. The chief secretaries were directed to evolve an effective mechanism for registering brick-kiln workers through provincial labour inspectors, also involving provincial labour secretaries. Saying that the practice of detaining brick-kiln workers should come to an end, the court directed the district authorities to keep a vigil regarding exploitation of brick-kiln workers. They should also ensure, the bench ordered, that labourers worked of their free will and not under any kind of pressure. The chief secretaries were also required to regularly submit progress report before the apex court. Munno Bheels case One of the cases in which the Supreme Courts initiative was frustrated by a variety of actors concerned the family of Munno Bheel allegedly abducted by a landlord in 1998. Munno Bheel had been working as a bonded hari on the lands of a Sanghar landlord, Abdur Rahman Marri. He won his freedom in 1996 as a result of efforts made by the HRCP Task Force at Hyderabad. Two years later the landlord was alleged to have abducted many liberated haris including seven members of Munnos family. Munno Bheel sought redress at every conceivable forum and started a sequence of day-long hunger-strike outside the Hyderabad Press Club. High-ups in the provincial
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government, including the Governor, promised help but to no avail. HRCP ran a nationwide campaign to mobilize support for Munno Bheels efforts for his familys recovery. The administration remained unmoved. The Supreme Court took notice of the matter in October 2005 on the receipt of a letter from a Swedish citizen. The Sindh police chief was directed to recover Munnos family members and, more than once, he begged for time. The case lingered on till a new DIG Police, Mirpurkhas, started proceedings against Abdur Rahman Marri on the basis of testimony by a man who had named him as the person responsible for abducting Munnos family members. The landlord secured pre-arrest bail, which was cancelled by the Sindh High Court in April 2006. The Sindh government transferred the DIG but the transfer order was set aside by the SC. (Later on the officer fell out with the provincial chief, fled from Mirpurkhas, but managed to appear in the SC.) Eventually the landlord was produced in the SC by the Sindh I-G (P) in July 2006. The case continued to be called till the end of the year. In December 2006 the provincial police chief hinted at the landlords inability to cooperate with the police because of illness. The statement was challenged by Munno Bheel. Meanwhile, a number of bonded workers won freedom during the period under review as a result of intervention by courts. The Lahore High Court ordered the release of 51 bonded workers, including some women and children, who had been recovered by a bailiff from several brickkilns. (Sept 05) The Peshawar Sessions Judge ordered the release of 17 bonded workers who had been recovered by the police from a brick-kiln under court orders. The LHC granted freedom to 59 bonded workers recovered by a bailiff from three brick-kilns . (Oct 05) The LHC ordered the release of 18 brick-kiln workers who had been recovered by a bailiff from Pattoki near Lahore. In another case the same court freed nine workers (three women) who had been recovered by a bailiff from a brick-kiln in Sialkot. (Nov 05) The LHC ordered the release of 18 brick-kiln workers who had been recovered by a bailiff in Khanewal. (Dec 05) 58 bonded workers recovered by a LHC bailiff from a brick-kiln in Tarlai were freed. The same court ordered the release of 19 workers recovered from a brick-kiln in Chunian, near Lahore, and 11 brick-kiln workers recovered in Jalalpur Jattan. (Gujrat district). (Jan 06) 16 workers (including four women and eight children) were freed after recovery by a LHC bailiff from Gujrat. They had been bonded for six years. (Feb 06) The Toba Tek Singh ADSJ freed 38 brick-kiln workers who had been recovered
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by a bailiff. The LHC ordered the release of five bonded workers recovered from Pattoki. (May 06) 10 bonded brick-kiln workers recovered from Kamoke, near Lahore, were freed by the LHC (June 06) The LHC ordered the release of four brick-kiln workers recovered from Kasur and of another 26 recovered from Pakpattan. (Aug 06) 58 bonded workers recovered near Islamabad were freed by the LHC. A woman, Munawar Bibi, and her two children owed their release from the illegal custody of a brick-kiln owner to her husbands letter to the SC. She appeared in the court after being recovered by the Gujranwala DPO and confirmed that she and her children had been illegally detained by the brick-kiln owner and had been released when the latter learnt of the matter before the SC. The court asked the Punjab government to introduce legislation to prevent the sale of kidneys by brick-kiln workers.

Women and law


Spouse by choice The SHC came to the rescue of a young woman (Aruna) and the man (Moazzam) she had married of her free will. Arunas father, described in media reports as a retired civil judge and obviously a man of some clout, filed a case against the couple in Okara. The Okara police promptly sent a party to Hyderabad (Sindh) to arrest the couple. Both of them and a brother of Moazzam were arrested and a Hyderabad magistrate gave them in remand to the Okara police. The SHC (Hyderabad bench) cook suo motu notice of the case on the basis of media reports and ordered the detainees production before any bench of SHC after three days. At the same time a magistrate at Okara, on hearing Arunas account of her marriage with Moazzam, dismissed all cases against the couple and ordered their release. The Okara police drove them back to Hyderabad. The Hyderabad magistrate who had remanded the couple to police custody was suspended. Buying a wife The Peshawar High Court reminded the provincial government of its duty to stem the practice of sale of women under cover of marriage to their buyers. The PHC Chief Justice said the court had been moved by several women who had escaped from the clutches of their husband-buyers who had often used these women for prostitution. Brutal fathers, uncles and even brothers had been found involved in the sale of women for marriage. There are cases where fathers have sold their
Administration of justice 6 3

daughters several times over to criminals for the sake of money, the CJ observed. The matter before the court was a bail application. The petitioner, Ihsanullah Khan of Nowshera, had been arrested for fraud he was accused of giving in marriage a 70-years-old woman to Haji Mohammad Bakhsh of Sargodha instead of a 16- year-old girl for whom the latter had paid Rs 120,000. Ihsanullah did get bail, though, on the ground that the FIR against him had been registered seven month after the incident and the police had not questioned the woman concerned. Relief for wifes killer The Peshawar High Court declined to free a man convicted of murdering his wife and their three daughters even when he had been forgiven by their legal heirs. Zaman shot dead his wife and three teen-aged daughters in Mardan in September 2000. The reason he gave in the court later on was that the victims used to go out (of the house) without his permission. He was tried for murder and at the beginning of 2005 he was sentenced to death by an ASJ. Before the PHC, Zamans counsel pleaded for his release as his three sons and a daughter (the legal heirs of the woman slain) had forgiven him. The court cancelled the death sentence but declined to free him. His sentence was changed to jail for 10 years on the ground of containing fasad fil arz. Fed up with unending quarrels between his mother and wife, Mohammad Aslam shot both of them dead. The heirs of his mother forgave him and he was accordingly acquitted of the charge of murdering her. For killing his wife he was awarded 14 years imprisonment. He made the mistake of challenging the trial courts verdict. A division bench of the LHC, that heard his appeal, took the view that a man who had killed his mother and wife for nothing did not deserve any concession and enhanced his sentence to death penalty. A couple branded karo-kari by a jirga had the opportunity to escape abuse of legal process thanks to an act of judicial activism. A jirga in Shikarpur district of Sindh declared Zuriaat and her husband, Jamaluddin, karo kari because they had flouted custom by entering into marriage by their free will. The couple was obliged to run away to Karachi and find safety there. Their persecutors decided to get them punished by exploiting legal procedures. A man, named Punial, filed a case to the effect that Jamaluddin and his relatives had abducted his wife, Zuriaat, and raped her. Jamaluddin and others named in the FIR secured bail before arrest from a division bench of the Sindh High Court which also directed the investigating officer to record the womans detailed statement. When the case again came up before the SHC, Jamaluddin and other co-accused were presentto get their bail confirmed. Also present was the investigating officer
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and he had brought Zuriaats statement. She had denied Punials claim to be her husband and described him as an accomplice of her relations who wished to punish her for marrying Jamaluddin of her free will. Nobody had abducted her. And she had neither been raped nor was she living in sin. The SHC converted the bail application into a petition for quashment and quashed the FIR. A division bench of the LHC maintained the death sentence awarded to Ghazanfar

A womans story
In the course of a suo motu hearing in the SC of the case of a woman, Nasreen Mai, who was raped for months and then booked by the police for adultery, complications caused by lack of police staff were brought to light. The court was told that the man accused of raping Nasreen Mai was a free man because the Layyah district police did not have an officer senior enough (of the rank of SP) to investigate the case, as required under the Zina Ordinance. The DPO added that 46 rape cases were pending investigation in the district. He said the I-G (Police) had been requested three months earlier to appoint a senior police officer at Layyah but nothing had been done. As for Nasreen Mai, her story, as narrated by the Addl Advocate General sounded like a medieval tale of exploitation. After seven years of marriage Nasreen and her husband had no child. They quarreled and Nasreen was taken by her father to live under the parental roof. She was abducted by two men, Iqbal and Din Mohammad, and kept in illegal confinement for 11 months. She was raped by Iqbal, became pregnant and gave birth to a girl. The baby was killed by Nasreens tormentors. After all this, Nasreen was booked on the charge of zina under the Hudood law. In answer to a question the court was told that the adultery case against Nasreen had been registered on the basis of the Layyah DJs findings. The SC however found that the DJ, instead of conducting a judicial probe, had relied in his report on police investigation. The case was remanded back to the DJ, Layyah, with instructions to conduct a fresh inquiry and the police were ordered to register a new case on the basis of the DJs fresh findings.

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Ali of a village in Gujrat district for killing his wife. The court cited a Supreme Court ruling to the effect that if a woman was murdered in the house of her husband the latter had to prove his innocence. Woman disrobed: No bail The Peshawar High Court cancelled the bail allowed by a DSJ to a man charged with disrobing a woman and parading her in a market (and later on robbing her and resorting to firing outside her house) Umar Khan had violated the womans modesty on 13 October 2005, and he was arrested after an FIR had been registered at p.s. Takhte Nusrati in Karak District. He was allowed bail by the DSJ on 26 November 2005. His bail was cancelled on 30 October 2006. Price of love A young woman, Mehvish, tried to defend in court the man she loved and had herself booked under a Hudood law. Mehvishs mother had filed a report with the police that her daughter had been abducted by one Mustafeez. The young man applied to the LHC for bail. He denied the abduction charge and pleaded for protection for the girl. The court rejected his bail plea and he was arrested as he came out of the courtroom. Mehvish then returned to the court and requested it to record her statement and the court agreed. In her statement she denied she had been abducted and said she had been living with Mustafeez of her free will. The court ordered a Hudood case against her as she had admitted to living with a man without marrying him. Vani cases In April 2006, the Supreme Court called for legislation to provide for dissolution of marriages contracted under vani or swara customs (giving away of women in marriage to secure compromise in murder cases). The court took suo motu notice of a case of vani in Arifwala (Punjab). Qureshan Bibi alleged in a letter to the CJ that she had been raped at gunpoint by her cousin, Aslam. The rapist confessed to his crime and offered to marry the victim. Subsequently he refused to keep his word. A panchayat then ordered Qureshans marriage to Aslams younger brother. Her objection to the match was met with a threat for her houses demolition. The panchayat also ordered the marriage of Aslams three-year old daughter with Qureshans 14- years-old brother. The court deliberated on Qureshans complaint along with anthropologist Samar Minallahs petition against swara that had been on its roster for quite some time. The court ordered registration of cases against all offenders in the Qureshan case and formation of committees at all district and tehshil headquarters throughout the
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country to receive vani/swara complaints and initiate action against the offenders through sessions judges. The federal government was asked to amend sec 310 of PPC or the Family Act to provide for dissolution of vani/swara marriages. A man, Mohammad Nawaz, was murdered in Mianwali district in 1988. Those accused of killing him entered into a compromise with the complainants whereby three little girls, Fauzia, Tasleem and Asmat Bibi, were given in marriage to men from the victim family Ghulam Akbar, Mumtaz s/o Hakim Khan and Mumtaz s/o Gul Baz. The dispatch of girls to their husbands homes was deferred till they came of age. Following this compromise the Mianwali Sessions Judge acquitted the accused in 1990. On November 11, 2005, the SHO of p.s. Musa Khel registered an FIR saying that he had come to know of plans for the rukhsati of the girls and that this was against the law. He also arrested Hakim Khan, father of one of the bridegrooms. Hakim Khan came to the LHC with a prayer for quashment of the case against him. He made the following points in his petition: The parents of the girls were approached after they had attained the age of puberty and the girls had expressed their willingness to go with their husbands. Section 310-A, which laid down a punishment for the giving away of females in badl-i-sulh, was added to the PPC on November 1, 2005, but it could not be invoked in matters completed before the amendment. The nikah of a minor girl was not void or contrary to the injunctions of Islam. Sec 310-A of the PPC was violative of the constitution and the Islamic law both. The case of 9-year-old Aziza from Layyah (Punjab) also came up before the SC. A panchayat had ordered her marriage to a young man from the rival party. The Layyah DPO was directed to proceed with the case. A Shikarpur jirga ordered the marriage of two girls, Heer (9) and Karima (1), to men of the family whose 11 buffaloes were said to have been rustled. The father and the grandfather of the girls were reported to have consented to the transaction. The SC ordered the Shikarpur DPO to report. Two minor girls, Sanad Bibi (11) and Shah Izzat Bibi (9), of Charsadda petitioned the Peshawar High Court for protection against a jirga decision to give away girls in marriage under the swara custom and registration of an FIR against the jirga members. The local SHO assured the court that he will not allow implementation of the jirga decision. The court declared that if the illegal decision of the jirga was enforced, action will be taken against the SHO and the other people involved. Following the assurance given by the police officer the petitioners did not press
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their request for registration of a case against the jirga members. In February 2006 the SC again asked the police chiefs in all the provinces and in the Northern Areas to protect girls against vani and swara customs. The occasion was the hearing of appeals to the CJ and the President by five Mianwali girls aged 9,8,7,7, and 5 who had been promised in marriage for the purpose of badl-i-sulh. Another vani case from Mianwali heard by the SC concerned three young women Naheed, Khatoon Bibi and Aalim Khatoon. They had been given away in marriage to boys of the rival group before they were born. One of the young woman, Naheed, cried out for protection as she did not want to be married this way The counsel for the young men unsuccessfully sought five days time to settle matters outside the court.

Children and law


The Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the case of a 7- year-old boy belonging to Faisalabad who had lost both arms as a result of contact with unprotected power transmission lines. The court ordered the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) to pay the child Rs. 700,000 in compensation, arrange for his treatment and education abroad and then provide him with a job. The court also directed all power supply companies to formulate a uniform policy for such cases. Apply JJSO A full bench of the Sindh High Court decided by majority (3-2) that cases of persons below 18 years of age at the time of commission of offence, under the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, were to be transferred to juvenile courts, comprising courts of sessions judges and judicial magistrates and would be conducted under the procedure laid down under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO) of 2000. The juvenile courts were to proceed from the stage a case was transferred and no recalling of prosecution witness was to be involved. In case of juveniles booked under Anti-terrorism Act on charges of committing acts of terrorism, including abduction or kidnapping for ransom, use of firearms/ explosives in places of worship or courts, they were to continue to be triable by antiterrorist courts. These courts would not be bound by the JJSO procedures. Missing children 36 children out of the 38 who had been missing for about three months were recovered by the Quetta police after the SC had taken up the matter suo motu. One of
6 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

the missing children, an 8-years-old girl, was killed after being raped. Only 14 cases of these childrens disappearance had been reported to the police. Child under Zina Ordinance Ten-years-old Ashiq was booked by the Lahore police in June 2005 under the Zina Ordinance on the charge of molesting an eight-year-old-girl. An ADSJ enlarged him on bail. One year later the girls father came to the LHC to complain of lack of progress on the case and to seek cancellation of the bail allowed to the boy. The LHC admonished the trial court for its failure to proceed with the case and the parties counsel for delaying the trial, cancelled Ashiqs bail and ordered his immediate transfer to a prison.

Punjab law & order


Acting on a petition by a Lahore lawyer known for his interest in public interest litigation, the LHC (single judge) summoned the Punjab Chief Secretary and the I-G, Police, and asked them about the measures they were going to adopt to deal with the deteriorating law and order situation in the province. The court observed that the rate of street crime had gone up. The citizens had lost confidence in the police and it would be an uphill task for them to restore it. The Chief Secretary left the police chief to fend for himself by saying that the government had provided all possible facilities to the police for maintaining law and order and now it was up to the police to win back the peoples confidence. The Inspector-general of police argued that the situation was not as serious as made out by the petitioner. In fact, he said, the crime rate had fallen considerably after the setting up of the Muhafiz Force. The rise in crime rate was directly proportional to the increase in population, he said and added that the police was doing its best to check crime.

Habeas corpus frustrated


The effectiveness of habeas corpus process depends on ensuring that respondents are not forewarned of petitions and steps thereon ordered by the courts. The Lahore High Court had to deal with a case of breach of this safeguard. Ms. Ashraf Sultana petitioned the LHC for the recovery of her son, Mohammad Azam, who had been arrested and detained for nine days by the Malka Hans police, in Pakpattan district, and no case had been registered against him. When the case came up for hearing the petitioners counsel drew the courts attention to the presence of Malka Hans SHO and three other policemen in the courtroom, and wondered as to how they had come to know of the matter while it was still at the pre-admission stage. Asked by the court as to why he had come without any notice,
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the SHO said he had been informed by the Advocate-generals office that the case had been put on the urgent matters list. While asking the SHO to produce the detainee at the next hearing, the LHC ordered the Advocate-general to conduct a probe. The court observed that providing the police details of habeas corpus petitions amounted to frustrating courts proceedings and protecting the officials who kept the people in unlawful custody. Such acts enabled the police to cover up their illegal doings, the court remarked.

Action against jirgas


The Sindh High Court ordered the registration of a case against all the people responsible for holding a jirga in Ghotki at which a three-year-old girl was ordered to be given away as atonement for adultery. Mohammad Ibrahim of Ghotki had submitted that a group of people (that he named) had taken him to face a jirga which eventually declared his son a karo (guilty of illicit relations with a woman). The jirga had ordered him to surrender his three-year-old granddaughter and pay Rs 40,000 in fine. Further, when he reported the matter to the SHO of his police station the latter, instead of registering an FIR, told him to honour the jirga decision.
The District and Sessions Judge, Swabi (Frontier), had eight members of a jirga, including a union council nazim, arrested under sec 310-A PPC in connection with the handing over of a minor girl to a rival party under the swara custom. The jirga was held to consider a rape case. It decided that the accused, Shah Husain, should pay the aggrieved party Rs.300,000 as compensation and give away his teen-aged niece in marriage to the man aggrieved. Shah Husain moved the court of the DSJ against the jirga decision. The court observed the jirga members had violated the law and a SC ruling and ordered registration of a case against them.

Blasphemy clause interpreted


A Lahore High Court ruling that in case of disrespect to the Holy Quran a complaint could only be filed by a government or an authorized officer promised considerable relief for those who might be accused of this offence. The practice hitherto has been that whenever any party alleges desecration of the Quran, an FIR is promptly registered and the person accused of the crime is arrested and thrown in prison. The court ruling came while it was examining the bail application of one Mohammad Yousaf who had been arrested under sec 295-A of the PPC and had already spent five months in Jail. The case against him had been registered by an SHO who thought the allegation against the accused (that he had made remarks against the Holy Quran), made by a
7 0 State of Human Rights in 2006

village prayer-leader, warranted his trial under one of the blasphemy provisions. After a magistrate had declined to give him bail the accused came to the LHC for relief. One of the grounds for bail advanced by his counsel was that he had a property dispute with the complainants party and they had initiated litigation against each other. While allowing the bail plea the court declared that a bare reading of sec 295-A of the PPC with sec 196 of the CrPC was enough to show that an offence under sec 295A was not an offence against an individual, it was an offence against the state. As such courts should take cognizance of such matters only when the federal or a provincial government, or an officer authorized by them, granted the police permission to register a case.

Advisers barred
The Lahore High Court held the appointments of 16 Punjab Advisers illegal and barred them from holding their offices. (October 2006) The court observed that these appointments had been made by the provincial Governor who was not competent to do so. The Governor, it said, could only appoint five advisers to the chief minister and as many special assistants and if they were holding these offices in excess of the number stipulated by the law, they should also be relieved of their offices. The court in a short order said that neither the 1973 Constitution, nor the rules of business, or any other law empowered the Governor to order the appointment of advisers to the provincial overnment. As a result, the notification for the appointment of advisers to the government which were issued in gross contravention of the rule of business stood cancelled, annulled and quashed. The Chief Secretary was directed to cancel the notifications of the advisers appointment. The case had begun several months earlier when a citizen challenged the appointment of provincial advisers, especially of Mian Mohammad Munir as he had been convicted of assault on the SC in 1997. Mian Munirs appointment was annulled early during the pendency of the case. Shortly after that another adviser, Akhtar Rasool, was barred from office for the same reason. The court, however, held that Rule 6-A of the Punjab Government Rules of Business, 1974, was a legislation validly enacted by the provincial government in exercise of powers conferred by Article 139 (3) of the constitution. The order said that the chief minister was competent to appoint five advisers to him as enshrined under rule 6-A read with Section 3 of the Punjab Advisers (Allowances and Privileges) Ordinance, 2002. As such, the appointment of advisers to the chief
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minister was valid. As for the appointment of special assistants, the court declared that the law allowed the appointment of five of them under the Special Assistants (Allowances and Privileges) Ordinance, 2002. The court directed the government that the number of the advisers to the chief minister and special assistants should not exceed five. Any appointment in excess to this number should be withdrawn. The governments first reaction was to challenge the verdict through an intercourt appeal but this view was soon given up and it was decided to accept the courts ruling.

Cases frozen: Daniel Pearl/ Murtaza Bhutto


Two old cases on which no progress was reported during the period under review were the Daniel Pearl case and the Murtaza Bhutto murder case. The appeals by Ahmad Omar Sheikh and others who had been convicted of the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl remained unheard till 11 December 2006. The dates of hearing were fixed every now and then but, for one reason or another, proceedings were not held. Ahmad Omar Sheikh was sentenced to death and three others were awarded lighter punishment in 2002. The Murtaza Bhutto case was almost totally forgotten. The eldest son of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and head of his own faction of the Peoples Party, Murtaza Bhutto was gunned down by the police near his house in Karachi on 20 September 1996. Ten years after the event the case was still undecided. The accused included Asif Ali Zardari. He was free on bail. The police officials named in the case had earned promotions in service, except for a former Intelligence Bureau chief who had gone into politics.

Compensation for death in accident


The Sindh High Court decreed Rs. 4.5 million as compensation for the death of a 27-years-old young man, Mohammad Naveed, in a road accident.

NAB cases
The most significant reversal of accountability courts conviction of politicians during the period was the annulment by the Lahore High Court of former Speaker Yusuf Raza Gillanis conviction on the charge of making illegal appointments. Granted bail by the same court, the PPP leader came out of the prison in October 2006. He had been arrested in February 2001.

The LHC also acquitted Mian Manzoor Wattoo, a former Punjab Chief Minister,

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of the charges in what was described as the plots case. (Proceedings in the Bait-ul-Mal case continued.)
Former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Haji Nawaz Khokhar also won relief from the LHC when it overturned his conviction in a fraud case. An accountability court had sentenced him in June 2004 to three years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1.89 million besides barring him from running for an elective office for 10 years.

Parole under redundant rules


When the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court looked into the release of a convict on parole by the Frontier Government in 2004, it found that governments had been releasing convicts on parole under rules that had been superseded four decades and more earlier. Mohammad Shafi was sentenced to seven years imprisonment under a Hudood law for possessing narcotics and arms. His conviction was upheld by the Federal Shariat Court and he appealed to the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court. While the appeal was pending, the convict was released on parole in March 2004 by the Frontier government. In reply to a query by the Shariat Appellate Bench, the government said the convict had been released on parole on the jail staffs recommendation, under the Good Conduct Prisoners Probation Release Rules 1927. The bench took note of the fact the 1927 rules had become redundant in 1960, when the parent Act of 1926 was replaced by Probation of Offenders Ordinance, 1960 and under the new law the power to allow parole had been transferred from governments to courts. The court called for explanation and data from all provincial governments.

Illegal detention
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of Jamat-ud-Dawa (a religious body that governs a well-known militant organization) was successful in securing his release from detention twice within a few months in 2006. In the first case he was ordered on 9 August 2006 to be detained at his house for 30 days. In response to an LHC notice on a habeas corpus petition, the Punjab Home Secretary justified the action against the detainee on the ground that he had become a potential danger to public peace. It was said that Hafiz Saeed was a firebrand speaker and there was credible information about his provocative speeches at rallies held in violation of sec 144. The Home Secretary added that the detainees representation was being considered and it would be decided on merit. When the case came up for hearing again on 25 August, the state sought seven days for the disposal of the detainees representation. The court disagreed and allowed
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only two days on the ground that the representation had already been with the government for 12 days. The petitioner complained that the authorities had shifted the detainee to Sheikhpura and that this amounted to contempt. At the next hearing (28 August) the court found Hafiz Saeeds detention illegal and ordered his release. In its detailed judgment released a couple of days later, the court declared that unlawfully curbing the liberty of a citizen was an act that was not only unconstitutional, it also contravened the teachings of Islam. Hence such acts could never be condoned. The court found that all the four reasons given for detaining Hafiz Saeed suffered from serious legal infirmity. Besides, the order of detention was not in accord with the principles of preventive detention laid down by the superior courts. Following the LHC order, Hafiz Saeed was released the same evening. A few hours later he was again taken into custody (28 August 2006). In her new writ petition in the LHC his wife stated that the police had not given a copy of the detention order and thus the grounds for detaining Hafiz Saeed were not known to her. The Punjab government delayed production of the new detention order for 48 days. When the order was at last produced, the serving of the detention order on the detainee also was delayed by 48 days, The court took a serious view of these delays. According to the detention order, Hafiz Saeed was detained for 60 days under the MPO. The state counsel said the detainee had been collecting funds to resist aggression against Lebanon and Palestine and this could affect Pakistans relations with foreign states. After hearing the petitioners and state counsel the court declared Hafiz Saeeds detention illegal and ordered his release. Doctors Akmal Waheed and Arshad Waheed, who had been convicted by an antiterrorist court, were acquitted by the Sindh High Court (Anti-terrorism Appellate Bench). (March 2006). The two brothers had been arrested in 2004 in connection with a terrorist attack on the Karachi Corps Commanders convoy and for helping terrorists who had ambushed a Rangers patrol. The charges on both these counts were dropped soon after their arrest. They were then tried for helping terrorists in various ways. An ATC had awarded each of them seven years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50,000. While accepting their appeal the court said the prosecution had miserably failed to prove the charges against them, and the evidence produced by it was not worth relying upon. The case had attracted attention because of the circumstances of the two doctors arrest, the authorities denial of their arrest, the filing of multiple FIRs against them,
7 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

and the authorities resistance to their release on bail. The LHC accepted the petition of a person detained on the ground of his founding a terrorist outfit and ordered his release (September 2005). Mohammad Ashraf Awan, formerly an office-bearer of Sipah-i-Mohammad, was detained on 21 July 2005 for three months under sec 3 of MPO. His representation to the government was rejected and so was his petition to the LHC that was heard by a single judge. A division bench of the LHC accepted his wifes petition and ordered the detainees release on the ground that the government had failed to produce evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities. While resisting the petition the state counsel had argued that the detainee had set up a new organization to carry out terrorist activities and that his release would endanger peace in the province. The PHC declared the detention of 8 TNSM activists illegal (Oct 5, 2005). They had been arrested on 7 July and FIRs registered against them in two police stations in district Swabi. Later on the provincial government ordered their detention under the Anti-terrorism Act. A division bench ruled the preventive detention provision of ATA could not be invoked in an arbitrary manner and without any evidence on record against the detainees.

The Peshawar High Court set aside the provincial governments order for the detention of one Mohammad Aslam, an activist of a banned organization, and ordered his release.

Mohammad Aslam had been arrested on 23 July 2005 and ordered to be detained for two months under a provision of the Anti-terrorism Act that allows preventive detention. On 21 August 2005 another order was issued under which his detention period was extended by two months. This order was challenged before the PHC. A police official who appeared in the court said several FIRs had been registered against the detainee. The court observed that the detainee could have been tried in these cases. The official could not answer the court query as to why the detainee had been held under the ATA. The court ruled preventive detention laws could not be invoked without credible evidence against the citizen concerned. A LHC bailiff recovered Nadeem from police station Model Town, Lahore, where he had been illegally detained for seven days by a sub-inspector. The SI told the court that the detainee was wanted for dacoity and the bailiffs arrival at the police station had prevented him from recording the detainees arrest. The court recalled that some time earlier it had suspended the police official for exceeding his authority and wondered as to who had reinstated him. Meanwhile, Nadeem informed the court that he had seen nine other men at the police station who were also being illegally detained. The court suspended hearing, ordered the police SI and his deputy to stay in the court and dispatched a bailiff to the police station. The latter brought nine detainees. The
Administration of justice 7 5

court sent them to another police station pending inquiry. The executives high-handedness in detaining citizens without due process was fully highlighted in the case of Niaz Mohammad of Umarkot (Sindh) that came up before the Sindh High Court. Niaz was taken into custody by what was described as an intelligence battalion on 6 July 2005. No detention order was shown. He was detained for four months without production in a court or before a review board. Subsequently he was detained for three months under an order of the Sindh Home Secretary. That period expired on 26 January 2006 but he was not released till 20 April 2006, when a division bench of the SHC heard a petition against his illegal detention. The court ordered Niazs immediate release and payment of compensation to him by the jail superintendent and the Home Secretary at the rate of Rs 5,000 per day (Rs 420,000 in all) for illegal detention since 26 January. The court observed it was a matter of shame for the entire system that a person was detained without a formal detention order and without being produced before a board or a court. The Lahore High Court (Multan bench) ordered the SHO of police station Ghaziabad, in Sahiwal district, to pay Rs.10,000 to the person he had detained without recording his arrest.

Inhuman punishments
A Kasur ADSJ sentenced seven accused to amputations of limbs, imprisonment for a total of 54 years and fines amounting to Rs. 100,000. The accused had been charged with entering a relatives house and cutting off the hands and feet of four persons. They were tried by a civil judge who awarded them the punishment of amputation of limbs. The ADSJ ordered the amputation of the right hands of four accused, the amputation of a hand and a foot of one accused and a foot only of another accused. He ordered the release of two women who had been sentenced to three years imprisonment by the lower court. The sentence has not been executed pending appeal against the judgment. The ADSJ, Peshawar, sentenced Ajab Khan, an Afghan national, to amputation of right hand and left foot, imprisonment for five years, and a fine of Rs. 30,000. He had been tried for robbery. The case against him was that he had snatched a bag containing Rs. 320, 240 from the hands of the complainant while the latter was waiting for a bus at a bus stop. The sentence of amputation was suspended by the Federal Shariat Court when it admitted the convicts appeal for hearing. The Sindh High Court, Sukkur bench, issued notice to 12 people for holding a jirga which had reportedly awarded the punishment of amputation of hand to a man
7 6 State of Human Rights in 2006

accused of theft. (March 2006) It was said that two men had accused Jinsar Bekari of having rustled their buffalo. Both parties were then reported to have approached a Shikarpur advocate to have the matter resolved by a jirga. Those summoned by the SHC to appear in the court included the additional advocate-general and Shikarpur police officials. The SHC suspended execution of the jirga edict.

Cases on religious grounds


An Ahmedi, Mansoor Ahmad from Hafizabad, was sentenced to life imprisonment for burning the Holy Quran and five new cases on religious grounds were registered during the last quarter of 2005 (that is, in addition to those covered in the State of Human Rights 2005). Four of these cases, all under sec 295-B of PPC were registered against persons described as Muslims. In three cases the allegation was burning of the pages of Holy Quran (against Ms. Seeman Bibi of Sheikhupura, Irshad Pathan of Sheikhupura, and Aleem Raza of Multan). In the fourth case, Shahbaz Ahmad from Faisalabad was accused of claiming to be Imam Mehdi and 28 of his followers were held along with him. The fifth new case involved a Christian, Yousuf Masih, and he was accused of burning the Holy Quran. During 2006 two cases were decided. Shahbaz Ahmad from Faisalabad, who had set out as Imam Mehdi at the head of a procession, was sentenced to death and 26 of his followers were awarded life imprisonment. In the other case, Yousaf Masih of Sangla Hill, whose utterances were said to have sparked violence against the towns Christian population and burning of their churches, was acquitted by an Anti-terrorism Court for want of evidence. In the 33 new cases on religious grounds initiated during the year, the identity of seven offenders could not be clearly ascertained. All of them were alleged to have burnt pages from the Holy Quran one of them in Lahore, another in Sharaqpur (Sheikhupura district), and a group of five in Gujranwala. Only one of them was reported to have been arrested. In 20 cases the 27 accused (six of them women) were described as Muslim. Four cases against four men were reported to have been registered under the principal blasphemy provision295-C of the PPC, three cases against three accused were under 295-A of the PPC (all of them posed as Mehdi or Gods messenger), and the remaining 13 cases against 20 people (6 women) were under 295-B. In all these cases except one the charge was burning or desecration of the Holy Quran. In the seven new cases registered against members of the Ahmediya community 21 people (one of them a woman) were named as accused: The charges in most cases included violation of the Ahmedi-specific provisions added to the Penal Code by Gen.
Administration of justice 7 7

Ziaul Haq. Four of these cases were registered in Punjab and three in Sindh. Four members of the Christian community were named as accused in three new cases against their co-religionists registered during the year. The details of these new cases follow:

Cases on Religious Grounds against Muslims


Sr. No. Name/s Address U/S Allegation Arrested or not Remarks

01 Allah Waraya Layyah 02 A. Hamid 03 Ehasanullah Bhaipheroo, Kasur --

295-C Claimed to be a Arrested Said to be mentally sick prophet 295/C Claimed to be a Arrested Prophet 295/C Blasphemous remarks about the Prophet (PBUH) ----

04 Abdul Sattar Gopang

Muzaffargarh

Arrested Murdered in the 295/C Blasphemous remarks about custody of police when he was going the Prophet (PBUH) back to jail after his appearance in court on June 16. 295/B Burnt pages of Arrested Holy Quran 295/B Insulted the Holy Quran 295/B Burnt six copies of Quran, inside a mosque. ---Bailed out --

05 Mumtaz Hussain Siraj 06 Mst Nusrat Mst Sumera 07 Samri Mai Bakhtu Mai Janati Mai 08 M. Shafiq

Pindi Bhattian -D.G.Khan

Sialkot

295/B Desecrated the Arrested The Quran was Holy Quran allegedly desecrated while resolving a domestic dispute 295/B Burnt the Holy Arrested Quran 295/B Burnt the Holy Quran -Claimed that he was disposing of torn pages of Quran.

09 Munir Ahmad Faqirwali 10 Ghulam Rasool Vehari

11 Sarwar

Sargodha

295/B Insulted the Holy Quran

--

7 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

Sr. No.

Name/s

Address

U/S

Allegation

Arrested or not --

Remarks Mentally retarded person

12 Abdul Jabbar Mughal Pura Lahore 13 Yousaf Ansari Sialkot 14 Qamar Javed M. Sadiq 15 M.Amin 16 Mudasar Shahzad 17 Mst Sakina Bibi Shabbir Ahmed 18 Sher Azam 19 M.Sadiq M. Shabbir 20 M. Alam Hasil Pur

295/B Burnt the Holy Quran

295/B Desecrated the Arrested Holy Quran 295/B Burnt the Holy Arrested Both were beaten by a Quran mob and one of them died in hospital. 295/B Burnt the Holy Arrested Quran 295/B Insulted the Holy Arrested Quran 295/B Insulted the Holy Arrested Quran ---

Gujranwala Gujranwala Ferozewala

Kohat Gujranwala T.T.Singh

295/A Claimed to be Arrested Imam Mehdi 295/A Claimed to be a Not prophet arrested 295/A Claimed to be Arrested Imam Mehdi

----

Cases against Ahmadis


Sr. No. Name/s Address Chenab Punjab U/S Allegation Arrested or not Arrested -Remarks ---

01 M. Latif Butt

Nagar, 298/C Preaching 295/ Printed an A,B,C, article in a 298/C magazine

02 Mirza Masroor Ahmad Tando Adam, Sindh Mirza Khalil Ahmad Khurshid Ahmad Sultan Ahmad Dogar Mst Umatur Rashid 03 Maula Buksh M. Akbar Haji Khas Kheli Dr. Mannan Siddique Mirpur Sindh

Khas, 298/C Preaching 341/34

Not arrested

--

Administration of justice 7 9

Sr. No.

Name/s

Address Sialkot, Punjab

U/S

Allegation

Arrested or not --

Remarks --

04 Shahzad Asghar Ali Naeem Akram Prof Iftikhar Ahmad 05 Zaheer Ahmad Waqar Ahmad Shakil Fayaz Ahmad 06 Sultan Dogar Agha Saifullah 07 M. Tariq

298/C Preaching

Sialkot, Punjab

the Arrested 295/B Burnt pages of Holy Quran

--

Chanabnagar Tando Sindh

295/B -298/C

Arrested

--

Adam, 295/A Hurt religious Arrested feelings by scratching the stickers bearing, anti -Ahmedia slogans in a bus.

Cases against Christians


Sr. Name/s Address U/S Allegation Arrest/ Or not Remarks

01 Younas Masih Lahore

295/C Uttered blasphemous words against the Prophet (PBUH) -Sent blasphemous messages by mobile phones.

Arrested Bail refused by LHC Arrested --

02 Qamar David

Karachi

03 Boota Masih James Masih

Faisalabad

295/B Burn the pages of the Holy Quran

Arrested

--

Jirga rehabilitated
Two strong currents, one against use of jirgas/panchayats as forums for judiciallooking adjudication, and the other favouring them as means of settling intractable matters, were in evidence during 2006. The Supreme Court reaffirmed more than once its ruling that jirgas and panchayats were unlawful assemblies, their decisions had no legal validity and that all those becoming party to them rendered themselves liable to criminal prosecution. The high courts,
8 0 State of Human Rights in 2006

especially the Sindh High Court, repeatedly issued reminders of the legal bar to jirgas. When some members of the parliamentary standing committee on Interior Ministry called upon the government to ban the jirgas, a minister of state told them that the jirgas had been banned by the Ayub Government (1958-69) and now it was for the provincial governments to implement the ban. And yet jirgas / panchayats continued to be held with impunity throughout the period under review and in a majority of cases women, mostly girls of tender age, were made to pay for the follies of murderous or lustful men. What greatly undermined the none-too-determined effort by the administration to abolish the jirga system was the respect conferred upon it by the high and the mighty in the land. The Sindh Chief Minister, for example, continued to speak out in favour of jirgas. Some of the biggest jirgas were held for consultation and consensus-building, except for the one on North Waziristan, but the prestige attached to them raised the status of dispute-resolving jirgas also. The Awami National Party (ANP) convened a large jirga in February 2006 to press for its demand for the withdrawal of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). In November the party organized a still larger assembly, described as the Pakhtun Peace Jirga. The gathering of Pakhtun leaders from both Frontier and Balochistan belonging to different political formations to deliberate on their affairs was declared an unprecedented achievement. When Balochistans seething discontent erupted in street violence after Nawab Akbar Bugtis murder, the Khan of Kalat convened a grand jirga that decided to move the International Court of Justice to determine the former Kalat states political status. The Frontier government, with the federal governments blessings, was obliged to hold a jirga to find a compromise with the militants against whom troops had been engaged in a costly operation for months. Preparations for the jirga began early in 2006 but it was not until 27 June that the 45- member jirga could hold its first session. At the start of deliberations, both the government and the militants took steps to develop mutual goodwill. The militants freed three soldiers belonging to the Frontier Constabulary (FC) they had held for three months, and said this was in response to the governments goodwill gesture in releasing 32 militants it had captured. The jirga delivered. Military operation in the North Waziristan Agency was halted. The militants won freedom of action against pledges of peace and good behaviour. The deal relieved Islamabad of a serious anxiety though many eyebrows were raised, especially in Washington. And, finally, General Pervez Musharraf was advised to hold a Baloch jirga in Islamabad. The plan was revised in good time and the President traveled to Quetta to
Administration of justice 8 1

address a public meeting where the front rows were occupied by women. Nobody could believe the jirga was on its way out. Bloodshed at jirgas As in the past, violence erupted at quite a few jirgas and many lives were lost. Heated exchanges between parties to a dispute before a jirga in a mosque in Badhber, near Peshawar, led to use of guns. Three men were killed. Two persons were killed by firing at a jirga held at Jallo, near Lahore, to deliberate on a case of abduction. Firing at a peace jirga in Kohat left four persons dead. Three persons were killed in firing during jirga proceedings in a village in Abbottabad area. Firing broke out in a jirga in village Alozai, Frontier province. 8 persons were killed. Five persons were killed in firing on a panchayat in a village near Chiniot. Jirga trial by fire Ordeal by fire continued to be favoured by some communities as an effective means of determining the guilt of the accused. In Jacobabad, a man was declared guilty of abducting a woman because his feet did not remain unscathed after walking on red hot embers. (Oct 05) In another case in Jacobabad district, three accused were tested by fire. Two were acquitted while the third was found guilty. (February 06) Iqbal Mazari of Kashmore, who was accused of killing a child, was asked to prove his innocence by walking on red hot embers He did so and his feet suffered no harm. He was acquitted and the complainant was fined. ( April 06) Some jirgas gave public interest verdicts. A Zakakhel Afridi jirga in Peshawar signed an agreement with the Political Agent for eliminating poppy cultivation. A dispute over sharing of irrigation water in Kurram Agency resulted in extended gun battles. A jirga enforced peace. A poppy cultivation ban order was issued by a jirga in Bajaur. A Kukikhel jirga banned trade in drugs and liquor in Jamrud Tehsil of the Khyber Agency. PHC too for the jirga The Peshawar High Court too constituted a jirga to persuade the parents of a girl
8 2 State of Human Rights in 2006

who had taken as husband a man she loved to accept her marriage and leave the couple in peace. The following jirgas were reported in the press during September 2005-December 2006. September 2005: A grand jirga in Gilgit, convened to establish sectarian harmony, prepared a 16-point peace formula which was endorsed by the Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC).
An Abro community jirga in Sukkur declared Rashid and Tasleem, who had got married under court permission, karo and kari and liable to be killed.

October: The Noondho-Chandio feud in Naushero Feroze district, that had claimed 12 lives, was reported to have been resolved by a jirga. The Noondhos were fined Rs. 2.7 million for killing elight of their rivals and the Chandios were fined Rs. 1.5 million for killing four persons.
The Supreme Court intervened in the case of one Rab Nawaz who was tortured under panchayat orders in Kasur for marrying the woman he loved. One of the most sensational vani cases in Mianwali district caught public attention. Five girls, 4 to 10 years old, had been surrended for compromise in a murder case. The panchayat head was apprehended.

November: A lady health visitor from Rahim Yar Khan appealed to the SC Chief Justice for protection for herself and her husband after a panchayat had declared them karo and kari and zealots had raided their hideout. In another vani case reported from Mianwali a 5-years-old girl had been married to a boy of 18 and a 6-year-old girl to an 8-year-old boy.The police arrested nine men on learning of rukhsati plans. December: Sindh Minister Altaf Unnar, the Jatoi tribe chief and the District Police Officer were prominent in the jirga which claimed to have resolved an 8-year-old feud between two Mirani factions. The parties said 19 people had been killed but the jirga accepted only 7 deaths. One side was fined Rs. 1.7 million ( for killing 4) and the other Rs 1.56 million ( for killing 3). Minister Unnar declared the jirga was not in violation of the Sindh High Court verdict and even if it was he was going to repeat his performance. The Senate HR committee had to come to the aid of a jirga held in Peshawar in a dispute over a boundary wall in Hayatabad. Jirga rule in 2006
The Khyber Agency political agent organized a grand jirga to secure the expulsion from the agency of two religious leaders, Mufti Munir Shakir and Pir Saifur Rahman, whose FM radio war had been posing a serious threat to law and order for
Administration of justice 8 3

An endless story of oppression


Two jirgas that caused unusual stir were reported in May-June 2006 from Jacobabad district in Sindh. A jirga was convened in village Kamal Magsi, near Thal, to settle a dispute between two factions of the Banglani tribe over a murder committed five years earlier. The group held guilty was ordered to pay the aggrieved party Rs. 200,000 and surrender to it five girls. The five girls offered for marriage were aged two to six years. The other jirga was held in village Garhi Hasan Sarki to decide a dispute over karo-kari between two factions of the Nonari clan. The party found guilty was ordered to surrender a girl to the complainant party and also to pay it Rs 120,000 as compensation. The jirga was held under the patronage of the Thal Tehsil Nazim. Activists belonging to several political groups staged a protest demonstration while the Garhi Hasan Sarki jirga was in session. MNA Hazar Khan Bijarani was specially targeted for attending both the jirgas. He held a press conference to explain his position. He said he had attended reconciliation meetings which were different from jirgas. The Sindh Chief Minister summoned the organisers of the Kamal Magsi jirga. The reason perhaps was that the target was an opposition MNA, otherwise the chief minister reiterated his known support to the jirga system in December 2006. The matter also came up before the Supreme Court which passed strictures on parliamentarians who ran a parallel judiciary through panchayats or similar forums and ordered marriage of girls under vani or swara customs or to settle feuds. The civil society will collapse if a parallel judiciary is encouraged by legislators and influentials, the court observed. Bijarani, who was present in the court, was asked as to who had vested in him the power to hold jirgas in violation of the law. The MNA said his sole purpose in attending the jirgas was to help families to end intra-tribe feuds. He denied knowledge of girls being surrendered. The court was told by the parents of the five vani girls that they agreed to their marriage of their free will. The court set the jirga decision at naught and ordered action against all those responsible for the impugned agreement. The Sindh government was directed to enforce the ban on jirgas as they were illegal. Subsequently, cases were registered against 513 men for organizing and attending these jirgas. They include MNA Bijarani, Pir of Bharchoondi Mian Abdul Khaliq and the Thal Tehsil Nazim Akbar Banglani.

8 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

quite some time. (Jan. 06) A 24-member jirga in Hangu, held to resolve the long-festering sectarian conflict, was presided over by an MMA leader, Senator Gul Naseeb Khan. ( Feb. 06) A jirga in Lakki Marwat was presided over by the MNA and MPAs of the area. (Feb.06) A panchayat in Pakpattan district (southern Punjab) dealt with a case of a mans elopement with a married girl (18 years). It ordered two women to be surrendered to the aggrived party. One of these women refused to obey the panchayat order. The LHC was told both the women had been abducted. The identity of the culprits could easily be guessed. ( March 06) In Shikarpur district (Sindh) a panchayat tried a man who had been accused of theft, pronounced him guilty and ordered amputation of his hand. The assembly was presided over by an Advocate. The SHC suspended the sentence. (March 06) A panchayat in Khanpur (Rahim Yar Khan) declared Ayub and Bashiran Bibi karo and kari. She was to be killed, he was to pay Rs. 70,000 in fine. (March 06) A 14-year-old girl was reported to have been gangraped on panchayat orders in Peermahal (Faisalabad). (April 06) The police registered a case against 10 members of a jirga in Dera Ghazi Khan, who had decided an 8-year-old murder case by fining the killer Rs. 9 million and the surrender of four girls as vani ( April 06) A jirga in Upper Dir banned registration of honour crime cases. Killing for honour was described as part of the peoples culture. 15 days later an announcement was made that anyone reporting an honour crime would be killed. ( April 06) A Mianwali girl, Rashida, married Zulfiqar without informing her family and shifted to another town. Her father came to visit her, said she had been forgiven, and took her to his village. There a panchayat gave her away in marriage to an- 80-year-old man. Price charged:Rs 40,000. (May 06) A karokari dispute between two groups in a Sukkur village was decided by a jirga. The group declared guilty was ordered to surrender a girl and fined Rs 120,000. (June 06) A young man from a village near Vehari ran away with the daughter of a landlord. The panchayat ordered the marriage of his 14-year-old sister to the landlords son. ( June 06) A Sukkur jirga decided the case about the stealing of 11 buffaloes. The guilty party was ordered to surrender two girls one aged 9, the other only one year old. The deal was denied by the complainant. ( June 06) Meerwala village in Muzaffargarh again came in the news when a panchayat ordered young Wazir to give his 16-year-old sister in marriage to a 65-year-old man,
Administration of justice 8 5

whose daughter he had allegedly raped. The police intervened and three men were arrested. (July 06) In Shahdadpur (Nawabshah district) a man failed to repay his debt. He was ordered by a jirga to give two daughters aged 2 and 1 in marriage to the sons of the creditor. (July 06) The Sindh government was reported to have ordered action against the members of a jirga in a village near Larkana that had reportedly convicted a 10-year-old boy and a 13 year-old-girl of zina. The girls father was ordered to marry her off to another boy within six months. The boy was fined Rs. 150,000 and expelled from the village for six months. (May 06) A woman MNA from Dera Ghazi Khan announced her determination to hold jirgas against the practice of vani in her district and also in Rajanpur district. She presented at her press conference two vani girlsNusrat Bibi (9) and Salma Bibi (5). A jirga was held in November 2005 to examine relations between Nusrats brother and a girl (sister of one Shaukat). The jirga decided that Nusrat was to be married to Shaukat (16) and her cousin Salma to Shaukats brother, Akhtar. The marriages were to be consummated after the girls had attained puberty. However, two days after the jirga Nusrat was handed over to her in-laws on the basis of a nikah document wherein her age was claimed to be 18. She ran back to her fathers house after, she alleged, her husbands grandfather had raped her. (May 06) A Jatoi jirga in Sukkur in March 2006 revealed the range of the jirga writ in Sindh as well as the extent of some corrupt police functionaries depravity. One Shah Dost Jatoi had been killed by some unknown person(s). His brother, Karima Jatoi, collected the dead body and took it to Khairpur Civil Hospital for a postmortem examination. He was afterwards taking the corpse home when he ran into a police party and met with his end. The police announced that two dangerous criminals had been killed in an encounter. The relatives of the deceased told the Sindh High Court that the police had not only killed Karima, they had also pumped a few bullets into his brothers dead body. While the SHC was still deliberating on the matter the jirga handed down its verdict. The police was ordered to pay the victim family Rs. 1.2 million. This was not the first time the police had submitted themselves to jirga rule. The benefit of this strategy is that a policeman fined by a jirga retains his job and may recover the fine amount from citizens under his charge and at his mercy. A jirga in Sanghar declared Badvi a kari nine months after she was married to Ali Khan. She was killed by her husband and father-in-law. (July, 2006) Two girls, Bashiran (10) and Shakila (9), were kidnapped in Khairpur district when their parents refused to accept a jirga decision to give them in marriage to men aged 59 and 50 while deciding a karo-kari case, and sought police help. The police
8 6 State of Human Rights in 2006

recovered the girls and a Pir Jo Goth court sent them to Darul Aman. Five of the 14 suspected zealots were reported to have been arrested in the first swoop. (July 06) 20-year-old Sarwar Bibi was given in marriage to a 10-year-old boy, Haq Nawaz, by a village panchayat near Van Bhachran, because it had pronounced her brother guilty of extra-marital sex with a village girl. ( August 06) Nine men were arrested in Swabi under District and Sessions Judges orders for giving a minor girl in marriage to resolve a dispute in accordance with swara custom. (October 06) The SHC ordered registration of cases against the people responsible for holding a jirga that had ordered the giving away of a 3-year-old girl in marriage to the rival party in a karo kari case. Her grandfather refused. Hence a petition to the SHC. (October 06) In Khanewal (Punjab) a 9-year-old girl was given away in marriage as vani in a case of a womans abduction ( Nov 06) In the last week of November 2006, a jirga, described as exceptionally large, was held at Kandhkot (Kashmore) to settle an old feud between the Teghanis and Ogahis. The Teghanis were fined Rs. 9.6 million for killing 19 Ogahis and Rs. one million for filing an FIR against an MPA. The Ogahis were fined Rs. 8.5 million for killing 15 Teghanis. The prominent member of the jirga included the senior Jatoi leader, Sardar Khadim Jatoi, provincial minister Manzoor Panhwar, and Dr. Ibrahim Jatoi. The Teghani-Ogahi feud was taken up again at a large jirga at Kandhkot (Kashmore) on 26 November 2006. Out of the claims of 37 deaths presented to it, the jirga accepted the killing of 34 people. The rate of compensation was: Man killed - Rs. 400,000, woman killed - Rs. 800,000, hurt - Rs. 40,000 to 150,000. The Teghanis were fined Rs. 9,160,000 (for killing 19 Ogahis) and the Ogahis were fined 6,330,000 (for killing 15 Teghanis). According to a report, provincial minister Manzoor Panhwar presided over a gathering of about 5,000 people. The parties were brought to the venue, Kandhkot Degree College, under police escort. The parties will deposit the compensation amount with the Kashmore DPO, who will distribute it among the beneficiaries. Farhana and her husband, Bashir Ahmad Solangi, told their story at a press conference in Hyderabad (December 06) Farhana said she married Bashir to whom she had been betrothed by her late father six years earlier. Her uncles, who were police officials, did not like this, as they wanted to sell her. In an attempt to force her to abandon her husband they had detained several members of her family. The HRCP has been drawing public attention to illegal jirgas for quite a few years. However, there are many variations of the jirga. HRCP does not consider convening of all jirgas as a violation of human rights. Indeed, a gathering of people to thrash out or discuss issues of common concern is very much in line with the freedom of association. Alternative methods of dispute resolution carried out in civil matters and with the consent of parties are valid arbitration practices. However, jirgas that pass penal sanctions
Administration of justice 8 7

or perpetuate traditional practices violative of human rights of any party are illegal and seriously undermine the legal process. Such jirgas are in violation of all legal provisions and those convening them must themselves be brought to justice.

Recommendations
1. The elevation of judges to the superior courts must be made under the rules laid down in the Judges Case. The Bar Council should continue to put pressure on the government and lobby with political parties to raise it in their public demands. 2. The institution of ombudsman needs to be strengthened and publicized so that the people can seek redress through this mechanism 3. A more transparent system of judicial accountability needs to be put in place. Litigants and lawyers must also have access to it. 4. Cases of habeas corpus must be heard promptly and in cases of disappearance, the courts should not dismiss the petitions till the detenue is recovered. 5. Suo motu cases should be taken up in a systematic manner and under guidelines that are transparent and enhance the effectiveness of the superior judiciary 6. HRCP has serious concerns about civilians being tried by military courts. Regrettably the superior courts have overturned a settled principle of law that did not allow military courts to try civilians. 7. HRCP is encouraged at the recent rulings of the superior courts awarding compensation to victims of arbitrary detention. Human rights activists and lawyers should encourage victims to file cases for such compensation. 8. Murder should be considered as a crime against the state and impunity should not be extended to perpetrators on the forgiveness of the victims family. This has been grossly misused too, as observed by the Supreme Court. 9. Fetters should be abolished and the government should allow NGOs to visit prisons. 10. All bonded labour freed by courts should be compensated for illegal detention by non-state actors. The perpetrators should be prosecuted and brought to justice. 11. A public campaign in electronic media should be launched against constituting jirgas that award penal sanctions or order actions violative of human rights. 12. The government should train law officers in dealing with cases involving offences against religion. 13. Inhuman, degrading or humiliating punishments must be banned by law.

8 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

Enforcement of law

III

Law and order 8 9

9 0 State of Human Rights in 2006

Law and order


No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice. Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before a magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest... Constitution of Pakistan Article 10(1) and (2) The dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable. No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence. Article 14(1) and (2) Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 3 No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 5 Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. Article 11 (1) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour or reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Article 12
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Conflict in Balochistan, military operations in Waziristan, the bombing in Bajaur and the breakdown in law and order across the country greatly endangered the life and welfare of people

Conflict in Balochistan
The conflict that had broken out in Balochistan in 2003 continued through 2005 and intensified in December as paramilitary forces stepped up operations in the Dera Bugti and Kohlu districts. HRCP fact-finding missions, which visited the area in December 2005 and then again in January 2006, saw widespread evidence of severe human rights abuses. These included summary executions, the bombardment of civilian settlements and the killing of children and women among other victims. HRCP collected the names of dozens of people, including many children and women, who had died as a result of armed action in both Kohlu and Dera Bugti. About 85 percent of the population of Dera Bugti had fled the town at the time of the HRCP teams visit. The federal interior minister, in April 2006, told the cabinet that Balochistan: Rally in solidarity violence in Balochistan had claimed 158 lives over the first four months of the year. Other estimates put the death toll at nearly double that figure. The situation in Balochistan worsened in August 2006, when Nawab Akbar Bugti, the chief of the Bugti tribe, was killed in a military operation in the Bhambore area of Kohlu district. HRCP described the murder as a targetted killing. Towns in Balochistan and in parts of Sindh were hit by violence for many days, as angry protesters took to the streets. Curfew was imposed briefly in Quetta, and for a somewhat longer period in the town of Noshki. HRCP also received evidence that security agencies were fuelling ethnic tensions between Balochis and Punjabis. Tensions in the province remained high in the months that followed Bugtis killing, with a military operation continuing in Kohlu. But it was not only in conflict-hit areas that Balochistan saw a worsening of the
9 2 State of Human Rights in 2006

already poor system of law and order. Rocket and bomb attacks took place across the province, and militants targetted installations including electricity towers, railway tracks and gas pipelines. According to data collected by HRCPs Quetta office, there were at least 289 bomb blasts in the province in 2006, claiming 133 lives. 34 of those killed were members of the security forces. 2,119 rockets were fired during the same period, killing 44 security force personnel and 32 civilians. Many others were injured in the violence. There were also 146 landmine blasts, in which 81 civilians and 37 security force personnel were killed. 75 civilians and 82 security force personnel were injured, many suffering the loss of a leg. Most of the landmine blasts took place in Dera Bugti or Kohlu districts. In March 2006, 29 members of a wedding party, mainly women and children, were killed when a landmine blew up their vehicle in the Dera Bugti area.[See also Chapter on Political Participation]

North Waziristan
In direct contrast to its handling of the conflict in Balochistan, the federal government in September 2006 reached a peace deal with tribal leaders in North Waziristan, after convening a tribal jirga. Under the deal reached in the area where fighting between militants and the Pakistan military had continued for almost five years, Pakistans military agreed to withdraw. In exchange, tribal leaders committed not to protect terrorists, engage in terrorist activity or target security officials and pro-government tribal leaders. A clause in the pact stated that foreign militants would be permitted to stay in the region, provided they respected the law and the peace agreement. In a report in December, the Bruissels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) warned that Pakistans tribal areas were being used by militants as a base from where they could safely carry out their activities. The agreement was seen by many commentators as a capitulation by the Pakistan government to militant forces. The government however hailed it as an important victory for peace. In October, a similar agreement was reached in South Waziristan, but was not signed following the aerial bombardment in Bajaur Agency at the end of October of what Pakistan government officials said was a seminary where training was imparted to militants. At least 82 persons died in the attack, all of them young men. Media reports that at least some of those killed were minors were denied by the ISPR, which released a list stating what it said were the real ages of those killed. Independent verification of the claims and counter-claims was made impossible because the military
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cut off access to Bajaur and disallowed journalists, activists or political leaders from visiting the site of the bombing. Local eye-witnesses stated the attack had in fact been carried out by unmanned US drones. The Pakistan government denied this. International media reports said the purpose of the attack may have been to target an al-Qaeda leader, Aiman al-Zawahiri, who it was thought could be present at the seminary at the time of the strike. Amnesty International described the incident as possible extra-judicial murder. A few days later, in retaliation for the Bajaur strike, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Pakistan army training centre in Dargai in the Malakand Agency. At least 42 persons, most of them young recruits, were killed. HRCP warned that the ruthless killing of citizens by State authorities had unleashed a new cycle of violence. Over the previous five years, hundreds of security personnel, militants and civilians had been killed in the fighting in the North and South Waziristan agencies, an area bordering Afghanistan. With media access to the area barred and information emerging about the conflict extremely hazy, it was difficult to estimate precisely how many had been killed. The Pakistan government placed the toll of security personnel at around 50. Independent estimates put it closer to 350. The weekly South Asia Intelligence Review, running under the New Delhi-based Institute of Conflict Management, put the death toll between January 2005 and June 2006 at 806 persons. In June 2006, at least five soldiers were killed and seven others sustained injuries when a car laden with explosives rammed into a military vehicle in the Bakakhel area of Bannu while the army convoy was reportedly proceeding from Mirali in North Waziristan to its base camp in Bannu in the NWFP. Two suicide bombers were reported to have been killed alongside the soldiers. The ISPR claimed the incident was not a suicide bombing and that grenades had been hurled at the convoy. Violence had continued in Waziristan through 2006. The government bombing of an alleged militant hideout in March 2006 sparked major clashes. Several hundred militants seized government buildings in the town of Miranshah, leading to confrontations in which more than 120 militants died, according to the military. Thousands of people fled as helicopter gunships pounded militant positions around the town. The clashes coincided with a visit to Pakistan by U.S. President George Bush. Several weeks later, Pakistan increased the number of troops deployed in the area, in a bid to prevent militants infiltrating the area from neighbouring Afghanistan. Through much of 2005 and early 2006, the Pakistan military had focused on tracking down foreign militants in the area. The government stated 75 had been killed in these operations. According to media reports, al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was believed to be present in the region. After the March 2006 violence, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW)
9 4 State of Human Rights in 2006

stated it had received reports of civilian deaths and property-damage. A large number of people had fled the area, with HRCP finding they had received no assistance as they attempted to seek shelter at safer locations.

Disappearances
The issue of enforced disappearances assumed still more grave dimensions than in previous years. The picking up of hundreds of people across the country amounted to a violation of their most basic rights and represented a serious human rights concern. HRCP began the process of collecting data about disappeared people, with complaints coming in from all provinces. The largest number of disappearances were reported in Balochistan. Balochi and Sindhi nationalists were increasingly targetted through the reporting period, whereas in previous years the focus had essentially been on those alleged to be involved in terrorist activity. HRCP was provided information about at least 400 missing persons. It was however feared this was only the tip of the ice-berg. According to reports received by HRCP from Balochistan, hundreds of people were missing in that province alone. [See chapter on Jails and Prisoners for details].

Terrorism
Despite claims of having won the war on terror by members of government, the number of terrorist attacks and bomb blasts reported in the country through the period under r e v i e w suggested that the real position was quite to the contrary. Several of the most serious acts of terrorist violence were as follows: At least Little was known about persons alleged to be terrorists. 40 people were
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killed and 50 others wounded in February 2006, in a suspected suicide attack on a procession of Shia Muslims in Hangu in the NWFP. The attack took place during the Muslim month of mourning, Muharrum, most devotedly observed by Shias. In March 2006, four people including an American diplomat, were killed and 54 others wounded when an explosive-laden car rammed into the diplomats vehicle yards from he US Consulate in Karachi. The attack was later found to be a suicide bombing. Some weeks later in the same city in April, during a congregation arranged to mark Eid Miladun Nabi, one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar, at least one suicide bomber detonated a bomb close to the stage. At least 57 people were killed, including top leaders of the Sunni Tehreek. Scores others were injured. A suicide bomber killed 42 military recruits at a Pakistan army training camp in the Malakand Agency in November, 2006. [See also section on Conflict in Waziristan]. Dozens of other terrorist incidents were reported through the year, the largest number in Balochistan. Rail tracks were targetted in at least three bomb attacks. According to figures compiled by the HRCP Karachi office, between March and July 2006, there were at least 57 reported bomb blasts. At least 110 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks during the period under review.

Battles between rival groups


While the administration stood aside and watched, rival clerics in various parts of the NWFP incited people to attack each other. In early April, a HRCP fact-finding team visited the Bara area where two rival religious leaders, Pir Saifur Rehman and Mufti Shakir, had set up illegal FM radio stations over which they conducted a war of words against each other. Clashes between supporters of the two leaders broke out across the area, and as tensions continued to escalate, a gun-battle erupted in late March in which 18 people died. The Frontier Corps conducted an operation in the area and the FM radio stations were closed down. The rival clerical leaders left the area. However, the life of people had been badly disrupted for months, and HRCP feared further violence in the years and months ahead as families sought revenge for the killings. 22 deaths took place in the Bara conflict. According to reports from the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) in March, illegal, pro-Taliban, FM radio stations were promoting militancy in the area. Groups of militants were also reported to be extorting money, while a Taliban-style resurgence took place in parts of Dir, Mardan and Malakand. These militants threatened the rule of law by challenging law enforcing agencies, while the breakdown of law and order had led to a chaotic situation in which gangs of dacoits and kidnappers terrorized
9 6 State of Human Rights in 2006

people. In Hangu, sectarian tensions remained high through the early months of 2006. By the end of March, at least 53 people had been killed in sectarian violence, which often took the form of armed clashes between rival groups. Sectarian tensions also remained high in Gilgit and Skardu and at least 70 people were reported by HRCP to have been killed in the area by April 2006. HRCP released a report on the Northern Areas in September 2006, which detailed the toll taken by sectarian violence. In August 2006, at least six persons were killed in a gunfight between two rival religious groups in the Tirah Valley of the Khyber Agency. Armed bands associated with the two groups, who were locked in a struggle for power, clashed near the town of Gogrina. Ten more persons were killed in the same area in November, as renewed fighting broke out.

Targetted killings
Targetted killings, many of them inspired by sectarian motives, continued. Prominent Shia leader Allama Hasan Turabi was killed in a suicide attack in Karachi in July 2006, triggering angry protests across the city In September 2006, a former union council nazim and Shia leader Syed Javed Shah was killed in Lahore when two motorcyclists opened fire on him. In an unexplained target killing, Dr Ahmed Javed Khawaja, who had been detained in 2002 on terrorism charges and accused by the government of harbouring wanted alQaeda leaders, was shot dead in Lahore on his way to his clinic in February. Dr Khawaja, along with his brother, who faced the same charges, was acquitted by the LHC. Other persons were killed on the basis of their sectarian affiliations in Karachi, Quetta, Faisalabad and other places. The HRCP Karachi office documented 44 targetted killings in the city during the first ten months of 2006.

Kidnappings
According to official figures provided by the Bureau of Police Research and Development running under the interior ministry, 9,209 people were kidnapped in Pakistan in 2005. Figures updated by the Bureau for 2006 showed there had been 1,409 kidnappings in the months of January and February 2006. In Karachi, from January to the end of October 2006, there were at least 140 kidnappings, according to data collected by HRCP. Some of the victims were killed The increase in the incidents of kidnapping for ransom was especially marked,
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with middle-class traders, professionals or their children targetted by gangs engaged in the crime. The exact number of such cases was unknown, as families only rarely went to the police. Many simply paid the ransom sum in the hope of recovering children or other relatives. Over the past two years the number of kidnappings had steadily risen and gangs had kidnapped judges, a provincial government minister and a score of bus passengers, among other victims.

Murder, dacoity and street crime


The number of armed robberies taking place in all major cities and most smaller towns presented a growing risk to the life and welfare of citizens, and to their property. On average, two or three robberies were reported daily in Lahore, and many others from other towns in the provinces. While crime in larger cities was given most prominence, local newspapers in Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Kotli, Sialkot, Chakwal and towns across the Punjab, detailed numerous robberies, thefts and cases of cattle lifting each day. According to official data, 31 persons were killed and 110 injured during dacoities in Lahore during the first ten months of 2006. This represented an increase of seven percent in murder committed during dacoity and 50 percent in the rate of injury inflicted during such crimes, compared to the same period the previous year. The police registered 964 cases of dacoity from January to October 2006, compared to 892 cases during the same period the previous year. (Dawn, November 7, 2006) The situation in Karachi was no better. At least 40 cases of death during dacoity were reported. HRCP recorded at least 103 cases of dacoity during the first ten months of 2006. According to the figures of the Bureau of Police Research, 453,264 Wanton killing. crimes were reported countrywide in
9 8 State of Human Rights in 2006

2005. They included 9,631 cases of murder, 2,395 dacoities, 12,199 robberies and 12,067 burglaries. During the first two months of 2006, for which official figures were available, there had been 731,39 crimes, including 774 murders and 369 dacoities. There were also a number of high profile murders. In early November, in Lahore, a security guard gunned down and killed five persons in Lahore, including Hafiz Ayaz, a prominent industrialist. Police believed the guard had carried out the shooting as a result of his frustration over the refusal of his employers to grant him leave over Eidul Fitr. This was just one of several cases of crime involving private security guards. Car theft, car lifting and street crime also showed a distinct upsurge. A number of people were killed by persons aiming to snatch their mobile phones. According to press reports, 47 people were killed in Karachi and 118 injured in the first six months of 2006 by criminals attempting to steal their mobile phones, cash or other valuables. It was reported that the number of deaths and injuries had risen by 19.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2005. (Dawn, July 19, 2006) In October, the leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, Nisar Khuhro, told the house 15,000 mobile phones had been stolen in Karachi over the past month alone, which happened to be Ramazan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. The HRCP Karachi office noted that according to press reports, there had been at least 510 murders in the city from March to July 2006. Some of the crimes reported during the year were especially gruesome. In October 2006, in Lahore, a young man killed his paternal aunt and four of her children using a homemade electrocution device. The accused man, Riaz, was arrested a few days later. Police stated he had no obvious motive for the crime. In November 2006 it was reported markets in older parts of Lahore were awash with sophisticated arms, and a culture of gangs existed in some areas. (Daily Times, November 2, 2006)

Human trafficking
Despite stepped up official measures to combat human trafficking, the crime continued. In Balochistan alone, from January to June 2006, 1,261 Pakistanis and 180 foreign nationals were arrested on the Pak-Iran border a popular route for those attempting to reach destinations in Europe. According to other reports, attempts were made to smuggle thousands others using different routes. [See Chapter on Labour].

Illegal detention
Illegal detention by police was extremely common, with many victims suffering torture or other kinds of brutality. Police officials seemed oblivious to reprimands by courts regarding the holding of
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people without cause, or without entering an arrest in any record. A few of the cases reported during the period under review are detailed below: In February, Ghulam Nabi Solangi alleged that his brother, Ali Anwar, had been detained for ten days and not produced in any court. Ali Anwar had suffered torture while held at the Hala Police Station. Half a dozen policemen, including an SHO, were booked on April 22 for keeping a man in illegal confinement in Dhulley, Gujranwala. Dhulley police had picked up Ghulam Rasul from his house and detained him in a private room for a month. After receiving a complaint, city DSP Rashid Sindhu raided the place and recovered the detainee. It was learnt that the police were seeking to arrest his two sons for alleged involvement in crime, but instead picked up their elderly father when they were unable to track down the young men. The DPO registered cases against the policemen involved. A sub-inspector was fined Rs10,000 by a sessions court in Multan for illegally detaining a rickshaw driver at the police lock-up. Petitioner Kaniz Fatima told the court that her son, Iqbal, had been arrested by Mumtazabad police after a passenger he had taken to a motorcycle dealer allegedly lifted a motorcycle from the shop. A bailiff was deputed to conduct a raid at the police station and found that no case had been registered against Iqbal till several days after his arrest. The LHC freed two detainees recovered from the illegal detention of Arifwala police in February and directed the DPO to investigate the matter. One of the detainees produced before the court after a bailiff recovered him stated he had been illegally held for 30 days. During the same month, the LHC directed concerned police officials to suspend the SHO of the Manga Mandi Police Station and other policemen for illegally detaining and torturing Mazhar Iqbal. Police claimed he was wanted in 20 cases. The court declined to accept this explanation. The detainee stated he had been arrested in Kasur, held for eight days and severely tortured. On May 19, members of a family belonging to Thatta accused the Jherruk police of committing excesses and implicating them in a false case. Family members Sharif, Rukhsana, Maryam and Sakina said that a false case had been lodged against them on the complaint of Noor Mohammad, the uncle of a police constable, and several male family members had been illegally detained and tortured.

Extra-judicial killings
Police encounters The number of cases in which persons were killed in cold-blood by police and the incident passed off as a police encounter continued to rise. Files maintained by HRCP showed there had been 62 encounters across the country
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in the first ten months of 2006, in which at least 107 persons had been killed. HRCPs data compiled from the national Press showed there had been 62 deaths in police encounters in Karachi during the first ten months of 2006. According to press reports, 30 persons were killed by police in encounters in Lahore in the first half of 2006 (The Nation, July 7, 2006). In September, HRCP expressed concern over the rising incidents of encounter killings in Sindh, including two cases in Karachi within a week, in which three persons were killed. Some of the cases reported were particularly gruesome.
In March, Feroze, 40 and his sister Sabeha, 38 were shot dead in what an HRCP fact-finding team found to be a fake police encounter in Karachi. Sabehas daughter, Ansa, 14 and an elder brother of Feroze were seriously injured.

In July, Salman, 14, was killed and his friend, Asghar, 15, injured after personnel of the Elite Police Force opened fire on them as they passed through a picket in Lahore. The boys, riding a motorcycle, had apparently failed to stop at the picket.
During the same month, in Karachi, an HRCP team met the family of Mazhar Iqbal, 28, who had been shot dead by police. The victims family stated he had been in police custody and they were negotiating his release.

In September, in Karachi, police gunned down a man for ignoring their signal to stop late at night. Three constables were booked for killing the victim, Zafar Hameed. An initial inquiry proved that the police claim that the victim had fired on them was inaccurate, as no firearm was found in his possession. HRCP condemned the rising number of police encounters in the city.

Rights groups both within and outside the country also described the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and the bombing in Bajaur as extra-judicial killings.

Death in custody
Deaths in custody were often dubbed as suicides by the police, to cover up the incident. In other cases it was stated the victim had died due to cardiac arrest or other sudden health problems. It was believed that other deaths that took place were never classified as having occurred in custody, since bodies were sometimes dumped by roadsides or in fields. Deaths in custody most often took place when police used violence to extract a confession. In most such cases, no record of an arrest had been made. Some of the cases of violence in custody were as follows:

Saqib, 28, was found dead in the custody of police in Lahore in July. His
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relatives stated he had died due to violence inflicted on him, including a head injury caused by a sharp weapon. In August, Muhammad Nisar, 35, died in a police lockup in Karachi due to alleged police torture. This incident was the second custodial death at the lockup within a month. Nisar had been arrested for drug possession. Pervaiz Akhtar died after torture by the Faisalabad police in April 2006. Shah Muhammad died after torture by the Sialkot police in February 2006. Asif Imdad died in February 2006 after being picked up by the Karachi police for possession of drugs and tortured. Abdul Ghaffar Shaikh died while in the custody of the Jacobabad police in February 2006 In September 2006, at a checkpost near Jhang, police allegedly tortured a farmer to death as well as injuring his colleague. The men had questioned the policemen on duty about the setting up of pickets. Mohammad Arif Diraj and Ahmad Nawaz were on their way home when the police stopped them on the Jhang-Faisalabad Road and started searching them. There were many other similar cases during the period under review Two policemen were arrested in Karachi in February after the death of a young man in their custody. An example of the degree of violence police were capable of inflicting came in September 2006, when the Vehari city police were reported to have chopped off the tongue of 17-year-old Irfan Ashraf. The boys only crime had been to fall in love with the daughter of an influential landlord. Irfan had been arrested a few days previously, but no charges brought against him. Police stated he had chopped off his own tongue, and lodged two cases of attempted suicide against him. Irfans parents were booked in a murder case and other charges brought against his brothers. HRCP recorded 15 cases of death in custody in Karachi from January to October 2006.

Police and the public


The police frequently failed in its responsibility of dealing peacefully with public protests or gatherings. Some of the worst effects of their ineptness were experienced by the people of Lahore and Peshawar in February 2006. Violent mobs, using as an excuse the issue of cartoons published in Danish newspapers which were seen by Muslims as blasphemous, ran amuck through the streets of both cities, damaging shops, cars and other property. The rampage continued for several hours, with police unwilling, or unable, to stop the
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destruction and the disruption to the lives of people. People in Karachi, protesting forcible evictions, faced the wrath of the police on several occasions during 2006. In March, residents protesting the demolition of some floors of their apartment building were met by police wielding tear-gas canisters and batons. Three women fell unconscious due to the police action. In August, people in Sukkur, attempting Police continued to use force against peaceful protesters. to draw attention to their plight as irrigation department officials along with their bulldozers moved in to raze their houses located along the River Indus, also met police violence. The desperate residents had attempted to chase away the irrigation officials using wooden sticks and later blocked Bunder Road by burning tyres. A heavy police contingent resorted to aerial firing and the use of tear-has to dispel the protesters. [See also Chapter on Housing]. Other sections of society, including political activists, were dealt with as brutally on other occasions when they attempted to exercise their right to peaceful assembly. [See Chapter on Freedom of Assembly].

Cops and robbers


It was not uncommon for policemen to be found involved in crime and allegations that cops abetted gangs involved in car lifting or robbery came in throughout the period under review. Policemen were also accused of murder. In September, Asif, 23, a skilled worker in Karachi was killed when bullets were fired at the car he was travelling in, allegedly by policemen escorting a VIP on their vehicles. A friend of Asifs, in the car with him at the time, was injured. He stated the police mobiles fled immediately after the shooting. The accused policemen were reported in November to have been exonerated by the court, due to a lack of evidence. The police department, according to a survey conducted by the Berlin-based antiLaw and order 103

corruption organization, Transparency International, was found according to results released in August 2006 to be perceived by the public as the most corrupt department in Pakistan. This perception contributed to poor relations between citizens and the police, and handicapped efforts at crime control. Complaints regarding police corruption came in through the period under review.

Recommendations
1. Use of para-military and military forces for establishing law and order should be discouraged. Instead police and other civilian functionaries should be used. The use of the armed forces projects them as enemies of the civilian population 2. All extra-judicial killings must stop. The bombing of the madrassah in Bajaur and the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti also fall in the category of extra-judicial murders. Law enforcement agency personnel must be in uniform when taking any action against suspects. 3. The mass media should be persuaded not to publish or broadcast statements by banned sectarian and religious extremist organizations. In usual practice, they only add the word banned before the name of the organization. 4. The upsurge in crimes involving private security guards is alarming. To arm untrained and uneducated individuals without proper scrutiny is a dangerous trend that needs to be curbed. 5. There is a need for better crime management not only in larger cities but also smaller settlements from where dozens of crimes are being reported daily.

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Jails, prisoners and disappearances


No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice. Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before a magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest. Constitution of Pakistan Article 10(1) and (2) The dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable. No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence. Article 14(1) and (2) No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 5 Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Article 6 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 8

The illegal detention of hundreds of people who disappeared, after being picked up by intelligence agencies emerged as one of the most pressing human rights issues in the country. HRCP received many complaints about disappeared people. Other cases went
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unreported, with families too scared to speak out. Rampant overcrowding, corruption, violence and emphasis on the detention rather than the rehabilitation of detainees marked the prison system. Jail manual violations continued and torture was endemic.

Conditions of detention
All of Pakistans 82 prisons, as well as three district jails in the northern areas, remained overcrowded and suffered acute sanitation problems. Of these jails, there were 30 in the Punjab, 20 in Sindh, 22 in the NWFP and 10 in Balochistan. According to figures from the Central Jail Institute in August 2005, the 82 jails held at least 86,194 prisoners, including those under trial. In April 2006, the interior ministry stated that 90 jails (including six in Azad Kashmir and three in the northern areas) housed 90,258 prisoners against an authorized capacity of 41,365. In 2005, Pakistans prisons were overcrowded by 118 percent and the figure remained approximately the same in 2006. In Punjab, prisons were overcrowded by 166 percent. (Daily Times, 15 August, 2006) In Punjab by April 2006, there were 5 4 , 4 9 2 prisoners against an authorized capacity of 20,527. In Sindhs prisons, which were overcrowded by Deported from Oman and caged at home. 121 percent, 22,102 prisoners were housed against an authorized capacity of 10,011. The NWFPs prisons were overcrowded by 20.84 percent, housing 9,767 prisoners against a limit of 8,082. Balochistans jails were overcrowded by 70 percent, housing 3,138 prisoners against a limit of 1,845. The jails in the Northern Areas were overcrowded by 64 percent and contained 246 prisoners against an authorized capacity of 150. (Daily Times, 15 August, 2006) According to a prison population report in March 2006, jails in Lahore, Gujranwala,
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Kasur, Sheikhupura, Rawalpindi, and Multan were overcrowded by 250 percent. The Multan District Jail was overcrowded by 795 percent. (Daily Times, 10 April, 2006) Of the prisoners held across the country, 52,587 male and 1,022 female prisoners were under trial; 17,263 male and 313 female prisoners were convicts and at least 7,000, including at least 40 women, were on death row. 64 percent (around 32,000) of those detained in the Punjab were under-trial prisoners. The overcrowding at jails resulted in under-trial prisoners being held for petty crimes, being detained alongside serious offenders, a violation of the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO) of 2000. Furthermore, the low conviction rate of 11 percent in the Punjab indicated that many under-trial prisoners detained for months and years would eventually be acquitted.Those deported from other countries were often also jailed, adding to the population behind the bars. Prison population in Punjab, April 2006 Prison Name Kot Lakhpat Central Jail, Lahore Lahore District Jail Adiala Central Jail, Rawalpindi Gujranwala Jail Sahiwal Central Jail Kasur District Jail Sheikhupura Jail Sialkot District Jail Attock District Jail Gujrat District Jail Jhelum District Jail Mandi Bahauddin District Jail Chakwal Sub Jail Faisalabad Central Jail Faisalabad Borstal and Juvenile Jail Mianwali Central Jail Faisalabad District Jail Jhang District Jail Multan Central Jail Multan District Jail Multan Womens Jail Bahawalpur Central Jail Authorized Capacity 1053 1,050 1,996 913 1,750 444 590 722 539 385 416 279 142 1,190 224 1,050 853 916 1,460 229 166 1,334 Number held 3,996 4,036 5,343 3,607 4,047 1,803 2,433 2,639 769 1,219 678 943 200 2,753 244 2,119 2,216 2,255 3,280 2,050 176 2,446
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Prison Name Bahawalpur Borstal and Juvenile Jail Dera Ghazi Khan Central Jail Bahawalnagar District Jail Muzaffargarh District Jail Rahim Yar Khan District Jail Rajanpur District Jail Sargodha District Jail Shahpur District Jail

Authorized Capacity 434 582 347 180 316 114 563 292

Number held 134 1,147 500 598 782 374 1,772 696

Prison population in Sindh, January August 2006 Prison Name Authorized Capacity 1,691 893 350 102 1,527 150 300 250 1,498 550 30 250 250 100 250 75 410 110 526 Number held 5,450 3110 599 118 3,000 806 612 302 2,511 612 124 493 402 300 601 221 1,244 193 900 Karachi Central Jail District Malir Jail Youthful Offenders Industrial School, Karachi Women Jail Karachi Hyderabad Central Jail Hyderabad Women Jail Special Nara Jail Hyderabad Dadu District Jail Sukkur Central Jail - I Sukkur Central Jail-II Woman Ward Central Jail, Sukkur Jacobabad District Jail Badin District Jail Nawabshah District Jail Sanghar District Jail District Jail Mirpurkhas District Jail Larkana Larkana Women Jail Khairpur Central Jail

21 new barracks and 320 death cells had been constructed in Punjabs jails in the past three years, but these were inadequate given the scale of overcrowding. Four to eight prisoners were often housed in an 8 x 12 ft. cell. In some jails, this
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number exceeded 10 prisoners. On average, six prisoners were kept in one death cell in the Punjab jails. (Dawn, 9 October, 2005) Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore faced some of the worst overcrowding and health conditions, leading to the spread of diseases such as hepatitis. The Senate Committee on Human Rights, in a report on jails early in 2006, called Pakistans jails human zoos, citing the lack of rehabilitative goals and the shortage of in-house medical professionals, especially female doctors for female inmates. (The News, 8 February, 2006) The sub-standard prison conditions contributed to corruption among prison staff. An illicit economy based on the distribution of cell phones, drugs, and other forbidden items persisted at many jails with the complicity of prison authorities. Raids were conducted after riots or other incidents in jails to seize phones, weapons and other items, but in most cases these swiftly reappeared at the jails. At least 15 prisoners escaped from jail during the year, in most cases as a result of the involvement or negligence of staff.

Health and welfare of prisoners


Prisoner health remained severely imperiled by inadequate facilities, poor sanitation, vacant in-house medical professional positions, lack of adequate medicine and unhygienic living conditions. HRCP fact-finding teams, during visits to Sindh jails, found conditions to be extremely grim. Official claims in the Punjab of an improvement in medical facilities at jails appeared to have only the most limited factual basis. No doctor had been posted at Mianwali jail as of October 2005 to fill the No getaway from this hospital bed. vacancy existing there. In March 2006 it was reported the sub-jail in Chakwal had no medical officer. In February 2006, prisoners in the Khairpur central prison protested the inadequate provision of medicines and food. In terms of budget figures, Rs 180 million were spent in 2005-2006 on the provision
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of food to prisoners in the Punjab and Rs 17.5 million on prisoner health. Cases of the outbreak of disease were reported through the year. In January 2006, it was reported there were 500 cases of hepatitis B and C at Sialkot District Jail. Hepatitis and scabies were reported to be rampant at womens jails.

Mental illness
Mentally ill prisoners usually received inadequate treatment, while rules concerning their detention were routinely violated. In December 2005, it was reported that several mentally disabled female prisoners, including a death sentence convict and three Indian nationals, were housed at Kot Lakhpat Central Jail in Lahore with non-disabled female prisoners, in violation of prison regulations. Though obligatory treatment and visits to a mental hospital were fulfilled, the women were reported not to be improving (Daily Times, 22 December 2005). Seven mentally ill female prisoners underwent treatment at the Punjab Institute of Mental Health (PIMH). Approximately 100 male prisoners with mental illness were also identified in the Punjab. In September 2005, it was reported that Tahir Hussain, a mentally ill prisoner who had been convicted under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), remained imprisoned despite the completion of his sentence term. The assistant political agent had attempted to extend his confinement by ordering his sentences to run consecutively for a total of 42 years. The PHC had reversed that decision, but Hussains status was still in doubt. A few months later, it was reported authorities were reluctant to free him as he had been held on a charge of involvement in terrorist activity.

Suicides
The number of people who committed suicide in jails was uncertain, given that often, death caused by torture or brutality was reported by jail authorities to be a case of suicide. However, a number of prisoners, including some suffering mental health issues, killed themselves in jails. At least five cases of suicide were reported during the period under review. It was feared the actual number could be higher.

Drug addiction
Pakistans prisons failed to adequately address the medical needs of their drugaddicted inmates. Much of this drug addiction was directly attributable to drug running in prisons, which was often facilitated by corrupt prison staff. By early 2006, the number of drug addicts in Pakistans prisons had risen to 7,233, which included 304
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female prisoners. (Daily Times, 15 April, 2006) In January, out of 54,081 prisoners in 30 Punjab jails, 10 percent were reported to be drug addicts. Proposals to establish in-house drug rehabilitation centres and make psychological counselling readily available were not executed. (Daily Times, 6 February, 2006)

Violence in jails
Violence remained a major issue at most jails in the form of riots, demonstrations, and raids. In most cases, violence initiated by inmates was aimed at drawing outside attention to their conditions of detention and the attitudes of jail staff. In November 2005, the federal government sought a report on prison violence and unrest from the Sindh provincial government. Sukkur Central Jail, which had seen periodic violence in 2005, remained one of the countrys most violent jails. HRCP teams paid several visits to the prison. In November 2005, prisoners allegedly tried to blow up a boundary wall, after which 116 prisoners were transferred to other facilities. The search operation was marked by prisoner abuse and an investigation established that the blast was an attempt at escape. (Herald, December 2005) More violence was reported from the jail in February 2006, when between 1,500 and 2000 prisoners overpowered guards and took control of the jail for a number of hours. Five jail staff members were held hostage. This was the fourth incident of its kind in six months. The prisoners claimed they had been tortured and demanded the removal of jailer Ishaq Meo. The Deputy IG for Prisons was suspended in action that followed the incident. During visits to Sukkar jail, HRCP heard harrowing tales from prisoners of torture, humiliation and corruption. Various gangs, organized along tribal lines, fought for dominance and control over the jail. New prisoners affiliated themselves with these gangs. Jail staff lacked control over the prison, with security threatened as a result of this. HRCP was told that for 18 months, judges had refused to hear cases within the jail, though a court had been set up for this purpose. HRCP was informed that many prisoners had mobile telephones and were able to contact landlords, influential persons or dacoits based outside the jail. There had been several cases in which the villages of policemen who had rebuked a prisoner were attacked, in retribution for their action. In June, inmates at Khairpur Jail took 12 officials hostage to protest the death of a fellow prisoner. Some 450 prisoners among the 800 detained at Khairpur Prison gathered
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on the roof of the building and chanted slogans against the jail authorities. The prisoners demanded the registration of a first information report (FIR) against jail officials for torturing an inmate to death two days earlier, officials said. The inmates also accused jail officials of frequently demanding money from them and not taking them to court on time. In October 2006, Dadu taluka Nazim Naban Khan Lund stormed the district jail with more than 50 supporters, damaged a part of the building and occupied the jail, which they vacated after some time. But the nazim returned a few hours later with a group of armed persons who fired on jail guard Gul Mohammad Jatoi. The guard died on the spot. More minor incidents of violence took place through the year at jails in Sindh, Punjab and the NWFP, with at least six prisoners seriously injured as a result of brawls with other inmates.

Torture and maltreatment


According to a press report in October 2005, the cases of 52 jail officers accused of torture were before the Home Department (The Nation, 21 October, 2005) While nothing was heard in subsequent months of any action taken against these officers, in other cases some effort was made to penalize those violating rules. It was reported in April 2006 that two deputy superintendents of jail, two assistant superintendents and four head wardens from different jails in the Punjab had been punished under various charges, including torture and extortion. There were however also some indications that greater attempts were being made at the official level to penalize those responsible for torturing prisoners. A few of the cases of torture reported in late 2005 and through 2006, as well as steps (if any) taken by authorities, were as follows: In September 2005, there were allegations of torture and mistreatment of poor prisoners for extortionate purposes at the Kasur Jail. The jail superintendent and staff were summoned before the district and sessions court. Ghafran Ahmad was tortured in Faisalabads Central Jail after refusing to pay a bribe in October. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition. The sessions court urged the government to conduct surprise raids on all Punjab prisons. Three jail officers were subsequently suspended by a LHC judge for the mistreatment of the prisoner. Ghafrans lower body was severely damaged. A female Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who oversaw Multans Investigation Wing, Talat Habib, was charged in October 2005 with stripping two prisoners naked and subjecting them to severe beatings and forced headstands for four hours. DIG Multan Malik Iqbal registered criminal case. Medical examinations confirmed
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the abuse. Early in 2006, an under-trial prisoner was found dead at Faisalabad Central Jail. The cause was unknown. Jail staff claimed suicide while the prisoners relatives alleged he had been tortured. Two other prisoners were found mysteriously deceased and an investigation into the deaths was launched. In February, Sabir Butt, a prisoner at Adiala jail, sustained severe injuries, which authorities claimed were self-inflicted. The LHC sought a reply from the IG. Tanveer Katiar died in Nawabshah District Jail, allegedly due to police torture, in March 2006. A few days later, the Supreme Court ordered an investigation into the death of Sardar Ali, a Multan Central Jail inmate whose release upon the completion of his term had been ordered, but not executed. Initial medical investigation suggested severe physical trauma. Police registered a case against Adiala Jail Superintendent Shoukat Feroz in March for alleged drug trafficking and torture of non-compliant prisoners. Adiala Jails record of severe physical abuse continued throughout the year. Many Adiala Central Jail inmates were injured when police raided the complex in an attempt to end the hunger strike against various criminal justice shortcuts of the police, e.g. placing prisoners in the death cell before high court review and inequality in remissions. Allegations of severe beatings, torture and rough treatment in force-feeding inmates on hunger strike were reported with respect to nine inmates in April 2006. Masood Sultan was allegedly tortured to death in Adiala Jail. Another prisoner, Nadeem Ahmad, was allegedly tortured to death and then hanged to escape detection. A second hunger strike followed his death. Mohammad Sharif was found dead of unknown causes in Kot Lakhpat Jail in May. Torture was suspected. In December 2006, Abdul Razak, held at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, appeared in court with his lips sewn together and alleged this had been carried out by jail officials as punishment for not paying them a bribe. The judge ordered the jail superintendant to hold an inquiry. A few days later, at a press conference, the IG Prisons, Punjab, stated the prisoner had stitched his own lips and jail officials would not have been foolish enough to send him to court in that condition.

Political prisoners
A number of prominent political prisoners remained in jail tihrough much of the reporting period.. They included Makhdoom Javed Hashmi of the PML-N and Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani of the PPP, who was released in October 2006 on bail granted by the LHC, after
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five years in jail. One political detainee, Sardar Hasan Gichki of the Balochistan National Party (BNP), an under-trial prisoner at the Karachi Central Jail, died after severe torture. He was a cousin of Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Chief of the BNP. Jail authorities claimed he died of heart failure on January 31, 2006. However, a fact-finding team of HRCP examined the body at the Edhi Centre and discovered several marks of brutal torture. The Sindh government appointed a Judicial Commission to investigate the death. Its findings were not . Hashmi, who had been sentenced to 23 years in prison in April 2004 on a charge of sedition and incitement to mutiny, told reporters in June that Kot Lakhpat prison staff harassed him regularly. Yousuf Raza Gillani, prior to his release, had complained he had been subjected to maltreatment by jail staff and the arbitrary withdrawal of facilities at the Adiala Jail. He had been serving a ten year sentence at the jail. Early in 2006, arrest warrants were issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for Senator Asif Zardari, husband of Benazir Bhutto. In August, Pir Javed Hashmi: Still in jail. Mukarramul Haq, husband of PPP MPA Farzana Raja, was removed from an Islamabad hospital to Adiala Jail on the orders of the NAB. Pir Mukarram, a former head of the Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) was serving a four year sentence after being found guilty of corruption. The PPP maintained the charges were politically motivated. Mukarram had been granted bail on medical grounds by the Supreme Court in March 2006. Prisoners linked to the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), including its chief, Afaq Ahmed Khan, Aamir Khan, Iqbal Quraishi, Nadir Shah Adil, Khalid Muneer and Junaid Bhai also remained in jail. It was stated by these prisoners that 60 other party members were also detained. In March, Mirpurkhas PSF leader Junaid Buland complained he had been tortured at Mirpurkhas jail. At least 16 members of the PPP, the PML-N and the MMA, held after the protests
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in Lahore in February against the publication of cartoons seen by most Muslims as blasphemous, complained of mistreatment at Mianwali Central Jail, where they were detained. Leaders of the PML-N, PPP, MMA and other opposition parties continued to face detention, usually for short periods, after participating in rallies.

Economic prisoners
Many prisoners throughout Pakistan remained incarcerated despite the completion of their sentences on account of an inability to pay the court-ordered fine or diyat (compensation) amounts. According to data presented to the Supreme Court, at least 500 convicts remained in jails across the country even after completing their terms, as they were unable to pay the compensation amount to the heirs of the victim due to their weak financial situation. In a ruling delievered in December 2006, a five-member Supreme Court bench ordered the federal government to set up funds within three weeks for payment of blood money and compensation for injuries, on behalf of insolvent persons kept in jails simply because of their inability to pay. The apex court also declared sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) which barred the release of prisoners even after the completion of their sentence if they were unable to pay the compensation amount, as being against the Constitution of Pakistan.

Disappearances and illegal detentions


The growing issue of persons who had disappeared emerged as one of the biggest human rights concerns. According to data collected by HRCP, at least 400 people had disappeared for periods ranging from a few days to many years, across the country, since 2001, when the war against terror began. Taking up a case filed by 41 families of disappeared people, the Supreme Court, in Where are their husbands and sons? November 2006, ordered the federal government to provide details about the missing prisoners by December 1. The federal government had previously told the court it was aware of the
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Tales of disappearance
Hundreds of accounts of enforced disappearance reached HRCP during the period under review. Following a request for information early in 2006, complaints collected by HRCPs network of correspondents poured in. The largest number of cases were reported from Balochistan. A very small number of the cases are detailed below: Ali Asghar Bangulzai: Disappeared on June 1, 2000 from Sariab Road, Quetta. He was arrested by security and intelligence agencies. He was released after 14 days. Months later, on October 18, 2002, he was picked up again. His eight children and other relatives have been setting up separate hunger strike camps outside the Quetta Press Club for the last eleven months. He has not been produced in any court. The family was at one stage asked by army officials in Quetta to bring his clothes an implied admission he was in their custody. Later an officer told his nephew he had asked for the clothes so he could take them to a pir and ask him where Bangulzai was. Munir Mengal: Was picked up on April 4, 2006 by the Federal Investigation Agency and other agencies at Karachi International Airport. Mengal, 37, was the Chief Executive Officer of the Baloch Voice television channel and had travelled to Karachi from Dubai to set up what would have been the first Balochi language channel. No action was possible because the police refused to register an FIR. The FIA claimed to have released Mengal after investigation. His family has not seen or heard of him since. His wife has moved the court but received no information or relief. Hayatullah Khan: A journalist working for the Urdu-language daily Ausaf and the European Pressphoto Agency and as a stringer for several other national dailies, was kidnapped outside Mirali Town in North Waziristan on December 5, 2005. According to the victims brother who was with him at the time, five gunmen forced their car off the road before taking him away. Intelligence sources said Hayatullah was last seen alive in Pakistan on January 17 when he was shifted from Islamabad to an unspecified location.

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The body of Hayatullah was found in June 2006 in Mirali. His hands were fettered and he had been shot in the back. The killing was followed by protests by journalists. An inquiry was conducted by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) the results of which have still not been made public. Hayatullahs family has said they had presented evidence that he had been in the custody of intelligence agencies. There were reasons to believe Khan had been kidnapped for having reported that the US military was involved in the killing of an al-Qaeda commander. Hayatullah Khan was allegedly under threat by the government of Pakistan, and had previously been detained by the US Special Forces in the Partika province of Afghanistan under suspicion of being associated with al-Qaeda. Hayatullahs teenaged brother, Shabbir, was shot dead on his way home from school in September 2006. According to testimony by Hayatullahs younger brother at a workshop on Enforced Disappearances organized by Amnesty International (AI) and HRCP in Islamabad at the end of October 2006, the family continued to be threatened. Dr Imdad Baloch: A leader of the Baloch Students Organization, the 28-year-old was arrested in Karachi on March 25, 2005, along with six other BSO members. Dr Baloch, a medical student, was kept in solitary confinement in Karachi for 33 days, then taken to Quetta where he was illegally detained for another 22 days. Dr Baloch has given harrowing accounts of the torture, humiliation and brutality he suffered. Dr Imdad Baloch, and four other BSO men, were taken to a police station in Dera Ghazi Khan, in the Punjab, and released on May 24. A charge of theft, including stealing a washing machine, was brought against them. Dr Hanif Sharif: A 28-year-old Balochi writer and General Secretary of the Balochistan Academy at Turbat, he was apprehended on November 18, 2005 by six armed men. He was picked up while sitting at Kech Restaurant,

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main Turbat road, District Kech, Makran, Balochistan. Six persons witnessed the abduction, apparently by intelligence agencies. A petition was filed in the Balochistan High Court in November 2005 and the case was widely publicized. Dr Sharif was eventually found to be in the custody of the Anti-Terrorism Force and was released on July 19, 2006. According to reports received by HRCP, he has suffered severe psychological and physical problems due to torture inflicted on him. Dr Safdar Sarki: A US citizen, General Secretary of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz and former Chairman of the World Sindhi Council, Dr Sarki, 44, disappeared on February 24, 2006. He was taken away from his flat E-97 in Noman Avenue, Rashid Minhas Road, Gulistane-Jauhar, Karachi, allegedly by police and personnel of other agencies. Dr Sarkis belongings were confiscated, including his US passport, driving licence, laptop and valuables. Witnesses reported that Dr Sarki was bleeding while being pushed into a van blindfolded. A constitutional petition has been filed before the Sindh High Court. Dr Sarkis wife and sons, based in the US, have received no information about his safety or his whereabouts. Asif Baladi: Chairperson of the Sindh National Forum and a publisher of Peace Publishing House, he was abducted from Share Faisal Road, Karachi, on June 26, 2006 by unidentified armed men who approached him and took him to a waiting car.. Mr. Baladi had received several threatening calls before his disappearance. Over the next two days, he called his family instructing them to give his passport to two men who would go to their house. He could not give his family any information about his whereabouts. The family could not track down the phone number used

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as it was immediately disconnected. On June 29, the two men came to Baladis house in a car bearing registration number AMW 583. They asked the family to give them Mr. Baladis passport and identity card but refused to identify themselves. Abid Raza Zaidi: A Ph.D student at Karachi University, Zaidi, 30, was picked up on April 26, 2006. He was held at an unknown location and extensively interrogated for several months, until his release on August 18, 2006. Zaidi told HRCP he was questioned about his aassociation with sectarian groups and the suicide bombings at Nishtar Park in Karachi, which took place shortly before he was first picked up. He believed he may have been named by another person detained by authorities, though he had no sectarian affiliations. Zaidi was picked up again, along with his uncle, from Islampura in Lahore once again, on the night of 4 October, a few days after he had spoken of his ordeal at a workshop on Enforced Disappearances held on September 30 and October 1 by HRCP and AI in Islamabad. Zaidi was released a few days later, but warned not to mingle with activists. HRCP wrote to the Punjab governor seeking his release and was assured he would be freed. He soon was. Chetan Kumar: Kumar was arrested apparently as a terror suspect in 2001 and sentenced by the Special Court Anti-Terrorism, Hyderabad. During his time in custody, he was severely tortured and abused. He was later acquitted by the SHC in Karachi in 2005. In July, 2006, eight armed law enforcement agents were reported to have arrived at Chetans house in district Umerkot, Sindh in a government vehicle. He and his son were subjected to torture before they took him away. His family informed the Umerkot police about the incident and requested that a FIR be lodged, which the police refused to do. Muzaffar Bhutto: At the time the central finance secretary of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Bhutto disappeared from his residence in Karachi in October, 2005. His flat was apparently raided by police who subsequently denied arresting him before the Karachi sessions court. His wife and family have held protest rallies, demonstrations, token hunger strikes and press conferences. They have been harassed and threatened with dire

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consequences if they continue protesting. Atiqur Rehman: A young scientist at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), he was picked up on July 25, 2004, in Islamabad, the day set for his wedding. Atiq is still missing and his family in Abbottabad have received no information about his welfare or his whereabouts. Masood Janjua: A businessman and educationist based in Rawalpindi, Janjua, 42, has been kept at an unknown place since July 30, 2005 when he was abducted from the Pir Wadhai bus terminal. His father approached President Musharraf but with no result. Previously, the presidents military secretary, Maj. Gen. Shafqat Ahmad, had told the family that Masood was safe without disclosing his location. His wife, Amina Masood Janjua, based in Islamabad, has continued a struggle for his recovery and also emerged as a spokesperson for the families of other victims of disappearances. Ali Sher: Disappeared from a market near his house in Military Farm, Charsadda Road, Mardan on May 2, 2005. He was released after over a year in secret captivity in November 2006, and left in the marketplace at Mardan from where he returned home. At the time of his disappearance, his family received news that some intelligence agency forces had picked him up. His father, Amir Hamza, in an appeal sent to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, said that his son had not been involved in any criminal activities. A case was filed before the Peshawar High Court (PHC) and was continuing at the time Ali Sher was set free. Muhammad Hussain: Was arrested while in the vegetable market in Multan Cantonment on May 6, 2005. Police sub-inspector Muhammad Akram of Multan police station held other agencies responsible for the picking up of Hussain, 52, when he appeared before the Multan Sessions Court. Mr. Hussians wife filed a petition, submitted an application to Multan Corps Commander and to President Musharraf, but has received no information about her husbands whereabouts.

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whereabouts of nine of the missing persons. By December 1, 20 of the 41 people had been found and allowed to return home. Many were warned not to speak about their ordeal. The court expressed disappointment over the claim by government representatives that they did not know where the other people were and ordered that they be located. HRCP staged a week of protest against enforced disappearances in December 2006, with meetings and rallies in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. A protest was staged outside Parliament House in Islamabad at the end of the week. In July, the Sindh High Court (SHC) was told by the federal defence and interior ministries, while hearing a case concerning the detention of three Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) leaders, that the Military Intelligence (MI) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) did not fall under their operational control. The number of people picked up in this manner by State agencies rose sharply in 2005 and 2006. The tactic was extensively used to target Balochi and Sindhi nationalists through the reporting period. HRCP documented details of at least 150 disappearances, and continued the process of verifying others. The task was made particularly difficult by the lack of transparency in operations targetting alleged militants. Many of those who had been picked up and later released were warned not to speak of their ordeal. Statements made by victims referred to torture, beatings and other kinds of maltreatment during long periods of detention. Some of those held were kept at safe houses maintained in large cities. At a two-day workshop on Enforced Disappearances organized at the end of September 2006 in Islamabad by Amnesty International (AI) and HRCP, families of disappeared people gave powerful accounts of their ordeal. The two organizations expressed concern over the growing number of disappearances and stated that Concealment by government and callousness of the judiciary had contributed to the crime. In her opening address at the workshop, HRCP chairperson Asma Jahangir stated that HRCP had received reports of unidentified places of detention maintained by the government. HRCP had also received reports of at least 50 journalists who had been picked up, held briefly and threatened. AI and HRCP called on the families of victims to come forward and appealed to the legal fraternity to play its part. Some persons picked up in the country were handed over to foreign governments without the completion of any legal process. In 2005, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a list of 26 ghost detainees in US custody. These prisoners had no known location, access to counsel or to ICRC observers, and consequently no communication with the outside world. Many of the prisoners had been held in Pakistan between 2001 and 2006. In July 2006, BBCs Urdu on-line service compiled a list of about 40 disappeared
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people in Pakistan. A special debate aired on BBC enabled family members of the victims to confront the Information Minister as to why the detainees had never been produced in court or formally charged. The categories of people who had disappeared widened during the period under review. Whereas in previous years, it was essentially persons suspected of involvement in militant activity who were picked up, more and more Balochi and Sindhi nationalists, as well as others, were also detained in 2005 and 2006. In other cases, prisoners freed from Indian jails were illegally detained by Pakistani agencies. They included Sardar Rauf Kashmiri, a JKLF fighter, and Khurram Nawaz, 11, both of whom were held upon their release from Indian prisons. Khurram was reportedly handed over to authorities with Rauf Kashmiri.

Women and juveniles in jails


The Law Reforms Ordinance 2006, introduced by President Musharraf in July 2006, amended the Criminal Procedure Code to offer bail to women accused of less serious offences and initiated the release of approximately 1,300 female prisoners from 55 jails in the country. As per the provisions of the ordinance, all under-trial female prisoners not accused of murder, terrorism or misappropriation of state resources, and many who stood accused under the Hudood laws, were to be freed. The measure offered immediate relief to hundreds of women, who were released from jails across the country. However, HRCP and other rights groups, while welcoming the release of the women, pointed out that this offered no long-term solution in a situation where thousands of women were rotting in jails. HRCP noted that significant confusion regarding releases to be made under the ordinance delayed or held up the process of letting women out of jails. Only 36 women, from amongst the over 200 entitled to be freed under the ordinance, had been released from NWFP jails by September 2006, according to data collected by HRCP. At least 200 women detained under Hudood laws remained in jail in the Punjab, according to Press reports in September 2006. Several women declined to be freed from jails in the NWFP and Sindh, citing a threat to their lives from members of their families if they left the premises. While the release of hundreds of women from jails relieved the acute issues of overcrowding, more women continued to be detained. A bill tabled in parliament in August 2006, to amend the Hudood ordinances, was sent to a standing committee after furious protests by the MMA. The bill was eventually passed in November. [See Chapter on Women for details]. In November 2005, a new Taskforce on Women Prisoners and Juvenile Offenders
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was established to oversee the condition of women and juvenile prisoners in the Punjab. Two months later, the task force announced the creation of vocational training centres. Many of the women held were accompanied by small children, some of whom had been born in jail. The provisions of the JJSO of 2000 remained extremely poorly enforced. [See Chapter on Children]. According to official figures in April 2006, there were 2,011 male juveniles and eight female juvenile prisoners in Pakistan. Official figures showed that borstals in Bahawalpur and Faisalabad held only 420 of the 1,218 juvenile prisoners in Punjab; the other 798 were in regular prisons. In the NWFP 19 juveniles were detained at Haripur Jail and six at Buner. There were 856 juvenile prisoners in Sindh, with no borstals in the province. According to a report in the Daily Times in February 2006, only two of these children had legal representation. The JJSO mandated the establishment of review panels for juvenile cases, but, according to Press reports, only Dera Ghazi Khan and Lahore districts implemented this provision. Some juvenile prisoners awaited death. Among them at Faisalabad Central Jail, was Jawed Khan. According to Amnesty International, Jawed was 14-years-old at the time he was found guilty of murder in 2003. In September 2005, the LHC sought information from the Punjab Home Department about the delay in the execution of Kot Lakhpat death row inmate, Muhammad Ijaz. Ijaz, who was a juvenile at the time of conviction in 1993, had pleaded for leniency under the JJSO. But the LHC held the conviction had already been sustained and the home department was unilaterally delaying the execution. Wrongful detention of juveniles remained pervasive. Despite the extension of the JJSO to FATA in 2004, two juvenile brothers, Ashfaq and Irshad Khan, were detained without trial for at least three months under the FCRs collective responsibility clauses. Dangerous criminal? Media reports described the
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detention as retribution against the tribe for theft of a military vehicle. Some juveniles continued to be held simply because they were unable to pay fines. Nasim and Muhammad Azam, detainees at the Fasialabad Borstal Institute, were reported in September 2005 to have completed their sentences, but remained incarcerated due to an inability to pay their fines. It was reported in October 2005 that at least 30 percent of juveniles could not afford legal fees and therefore could not secure their release. The LHC judgement striking down the JJSO remained suspended by Supreme Court order. The JJSO-mandated juvenile courts had been established in only a few districts, and many of these functioned without probation officers.

Foreigners in jail
According to an official report in April 2006, there were 1,919 male foreign nationals and 110 female foreign nationals imprisoned in Pakistan. (Daily Times, 15 April, 2006) The interior ministry informed the National Assembly in June 2006 that Pakistan had repatriated 1,078 foreign prisoners in 2005 and 2006, including 1,015 Afghan nationals, 29 Iranians and 34 Bangladeshis. 562 Afghans had been freed in February 2006. According to press reports during the same month, Lahores Kot Lakhpat Jail housed 113 foreign nationals, including 75 Indians, many of whom had been arrested for violations of the Foreigners Act. Many foreigners had no access to legal counsel and some had completed their sentences but continued to be held. It was reported in October 2005 that Salam Mehmood, an Iraqi prisoner at Kot Narcotics smuggling meant jail for some Lakhpat, had completed his sentence, but foreigners. was still in prison seven months later. Other foreigners detained in the country faced similar difficulties.

Indian and Pakistani prisoners


The bilateral process of identification, release, and repatriation of prisoners between India and Pakistan accelerated in 2005-2006. By April 2006, according to Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri, Pakistan had released 2,340 Indian nationals, while India had
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released 547 Pakistanis. The Foreign Ministry reported that Pakistan freed 604 Indian prisoners in 2003, 446 in 2004 and 1,290 in 2005, while India freed 124 in 2003, 51 in 2004 and 372 in 2005. More than 500 Pakistanis remained in Indian confinement. September 2005 witnessed the largest prisoner exchange ever between the two countries. Pakistan released 435 prisoners, while 148 returned from Indian jails. Many of the detained Indians and Pakistanis were fisherfolk, who had accidentally strayed into the other nations waters. The released Pakistani prisoners included 18 individuals who returned home mentally disturbed with their hearing and speech impaired, a probable consequence of their incarceration. Concern over the plight of mentally ill prisoners believed to be Indian and Pakistani nationals, held in jails in the other country, was expressed during the year. The disability of these prisoners made it impossible to ascertain their identities or nationalities. HRCP backed suggestions that such individuals be shifted to mental health institutions. HRCP also received complaints during 2006 that consular access was not being allowed to at least 18 Indian nationals held at Kot Lakhpat Jail. Exchanges of Indian and Pakistani prisoners continued through late 2005 and early 2006. In June 2006, 325 Pakistanis were released from Indian jails in exchange for all 261 confirmed Indian fisherfolk. Pakistan and India exchanged 57 more (19 Indians and 38 Pakistanis) prisoners on July 01, 2006. According to the interior ministry in July 2006, 463 Pakistanis remained in Indian custody, and 528 Indians remained in Pakistani custody. It was stated in press reports that the actual number of detained Pakistanis was significantly higher, but the interior ministry had failed to confirm their nationality. Similar doubts over nationality affected some Indians who had completed their sentences in Pakistani prisons, but had not been repatriated. According to a letter written by inmate Abdul Rashid, listing 33 Pakistani prisoners detained in Amritsar, the prisoners had been detained for years beyond the completion of their sentences, tortured and kept malnourished. He also stated mental illness was widespread and that the Pakistani High Commission in Delhi turned a deaf ear to their appeals. The Indian government continued attempts to persuade their Pakistani counterparts to reduce or commute the death sentence awarded to an Indian national, Sarabjit Singh. Singh, whose family stated that this was a case of mistaken identity and the man held was in fact known as Manjit Singh, had been found guilty by Pakistani courts of participating in five bomb attacks in Lahore, Faisalabad, and Gujranwala. His 1991 conviction was sustained on appeals to the LHC and the Supreme Court. Three review petitions were pending in the Supreme Court. One had been rejected Another Indian prisoner convicted of terrorist activity, Kirpal Singh alias Goga of Gurdaspur (Punjab), also sought release. A group of 100 freed Indian prisoners had formed a group working to that end. In October 2005, the Rajasthan High Court released Sajid Bashir, a Pakistani journalist, accused of violating the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in 1991. Bashir had
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completed his sentence in 2003. 12 other Pakistanis were being held in Rajasthani jails. In May, a court in India ruled Pakistani prisoners should be compensated for prolonged detention. HRCP urged Pakistani authorities to reciprocate.

Pakistanis in foreign jails


In May 2006, the NGO Global Foundation reported that 8,559 Pakistanis were detained worldwide with 5,158 in Saudi Arabia, 763 in 30 Indian jails, over 300 Pakistanis in Afghani jails, 406 in England, 287 in UAE, 207 in Kuwait, 100 in Hong Kong, 96 in Thailand, 122 in Qatar, 82 in Germany, 87 in Malaysia, 48 in Yemen, 53 in Japan, 54 in Sri Lanka and seven in China. It was also noted the Foreign Office did not keep any records of their location, the nature of their crimes or their status. In December 2005, the Pakistan government had announced the establishment of a task force on Pakistanis detained abroad. In April 2006, a list released by US authorities showed 13 Pakistanis were detained at Guantanamo Bay. They included Saifullah Paracha, a Pakistani businessman held on terrorist charges, who continued to maintain he was innocent. Like others detained at Guantanamo Bay, he complained of mistreatment. His family, at the end of 2006, stated that Paracha was suffering from a heart ailment and they feared for his welfare. In December 2005 it was reported that over 100 Pakistanis detained in Thailands prisons could be transferred to Pakistan if a transfer of prisoners treaty was enforced. Pakistan had not signed the treaty. HRCP received reports that the situation of Pakistanis detained in Thai jails was extremely grim, due to inadequate living conditions and mistreatment. Pakistanis held in Azerbaijan, Malaysia and Qatar appealed to the Pakistani government at various times during the year for help in securing their release. They also complained of indifference on the part of embassy officials. It was alleged consular staff in Azerbaijan demanded bribes.

Prisoners on death row


As of April 2006, there were 7,379 male and 44 female prisoners on death row in Pakistan. According to official numbers released in March 2006, there were 6,888 death row inmates in the Punjab. 6,500 convicted prisoners, including 25 women, were held in 812 death cells, measuring 6 x 8 feet, throughout Pakistan. Due to severe overcrowding, the Punjab government, in June 2006, began work to build 132 new death cells in Adiala, Kot Lakhpat, Jhelum and Sheikhupura jails. The mounting backlog created because the number of death sentences each year far exceeded the number of executions, was a key factor in the overcrowding of death cells. According to data compiled by HRCP, 456 persons, including four women had been sentenced to death in 2006. 59 convicts had meanwhile been hanged during the
126 State of Human Rights in 2006

same year.. One of those sentenced to death was a minor. [See also Chapter on Children]. In 2005, 477 people were sentenced and 52 hanged, while in 2004, 394 were sentenced and 15 hanged. The stepped up rate of executions in 2006 was believed to have come in response to the growing number of prisoners on death row. Death row population in the Punjab, 2006 Prison Name Number of prisoners in death cells Multan Womens Jail Shahpur Jail Gujrat Jail Kot Lakhpat Jail Gujranwala Jail Sahiwal Jail Kasur Jail Sheikhupura Jail Sialkot Jail Adiala Jail Shahpur Jail Rahimyar Khan Jail Bahawalpur Jail Dera Ghazi Khan Jail Attock Jail Jhelum District Jail Mandi Bahauddin Jail Faisalabad Central Jail Mianwali Jail Jhang District Jail Sargodha Jail Multan Jail 24 (all women) 1 (a woman) 197 508 566 615 182 221 282 454 140 82 412 176 170 126 124 648 310 326 222 742

British-national Mirza Tahir Hussain Khan, who had been sentenced to capital punishment for the 1988 murder of a taxi-driver, was finally granted clemency in November, and his death sentence converted to life imprisonment. As he had already served 18 years in jail, he was freed and permitted to return to the UK. His family had
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consistently maintained he was innocent. An international campaign supported by HRCP and appeals by the British government for clemency continued through much of 2006.

Relief measures
Most relief measures came on occasions such as Eid, or national holidays, when hundreds of prisoners were freed. The measure was also intended to reduce overcrowding in jails. 192 prisoners were released from 20 jails in Sindh in October, on the occasion of Eidul Fitr, following a presidential directive. Those released included 11 children In October 2005, the Sindh IG of Police announced that 2,000 to 2,500 prisoners would be shifted to new prisons in Dadu and Shikarpur. New jails were also under construction in Badin, Naushero Feroze and Ghotki. Press reports in November 2005 stated that in 30 jails in the Punjab, 51,169 prisoners obtained degrees and certificates in 13 categories between 1997 and 2004. Some vocational training for inmates continued. It was reported in June 2006 that over 4,000 inmates had been afforded vocational training in the last three years. In June it was reported that the MMA government in the NWFP had taken steps to ensure three days of family visitation per year for each prisoner in the province. The plan involved the construction of 20 separate barracks in four major prisons. The first interior ministry-level meeting on jail reforms in five years was held in December 2005. Several reforms such as the abolition of whipping sentences by repealing the Whipping Act and the proposed amendments to the Pakistan Prison Rules were discussed. The Whipping Act was repealed in 2006. In May 2006, the interior ministry took steps to amend the Prison Rules (Jail Manual) to address the realities of detention for minorities, foreigners, and drug addicts with an emphasis on rehabilitation. A Pakistan Law and Justice Commission (PLJC) Report released in February 2006 called for an improvement in living conditions in jails, jail inspections by judges, enforcement of the JJSO and the holding of judicial inquiries following any case of torture or suicide, among other measures. The many other recommendations on judicial reform, made in previous years, remained unimplemented.

Recommendations
A. Jails and prisoners 1. Overcrowding is a serious problem in all jails of Pakistan and it not only impinges upon the rights of the prisoners but also puts enormous pressures on maintaining
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proper functioning of the prisons. HRCP believes that several steps should be taken to overcome the problem. a. Building of new facilities, particularly creation of open jails that can be monitored (perhaps at lesser expense) through electronic devices. b. The Federal and provincial law departments should coordinate in recommending provisions in law that facilitate bail for those accused of nonlethal crimes. Additionally, the system of parole should be reviewed and improved. To start with women prisoners should be released on parole. c. Prisoners who are addicted to drugs should be placed in special facilities so that they have medical care and provisions for rehabilitation. d. Mentally ill prisoners should be granted immediate bail. Legal reforms in this area are crucial. e. A special prisons police be raised to accompany prisoners to attend court hearings regularly so that trials conclude quickly. 2. All prisoners should be given access to phone booths monitored by prison staff and mobile phones should not be selectively allowed in prisons. 3. All women prisoners on death row must be provided with effective legal aid. 4. There is a serious need to clean up the environmental degradation in prisons and to upgrade health facilities. 5. All provinces must have an oversight body on prisons, which should include non-official members. The reports of the oversight body should be made public and presented to the legislatures every year. 6. Every incident of suicide or unnatural death in prison should be promptly reported. The family should be immediately notified and a judicial inquiry held into each such incident.The possibility of designating judicial officers in all districts to conduct such inquiries should be seriously examined. 7. The possibility of designating judicial officers in all distircts to conduct such inquiries should be seriously examined. 8. All foreign prisoners being held under the Foreigners Act or who are mentally ill should be immediately sent back to their countries and must be given immediate conular access. 9. Foreign missions in Pakistan and those of Pakistan abroad, particularly where prisoners from the concerned country exceed a certain number, should post a human rights officer in their missions to protect the rights of their citizens. The Pakistani missions in Saudi Arabia, India, Afghanistan and United Kingdom could make a good
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start by appointing such officers. 10. Pakistans legal fraternity should take note of the decision of the Indian judiciary allowing compensation to foreign prisoners who had been kept under illegal detention in India. 11. Pakistans courts should take up the cases of debt prisoners and the government should initiate an amendment to prescribe a period of imprisonment in lieu of diyat payments. B. Death penalty 1. HRCP believes that the death penalty should be abolished in Pakistan, but pending this eventuality the government must ensure that: a. The judiciary receives training regarding customary international law under which the death penalty can only be awarded in very extreme cases involving lethal crimes. There are several safeguards and restrictions on the application of the death penalty which are being violated in Pakistan. b. Children, expectant mothers, the mentally ill and the infirm can never be prescribed the death penalty. c. A parliamentary standing committee on the death penalty should study the cases of all those on the death row and in the meantime a moratorium should be placed on execution of prisoners. C. Involuntary disappearances 1. The parliament should set up an inquiry commission with wide powers to investigate all disappearances (including those of persons who have subsequently appeared) and prepare a report. All perpetrators of human rights violations in such incidents should be brought to justice. 2. Relatives of victims should be encouraged to file petitions in courts. Those who have since appeared should file for damages and pursue criminal prosecution against individuals or institutions involved in such crimes.

130 State of Human Rights in 2006

Fundamental freedoms

III

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132 State of Human Rights in 2006

Freedom of movement
Every citizen shall have the right to remain in and, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the public interest, enter and move freely throughout Pakistan and to reside and settle in any part thereof. Constitution of Pakistan Article 15 Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 17(1,2)

The ECL and restrictions on the movements of clerics, were frequently used to curtail the right to free movement

Movement within the country


In what authorities stated was a bid to prevent sectarian violence or the spread of hatred, clerics were during the period under review barred from entering specific regions, districts or towns. Most of the restrictions were imposed during the Muslim
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month of mourning, Muharrum, most devoutedly observed by Shias. In other cases, clerics accused of spreading hatred were expelled from certain areas. In the absence of the enforcement of laws against the incitement of hatred, the measures were futile. The use of DVDs, CDs, tapes and FM radio stations to spread hatred was wider than ever before and in many cases recordings made by clerics banned from a particular area were easily available within it. Early in 2006, ahead of Muharrum, lists of clerics banned from particular areas appeared in the Press. In February, the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqa Jaferia Pakistan (TNFJP), representing Shia Muslims, protested a ban on a committee from the group entering Hangu in the NWFP to organize Muharrum rituals. Hangu had seen sectarian violence through 2005. In other cases, political or religious leaders were barred from specific cities to prevent them from attending meetings. In February, the Punjab government banned the entry of MMA leaders, including Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Liaquat Baloch for 20 days, under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) regulations. The ban was imposed to prevent the leaders from addressing a rally against cartoons appearing in a Danish newspaper which were perceived by Muslims as blasphemous. The city of Lahore was also sealed at around the same time, to prevent participants of planned anti-cartoon rallies entering it. The Grand Trunk Road was closed off near Nowshera to prevent activists traveling to Lahore. [See also Chapter on Freedom of Assembly]. PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim was forcibly sent back by police in Lahore to Islamabad after landing at the airport at the end of February to participate in an MMA134 State of Human Rights in 2006

Movement was frequently blocked.

called anti-cartoon rally. In several instances reported during the year, clerical leaders in various parts of the NWFP were ordered by authorities to leave specific areas and barred from re-entering them after inciting battles between rival gangs through sermons broadcast over illegal FM radio stations. Laws on the incitement of hatred were not used against such clerics. Entry to areas of the North and South Waziristan agencies, where heavy fighting continued for much of the period under review, was denied to journalists and other citizens. There were also restrictions on entering parts of Balochistan where military operations continued against tribal militants. [See also chapters on Political participation and Freedom of Expression].

Movement outside the country


The names of at least 17, and possibly more, Baloch nationalist leaders were added to the Exit Control List (ECL) during the year. The list, set up under the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, 1981, empowered the Federal Government to prohibit any person from proceeding abroad. While the interior ministry officially stated the purpose was to prevent persons wanted in cases of crime, corruption or those facing court cases to be prevented from leaving the country, the mechanism was used with increased blatancy as a tool of political harassment. HRCP reiterated its stance that persons wanted for criminal offences could be prevented from leaving the country under other laws. The number of names on the ECL was not clear. In July 2005, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had removed a list with around 4,000 names from its website and stated it was not responsible for maintaining it. In March 2006, the name of former Balochistan chief minister Akhtar Mengal was taken off the ECL. Mengal had filed an application for contempt of court with the SHC, stating the court had in July 2005 ordered his name be removed from the ECL, but this order was not complied with by the federal government. Mengal maintained his name had been placed on the ECL in connection with a murder case from which he had already been cleared by police. Another petition seeking the deletion of his name from the ECL was moved by Khan Muhammad, a land owner in Sindh, before the SHC in April. His counsel stated the provincial home department had requested the petitioners name be put on the ECL in 2000 in connection with several cases, but since then the courts had disposed of all
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the cases. The SHC observed the interior ministry should submit reasons for placing anyones name on the ECL. In May, the names of at least 16 Baloch nationalists and members of their families were placed on the ECL. They included Nawab Akbar Bugti of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), Nawab Khairbuksh Marri, Sardar Ataullah Mengal and his son, Akhtar Mengal of the Baloch National Party (BNP). At least five other family members of Nawab Akbar Bugti, including his daughter-in-law Razia Sultana Bugti, also appeared on the ECL. Others included were Senator Sanullah Baloch, MNA Rauf Mengal and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Baloch Voice television channel, Munir Mengal, who had disappeared in Karachi a month previously and was believed by his family to be in the hands of agencies.

Like father, like son: Ataullah and Akhtar Mengal: Both on the ECL.

Others placed on the ECL were the district nazims of Dera Bugti and Kohlu, and Amanullah Kinrani, the information secretary of the JWP. Sardar Ataullah Mengal stated he would file a petition against the restriction before the Sindh High Court. Senator Sanullah Baloch had said in March, that the Pakistan government had persuaded US authorities to cancel a visa granted to him to attend a lecture in the US. He had also been scheduled to speak at several other forums on the crisis in Balochistan. The Pakistan foreign office denied playing any part in the visa cancellation. Former MPAs Mir Akbar Mengal and Akhtar Hussain Lango of the BNP in October challenged the inclusion of their names on the ECL before the Balochistan High Court
136 State of Human Rights in 2006

(BHC). They stated their names had been placed on the list after they resigned from the Balochistan assembly, to protest the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti. Baloch nationalists also faced other forms of harassment [See chapters on Political participation and Jails, prisoners and disappearances].

Other restrictions
The right of Pakistanis to travel overseas was curtailed by delays in granting new passports and confusion over old and new passports. In January, it was reported that Pakistanis residing in Saudi Arabia and holding old, manually-issued passports were facing long delays and questioning at airports when attempting to travel on the documents. HRCP also received complaints from Balochistan of a denial of passports to scores of persons who held National Identity Cards. Usually, the purpose was to extract bribes. The denial of passports to citizens was challenged in the BHC and the Supreme Court. Foreigners visiting the country were restricted from travelling to tribal areas or districts in the Punjab, such as Dera Ghazi Khan, where nuclear installations had been installed. There were complaints from Bihari and Bengali speakers in Karachi that they were being denied identification documents by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), which apparently expressed suspicion over their nationality. The absence of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) made it impossible for these persons to obtain passports.

Recommendations
1. The Exit Control List (ECL), which is regularly used as a means of harassment, and the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance, that permits its existence must be scrapped. 2. Travel must not be restricted to any part of the country, so that parliamentarians, journalists, activists and political leaders can assess the prevailing rights situation and other ground realities. 3. Rather than placing bars on the movement of clerics, enforcement of other laws intended to curb the incitement of religious hatred or spread of unrest may serve
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as a more useful means to prevent violence. 4. Bars on travel or entry to particular cities by political leaders must not be used as a means to curb the right to assembly. 5. Passports and identity documents must not be denied to any citizen.

138 State of Human Rights in 2006

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion


... It is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order ... wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality Constitution of Pakistan Preamble Subject to law, public order and morality (a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion; and (b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions. Article 20 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 18 No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or
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belief of his choice. No one shall be subject to discrimination by any state, institution, group of persons, or person on the grounds of religion or other belief. UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief Articles 1(2) and 2(1)

There was no improvement in the environment of intolerance in the country despite official claims to the contrary. Violence perpetrated on the grounds of religion increasingly took the form of attacks on minority Muslim sects, particularly the Shias. Hostility towards non-Muslim citizens continued, with discrimination imposed by State and the consistent failure to act against those guilty of carrying out acts of violence or discrimination encouraging such attitudes. The US State Department in its annual report on international religious freedoms released in September 2006 said that that despite some attempts, the government failed to protect the rights of religious minorities. The report noted discriminatory legislation and a failure to take action against societal forces hostile to those who practised a faith other than Islam fostered religious intolerance and acts of violence and intimidation against religious minorities

Discrimination by State
The gravest act of discrimination by the State against a specific group took the form of laws that barred Ahmadis from freely practising their faith, from calling themselves Muslim and from preaching their faith. Early in 2006, the Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency, a public sector body, advertised the auction of plots for low-income earners in newspapers in the Jhang area. A note in the auction notice barred Ahmadis from participating in the bidding. An affadavit as to religious belief was handed out at the bidding, and anyone taking part required to sign it. The notice banning Ahmadis from buying land had also been pasted on walls in Chiniot and Rabwah (renamed Chenabnagar by the Punjab government). Ahmadi shops were attacked in Rahimyar Khan in February, during protests against cartoons perceived by most Muslims as blasphemous, which had been published in a Danish newspaper. In April, local authorities in Kasur dug up the grave of an Ahmadi girl, Nadia Hanif, 17, buried in a Muslim graveyard, ten days after her death and moved her body to an Ahmadi cemetery under pressure from local extremist elements. Ahmadis were for all practical purposes barred from voting. The listing of the
140 State of Human Rights in 2006

community on a separate voting list, which effectively categorized them as non-Muslims, led Ahmadis to boycott local government polls held at the end of 2005. While the government maintained a joint electorate had been restored, in practice separate lists were usually maintained for non-Muslims. In some cases, separate polling stations were allotted to them, thus largely defeating the purpose of a joint electorate by keeping minorities marginalized. The State promoted violence by failing to act against those attacking non-Muslims or their properties [See sections on Ahmadis, Christians and Hindus.] Blasphemy laws, which provided the death penalty for defiling the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and life imprisonment for defiling, damaging or desecrating the Holy Quran, were used against non-Muslims although the number of instances in which they were abused to settle petty scores with other Muslims had risen sharply over the past years.
The voices that as usual prevailed.

There were reports of a worsening in the overall situation for minority communities in the NWFP, where the MMA-led government continued its policies of enforcing so-called Islamic law. Taliban-backed extremist groups gained ground in some parts of the NWFP and posed an increased threat to non-Muslims living in these areas. The central government made no attempt to protect these citizens. Members of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) kept up their demand for increased representation for all religious minorities in the Senate. While the interior ministry, in March 2006, ordered action against publishers of hate material, it was observed that inflammatory pamphlets, CDs and other material remained in circulation most notably in the NWFP. The State did not act against those attacking places of religious worship belonging to non-Muslims, with the failure to take punitive measures only adding to the sense of
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insecurity faced by minorities.

Growth of intolerance and curbs on religious freedoms


The growth of intolerance in society was reflected by the angry protests in February 2006, over the publication of cartoons perceived as blasphemous, published in a Danish newspaper. While the protests had political and social dimensions, they also reflected an decrease in levels of tolerance. In November 2006, students of the Islamia University Bahawalpur and other colleges staged a protest against a book, with allegedly blasphemous content, kept at the central library of the institution. The objectionable book was seized by the University administration. Levels of intolerance were demonstrated by incidents such as an attack on two elderly women in Multan, who had been spotted eating during the Muslim month of fasting, Ramazan, in October 2006. Minority leaders expressed concern through the year over the growing cases in which members of Christian or Hindu communities, usually young girls, were forced to convert to Islam. In some reported cases, the girls were forcibly wed to Muslims. [See also section on Hindus and Christians]. It was increasingly difficult for persons belonging to faiths other than Islam to gain admission in educational institutions, obtain jobs or attain promotion. [See section on Christians]. In March 2006, Lakshan Bibi, a Kalash woman running the Kalash Indigenous Survival Project in Chitral district, stated at a news conference she had been kidnapped at gunpoint in Peshawar, but had secured her release after paying a ransom of rupees one million to her abductors. One of the kidnappers had allegedly attempted to pass her off as his wife, possibly in a bid to force Lakshan, who belonged to the ethnic and religious Kalash minority group, to convert to Islam. She had also been beaten and threatened during her two days in captivity. Lakshan Bibi sought protection from the provincial government, stating her safety, and that of her family, as well of as the Kalash people as a whole, were under threat.

Sectarian violence
Some of the worst acts of intolerance took the form of sectarian attacks. At least 110 people were killed between September 2005 and December 2006 in such violence, including attacks on processions, suicide blasts and shootings. The worst incidents took place early in 2006 in Hangu and Karachi [See Chapter on Law and order for
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details]. Ahmadis The Ahmadis faced the most severe discrimination among minority communities in the country, both on the basis of the laws in place against them and social attitudes. Anti-Ahmadi laws specifically prohibited Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims or posing as Muslims, from referring to their faith as Islam, from preaching or propagating their faith, from inviting others to accept the Ahmadi faith and from injuring the religious feelings of Muslims. The interpretation of these draconian restrictions meant that, as in previous years, Ahmadis faced penalty for beginning letters with traditional words from the Holy Quran, from displaying verses in their shops or for a range of other actions. Groups opposed to Ahmadis, mainly the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-eKhatm-e-Nabuwat (TNKN), were able to operate with apparent impunity and were able to hold public meetings in Rabwah (re-named Chenabnagar by the Punjab government). Ahmadis, who constituted the vast majority of the population in the town, were prevented from holding public gatherings. Some of the many acts of violence against Ahmadis during the reporting period were as follows:
On May 7, 2006, Dr Mujib-ur-Rahman Pasha, 43, was murdered, just after 9.00pm at night outside his clinic in Sanghar, Sindh, by an armed assailant who had covered his face and was on a motorcycle. The doctor was the son of Pir Fazlur Rahman, a former Ahmadi community leader in Sanghar. There were no reports regarding the arrest of the killer. In June 2006, police arrested seven Ahmadis from a village near Sialkot for their alleged involvement in the burning of the Holy Quran at the local Ahmadi place of worship in the village. After reports regarding the incident were spread with obviously mischievous intent at a fair taking place in the area, an infuriated mob attacked the property of Ahmadis in the village. Ten houses, several shops and a tractor were burnt, and three Ahmadis Nawaz, Waqar and Zaheer were severely beaten up. The local Ahmadi place of worship was also burnt and ten Ahmadi families were forced to flee the area. According to a spokesperson for the community, the incident was triggered by the burning of old magazines and records. Ahmadi leaders pointed out the police failure to extend protection had aggravated the situation. (Ahmadis hold the Holy Quran to be Divine revelation, as do Muslims, and cannot poissibly desecrate it). During the same month, a dozen Ahmadi families from a village in Daska were forced to flee after a mob attacked their homes, claiming a Holy Quran had been desecrated. An HRCP team which carried out a fact-finding in July found police had
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initially promised protection as tensions rose, but then failed to offer it. Police also told Ahmadis not to return to the village. Some of the families were not able to go back even as 2006 closed. In July, 2006, police registered a criminal case against four Ahmadis under anti-Ahmadi laws for preaching in a village near Sialkot. The four accused included Professor Iftikhar Ahmad, the president of the local Ahmadi community.
A few days later, in Dera Ghazi Khan, a police sub-inspector accompanied by some constables raided the citys Ahmadi mosque, noted the names of those present and collected a number of issues of the local Ahmadi newspaper. He then booked several of those present in a case for violating anti-Ahmadi laws. The community said the charges were baseless.

Police raided the office of an Ahmadi newspaper, Al-Fazal, in Rabwah in September 2006, arrested the printer and a journalist and charged them with a range of offences under the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) and anti-Ahmadi laws and sealed the premises. The journalist, Abdul Sattar Khan, was later released.. Police claimed the raid was carried out as part of a crackdown on literature promoting hatred and stated the newspaper was violating the law by describing Ahmadis as Muslims. Spokespersons for the Ahmadi community denied the charges and condemned the attack on a newspaper that had been established in 1911, almost a century ago.

Christians The Christian community faced social discrimination in terms of education and employment, as well as increased violence. Some of the attacks came amidst protests against actions taken in western countries, with local Christians sometimes targetted by mobs. An example of this came in February 2006, when angry protests took place across the country over the publication of cartoons perceived by Muslims as blasphemous in a Danish newspaper. At the height of the demonstrations, a mob burned down two churches in Sukkur. HRCP conducted a fact-finding. Rumours that a Christian man had been guilty of blasphemy triggered the violence. At least five other attacks on churches were reported during the anti-cartoon riots, including a church in Mian Channu, another in Sargodha and one close to Sialkot. There were also other attacks on Christians.
In November 2005, a mob of between 1,500-3,000 persons, incited by local Muslim clerics on the basis of an accusation of blasphemy against a local Christian man, set fire to and destroyed several churches, schools, and the homes of Christian families in the town of Sangla Hill. HRCP conducted a fact-finding and found the
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charges of blasphemy had no basis. The accused persons were arrested but later freed, following dialogue between church leaders and government officials. The incident was officially attributed to a misunderstanding. Leaders of the Presbyterian church continued to demand destroyed and damaged buildings be re-built from scratch. There were also some terrifying attacks on individuals. In February, in Lahore, according to media reports, popular singer A.Nayyar, who happened to be Christian, was beaten up by unidentified men and then forced to recite the kalma. (Daily Times, February 21, 2006). In August 2006, three Christian men were hospitalized with serious hatchet Protest against the murder of a Christian sanitary worker. No one wounds. The to grant justice. incident took place near Sharaqpur and the Muslim men who attacked the Christians were reported to have been motivated by religious zeal. Christians in Lahore in August protested the demolition of a church on the Lahore-Multan Road. The church was based in a katchi abadi located on land owned by the Pak-Arab Fertilizer factory, which had recently been privatized. Equally alarming was the denial to non-Muslims of their basic rights, including admissions to educational institutions. In 2005, a Christian girl, Qandeel Sultan, who had achieved outstanding marks in her intermediate examinations, was denied admission to the prestigious King Edward Medical College. She was beaten to a place on the list for admissions by a Muslim girl, who was awarded 20 additional marks on the grounds that she was a Hafiza-e-Quran (One who knows the Holy Quran by heart). In her petition before the LHC, Qandeel questioned the status of Christians as citizens and asked if they were indeed equal to Muslims. The petition remained pending till the end of 2006. Qandeel herself was enrolled at the Nishtar Medical College in Multan. Other attacks on Christians, usually in an attempt to grab property, were also
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reported. According to data collected by HRCP, 20 Christian women were kidnapped during the year. It was apprehended in many of these cases the abductions were part of a bid to force them to convert. Hindus Cases of abduction, disappearances, attacks on holy places and forced conversions affecting Hindus increased during the year. In Sindh, the intimidation of Hindus appeared to have distinctly political overtones. Other attacks conformed to a broader pattern of violence against non-Muslims. Some of the cases reported were as follows: At the end of May, three unidentified gunmen attacked a convoy of Hindu pilgrims killing two and wounding seven. The convoy of about 20 vehicles carrying Pakistani and Indian Hindus was attacked late at night near Mirpur Mathelo, while returning from pilgrimage to Shadhani Darba. All the dead and wounded were Pakistani Hindus.
Earlier in the same month, a Hindu youth, Warand Mal, was shot dead in Larkana by unknown assailants. Local Hindu leaders said threatening calls and letters were routinely sent to Hindu families asking them to give up their association with the PPP. However, no action had been taken on complaints filed with police by the affected Hindu families. In June, the Hindu community complained that some of their prominent members living in the Shahdadkot area of Larkana were receiving threatening phone calls. Attempts had been made to extort money from them. The Hindus were also asked to renounce their association with the PPP, or face dire consequences. Activists of various political parties took out a procession in Kashmore, Jacobabad in July against kidnapping of a minor Hindu girl, Payal, daughter of Rajesh. There were several high profile cases involving allegations of forced conversion. In April, Amjad Shahzad, from Daharki in Sindh, allegedly kidnapped Neelam Ladhani, a commerce student in Karachi, who was Hindu. Her father, Misri Ladhani, a wellconnected government official in Sindh, alleged his daughter had been forcibly converted by Shahzad Amjad. The couple was reported to have fled to the Punjab. In May, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of Misri Ladhanis petition, and ordered police to produce the couple in court. Neelam however continued to maintain she had converted willingly and married by choice. After further hearings in Islamabad, the SC let Neelam Ladhani go with Shahzad Amjad but asked Shahzads father to submit a cash security deposit equivalent to US $30,000 to ensure the well being of the young woman. The apex court also ordered Shahzads family to transfer some property to Neelams name

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and ensure she was cared for properly. The unusual ruling was welcomed by rights groups monitoring the case. Another case, involving three Hindu girls, was reported late in 2005. The parents of the girls returned to their home in Karachi in November 2005 to find their three teenage daughters missing. A few days later they received a letter from their missing daughters, Reena, 21, Reema, 17 and Usha,19, saying that they had converted to Islam. The letter bore the address of Madrassa Taleemul Islam, Karachi. HRCP moved a petition for the recovery of the girls and arranged for their parents to meet the Press. In the first week of December the Supreme Court ordered the police to shift the girls to the Edhi Welfare Centre and provide protection to them until the time it was ascertained whether they had been indeed compelled to convert to Islam. HRCP also condemned the increased cases of forced conversion of Hindu girls.

Reports on conversions came in through the period under review. 17-year-old Kochlia was kidnapped and gang-raped in Jacobabad, Sindh, in September 2005. Four men were arrested for the crime. They were subsequently released because Kochlia stated in the court she had converted willingly and was married.
There were also other outrages. In October 2006, HRCP conducted a factfinding into complaints from Hindus that butchers were turning the Panwal Das Compound in Lyari, Karachi on which a temple was situated, into a slaughter area. The team found that with the help of police, land grabbers had been forcibly evicting residents from the compound, and as a result only 35 Hindu families were left there. The historic Shiv Mandir on the premises had been taken over by a self-styled Muslim holy man. HRCP strongly condemned the encroachment and the use of the area to slaughter animals. It was noted that not only was the action illegal but the slaughter of animals hurt the sensitivities of Hindus. HRCP demanded immediate action from the provincial government and the city nazim. Hindus were also made victim of disappearance. In July 2006, Jagir Bajir, 35, a resident of Umerkot was hooded and driven away. On September 9, G.M. Bhagat, 55, another member of the areas Hindu community was taken away in similar fashion. His son, Pardeep Kumar, was roughed up when he attempted to protest. Other disappearances were also reported.

The issue of the forced conversion of Hindu girls was raised in the National Assembly by Hindu MNA Krishen Bheel during the last months of 2005. Supported by other minority members of the assembly, Bheel stated more and more forced conversions were taking place. He said at least 50 Hindu girls had been forcibly converted in 2005 alone and that Hindus lived in terror, even in areas such as Mirpurkhas in Sindh, where
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the large Hindu community appeared to be relatively free to practice their belief. In a more positive development, the Lahore High Court (LHC) in June stayed the construction of a shopping plaza on land belonging to the Krishna Temple, near Rang Mahal in Lahore and sought a reply from the Evacuee Trust Property Board chairperson on a writ petition challenging the demolition of the temple. The petition stated demolishing any place of religious worship was a punishable offence.

Victims of blasphemy laws


The abuse of the countrys blasphemy laws (comprising sections 295 B, C and 298-A, B, C of the Pakistan Penal Code), continued, with the provisions of Section 295-C frequently used to victimize persons to settle personal scores or disputes over property, finances or other matters. Over the past five years, there was an increase in the number of Muslims facing accusations of blasphemy. A minor change made in October 2004 in the administration of blasphemy cases, stating each case needed to be investigated by police before anyone was booked, made no difference on the ground. According to the National Commission for Peace and Justice (NCPJ), an NGO engaged in monitoring the rights situation of Christians in the country, there were 746 cases of alleged blasphemy in 2005. 107 persons were accused of committing blasphemy. According to the NCJP report, published in March 2006, 55 percent of the people accused in 2005 under the countrys blasphemy laws were Muslim, 18 percent Ahmadi, nine percent Christian and six percent Hindu. The figures showed that members of minority communities were disproportionately targetted, given that they made up only five percent or less of the overall population. There was however some hope of an improvement in the situation. In a ruling delivered in November 2006, the Lahore High Court, while hearing the case of a man from a village near Sialkot accused of blasphemy, said that the defilement of the Holy Quran was an offence not against an individual but against the State. Consequently, no case could be registered by the police against an individual accused of the offence unless the federal or a provincial government was the complainant. The judgement was significant given that most blasphemy cases involved accusations of desecration of the Holy Quran. Despite the ruling, new cases of blasphemy continued to be brought against people for defiling the Holy Quran, on the complaints of individuals. At the end of November, Abid Hussain, a young man, was arrested in Ahmedpur East on a charge of defiling the Holy Quran. The charge, made by his brother, stemmed from an incident in which Abid had allegedly snatched the Holy Quran out of his sisters hands in anger against a
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delay in serving him a meal. A police officer was quoted as saying the victim was suffering from mental health problems. Delays in reaching a decision in such cases meant persons accused of blasphemy could remain under-trial, in jail, for years. They frequently faced considerable peril. In June, an under-trial prisoner, Abdul Sattar Gopang, facing blasphemy charges brought against him by a madrassah employee and a government official, was stabbed to death while in police custody in Muzzafargarh, The charges had been made in March, after Gopang, a tax collector, was engaged in a row with a truck driver. The incident took place at the district and sessions court, in the presence of dozens of policemen. Eye witnesses reported five madrassah students attacked the accused man and stabbed him multiple times. Two policemen were injured while attempting to apprehend the assailants. Two persons were arrested. Local clerics refused to offer funeral prayers for the victim. Only a few days previously, a mosque Imam (prayer leader) was killed while a religious leader sustained critical injuries in mob violence in a village near Hasilpur, in Bahawalpur district. According to reports, Hafiz Qamar Javed burnt some trash near his mosque. The fire attracted neighbours, including people from a rival Sunni sect, who propagated that Javed, also a Sunni, was burning pages from the Holy Quran. A large mob quickly gathered and attacked Javed. When another local cleric, belonging to the same Ahle Hadith sect, Muhammad Sadiq came to his rescue, he was also beaten up severely. The assailants left the scene when the two fell unconscious. Police vehicles were pelted. The injured clerics were rushed to the Bahawal Victoria Hospital, Bahawalpur, where Hafiz Qamar Javed succumbed to his injuries. A case under the blasphemy law was registered against the deceased, Hafiz Qamar Javed, and injured Muhammad Sadiq. Several of the assailants were reported to have been arrested. In September 2006, blasphemy convict Bashir Masih, a Christian, died at the Bahawalpur Central Jail. Convicted in February 2005, Bashir was serving a seven-year sentence for allegedly using the Holy Quran to perform magic spells. Prison staff stated he had died of a heart attack, while there were some reports of suicide. Bashirs relatives however said they had found serious head injuries when they collected the body, leading to suspicions that he had been beaten to death by fellow prisoners. [See also Chapter on Administration of Justice].

Recommendations
1. The recent LHC ruling regarding registration of blasphemy cases must be implemented in full. The ruling may also be ratified by the Supreme Court, so that it is
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followed in all provinces. 2. The joint electorate should be made truly joint in all respects, with no exceptions whatsoever and no community excluded. 3. Incitement to violence by any person or group must lead to penalty under existing laws. If necessary, the relevant laws may be strengthened. 4. Religious tolerance should be taught as a subject at all police schools. 5. Sermons in mosques, especially Friday sermons, should be delivered from a written text, a copy of which should be submitted to the designated / relevant authority for ensuring that hatred against other sects or religions is not preached. Any deviation from the text should be dealt with firmly to ensure religious harmony. This practice has been followed in other Islamic countries.

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Freedom of expression
Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court or commission of or incitement to an offence. Constitution of Pakistan Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19

Increased intimidation of working journalists and the failure of government to offer them protection resulted in at least four being murdered, others picked up by agencies and a still larger number being harassed and threatened, most often from official quarters. There was no headway in addressing freedom of press issues including working conditions and legal protection of the right to expression.

International assessments
Pakistan fell in the rankings of international media freedom monitoring organizations. In its global assessment of freedom of press for 2006, the Paris-based media watchdog, Reporters San Frontieres (RSF) dropped Pakistan 20 places, ranking it at 150 out of 167 countries in terms of the press freedoms they allowed. In its annual
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report, released in May 2006, RSF cited threats to journalists from military agencies, unwarranted arrests and torture of journalists especially in the tribal areas and military pressure on local publications as reasons for the downgrading. RSF expressed concern over arrests in Karachi intended to eradicate hate in the media, which also affected those not engaged in spreading extremism. Freedom House, the US NGO dedicated to protecting democracy and basic freedoms globally, changed Pakistans freedom of press standing from Partly Free to Not Free in 2005. Freedom House reported increased harassment of journalists as well as legislation such as the defamation law as the reasons for this. Freedom House recognized that various newspapers were publishing critical pieces.

Restrictions on press freedom


The press was restrained by various actors including the Federal, provincial and local governments, military establishment, the Parliament, law and order personnel and political or religious groups. Curbs on press freedom came in different forms, including restrictions on accessing information, threats and physical harm, arrests and legal action.

Restrictions on access to information


The district administration in Multan barred journalists from covering Prime Minister Shaukat Azizs visit in December, 2005. Instead the DCO chose a delegation of ten to meet with the PM. The delegation did not include any journalists from a major, national daily.

In February 2006, the Commerce Ministry restricted access to journalists in order to regulate stories on trade negotiations with foreign countries. The ministry directed its officials not to meet with journalists. The decision came around the same time as publication of stories on the expenses of the ministrys delegation to a conference in Hong Kong.
On May 25, 2006, police officials manhandled and detained Punjabi TV reporter, Waseem Farooq and cameraman Imtiaz as well as an Urdu daily photographer, Abid Hussain when they attempted to enter a Dental Hospital to cover the arrival of PML-N acting president, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi. The journalists were released through the efforts of journalists unions. The military establishment, in June 2006, proposed banning journalists from meetings of the National Assembly standing committees claiming that the reporting puts national interest at risk. Instead they recommended handing out summaries of proceedings. Only five of the 35 standing committees were open to journalists. As a reason for closing the sessions, officials noted that serious allegations are made against

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the government during Public Accounts Committee (PAC) proceedings. In July, the Standing Committee for Finance and Revenue Chairman, Anwar Ali Cheema prohibited journalists from attending hearings on the multibillion scams in the Karachi and Lahore Stock Exchange Markets. The journalists and opposition members protested the action claiming infringement on citizens right to information. A short while afterwards, journalists were banned from a standing committee meeting on the nuclear issue. The standing committee on Railways also asked journalists to leave Still seeking rights. before beginning discussion on a scam, involving payment of $57 million for 1,300 flat wagon containers to China in 2001. Access of journalists to Waziristan, where conflict continued was barred, and, as in previous years, those attempting to enter it faced arrest or threats. [See section on threats to media professionals]

Pressures from government and other sources


The tradition of press advice from the government continued. HRCP Secretary General Syed Iqbal Haider stated in August 2006 that the government still warned journalists against printing articles critical of the government. The government also continued to use newspaper dependence on government advertisments as leverage to pressurize publications. In October, federal information minister Muhammad Ali Durrani told senior journalists at a reception that criticism of the armed forces would not be tolerated. The comments immediately stirred a controversy, given the fact the army was running the country and had taken over many civilian departments. [See Chapter on Political Participation]. Dawn filed a petition in November 2005 against the Sindh provincial government asserting it had stopped advertisements since June 2005 due to its displeasure with its coverage of the government. By December 2005, in action that continued through 2005, the government
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had banned 133 religious publications under Section 99-A of the Criminal Procedure Code ostensibly to contain militancy, extremism and sectarianism. On December 23, 2005, Sindhi nationalist party members attacked the Sukkur offices of Sindhi daily, Khabroon after it printed a government advertisement with technical information on the Kalahagh Dam and Bhasha Dam. The papers editorial team resigned, with the advertisement seen as having been placed as a result of official pressure, and aimed at dividing public opinion in Sindh regarding the controversial dam. A Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) report, released in May 2006, asserted that security agencies were advising the media to play down statements and interviews with rebel Balochi leaders. In May 2006, the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) filed a complaint against Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister for Information and Archives, Salahuddin Haider. The CPNE alleged that Haider, unhappy with the newspapers reporting, had banned government advertising to Dawn group. The complaint also included details of incidents when journalists and employees of the Dawn group were threatened by Haider. In June, the NWFP government ordered an inquiry against Asif Wadood, reporter for the Peshawar-based daily newspaper Aaj. Wadood had refused to reveal the source that provided him with budget details before they were presented to the Chief Ministers Secretariat. The Daily Times reported in July that the Federal government had allegedly compiled a negative list with 33 columnists and reporters in the English and Urdu press, who it believed were spreading negativism. The story further asserted the government assigned officials from the Ministry of Information and public relations officials to each person on the list who would attempt to persuade them to tone down their writings.

Threats to the media professionals


Threats to journalists and other media professionals increased markedly over the year. In some cases, HRCP received complaints directly. In other cases the incidents were reported in the national media or by international watchdog bodies. A delegation of the New York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) visited Pakistan in July 2006, to express concern over cases in which journalists had been intimidated. In meetings with CPJ representatives, Pakistani officials promised to review investigation records and reveal government information on the deaths of seven Pakistani journalists killed for their work since 2002, as well as official records in 20 other cases in which journalists had been assaulted or improperly detained. According to a report by the US-based Internews organization, which works to
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promote access to information, as of July 2006 there had been 48 incidents in 2006 in which 66 journalists were targetted. In these attacks, 25 people were kidnapped or detained and 11 harassed; two were murdered and 28 injured. (Daily Times, 22 July, 2006) Threats to journalists in the tribal areas continued, forcing some to flee. The News reported in January 2006 that about 10 journalists from national and international media organizations had left South Waziristan and moved to Dera Ismail Khan due to attacks on their houses, offices and vehicles. Militant groups in the region were averse to stories regarding the murders of pro-government tribal chiefs while agency administrations were displeased with stories highlighting their inaction.(The News, 19 January 2006) Four journalists were killed during the period under review, while others disappeared or were charged in false cases. In June 2006, HRCP asked the government to form a multi-member judicial commission headed by a Supreme Court judge to investigate increased disappearances across the country. Some of those who disappeared were journalists. Killed Hayatullah Khan, North Waziristan correspondent for Ausaf, an Urdu daily, and a stringer for several other national publications, was kidnapped from North Waziristan on December 5, 2005. He was found dead, shot in the back, on June 15, 2006, outside the town of Mirali in North Waziristan. The reasons for his abduction and subsequent death remained unknown. Some colleagues linked it to a story he had filed on a US missile strike against a militant leader. Initially the government rejected the journalist communitys call for a judicial commission to investigate Khans death.. Officials cited the non-existence of a court system in FATA and instead offered to set up a local, grand jirga. However, journalists refused to compromise on this point and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz ordered the formation of a Judicial Commission to investigate the murder after nationwide protests. Political parties, human rights organization and journalists demanded proceedings be held in open court rather than an in-camera session. The Supreme Court also took up the case. The results of the inquiry by the judicial commission, under a Peshawar High Court (PHC) judge had not been made public into November. [See also Chapter on Jails, prisoners and disappearances]
In June, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) called for an independent inquiry into the death of Kawish Television cameraman, Munir Ahmed Sangi. The journalist was killed when attempting to photograph a shootout between Unnar and Abro clans in Larkana. The PFUJ held that Sangi started taking photographs after the shooting had stopped and therefore his death may have been deliberate murder.
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HRCP condemned the incident and backed the PFUJs call for an independent inquiry. The correspondent of the Online News Network in Dera Ismail Khan, Maqbool Hussain Sial, 32, was in September shot dead by two masked gunmen on a motorcycle as he was on his way to interview a leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians at the Dera Ismail Khan Press Club. The motive for the killing remained unclear, and there was no official word on the incident. Senior Islamabad-based journalist, Malik Mohammad Ismail Khan, 50, bureau chief of the Pakistan Press International (PPI) news agency was found brutally murdered near a central market of Islamabad. His head had been brutally smashed in, apparently while he was out for a late-night walk. The CPNE and bodies representing working journalists demanded the arrest of his killers and condemned the governments failure to protect professional journalists. Arrested, charged or illegally detained Some of the cases in which journalists were arrested or illegally held were as follows: In November 2005, Northern Areas Chief Court judges issued an arrest warrant for reporter Abu Ariyan and his chief editor Abid Abdullah of Bade-Shimaal, a GilgitBaltistan weekly in connection with an article about the performance of the court. In December, Saddar police in Bahawalpur registered cases against nine men for defaming the armed force at the launching of journalist Sohail Warraichs book Jernailon Ki Siyasat. In January 2006, reporter Jan Afzal was arrested in a murder case around the time he published a story on the deterioration of law and order in Peshawar. He was kept in jail for five months and released in May after the PHC Chief Justice declared the evidence in the case incomplete. His family and the Khyber Union of Journalists protested the inhuman treatment he received from local police. On January 14, the Bajaur Agency political administration arrested the Peshawar Bureau chief of the Daily Times Iqbal Khattak and BBC correspondent Haroon Rashid from the agencys regional headquarters at Khar while covering a protest rally against a US air strike on a village in the agency. The two journalists were released after being detained for two hours, and threatened by the political agent of Bajaur agency, who demanded they show him the stories and photographs they intended to file. The journalists refused to comply. In February, journalists walked out from both houses of parliament to protest the arrest of Abdul Aziz Lasi, Bureau chief of the Balochistan newspaper Intikhab and the arson attack on the bureau office of the Online news agency. Lasi was reportedly arrested in Hub while taking pictures of Chinese engineers murdered in the area. In June 2006, it was reported Military Intelligence officers had allegedly
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kidnapped and tortured Mukesh Rupeta, a correspondent for the privately owned Geo TV, and freelance cameraman Sanjay Kumar for filming an airbase at Jacobabad. After being detained for three months with no information of their whereabouts given to their families, the journalists were released on 21 June to the Jacobabad police, after protests by journalists. They were charged under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for filming the airbase and forging identity cards and passports. Rupeta claimed that he and his cameraman were only attempting to get footage of airplanes flying from the airbase and had mistakenly entered the prohibited area. In Khyber Agency in June, Khalil Afridi of Khabrain, Sudhir Afridi of The Frontier Post and Abu Zar Afridi of Express, were arrested and detained for more than 24 hours after refusing to apologize to a senior administrative official for interviewing a wanted cleric.

Munir Ahmed Mengal, head of Dubai-based Baloch Voice TV channel, was detained by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) upon arriving at Karachi airport on April 4, 2006. The FIA claimed he was cleared by them but may have been picked up by another agency. Mengals whereabouts remained unknown into December 2006. His family filed a petition a few weeks after Mengal disappeared asking the Sindh government to inform them where Mengal he was being kept. [See also Chapter on Jails, prisoners and disappearances] Local journalists in Sukkur staged a sit-in on the National Highway near Ghotki in June, protesting what they called an unsubstantiated murder case against local journalist Mushtaq Mirani. HRCP and Sindhi journalists, in July, demanded the release of Sindhi daily, Kawish journalist Mehruddin Marri who was reportedly abducted by Thatta police. Reportedly Marri was surrounded by Thatta police cars upon returning from Minister Muhammad Ali Malkanis house where he had gone to settle a plot dispute. Thatta police has said that it was unaware of any such incident. Mehruddin Marri was released in October. He stated he had been severely tortured and questioned about links to Baloch nationalists, apparently on the basis of his name. His family had been settled in Sindh for several generations. HRCP, in July 2006, received a complaint about the arrest of journalist Naveed Khoro, a reporter for the Sindhi daily Koshish. Khoro was booked on a charge of kidnapping by Ghotki police, arising from a family feud. He was produced before an
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Hayatullah Khan: killed

Munir Mengal : disappeared

anti-terrorism court a few days after his arrest. Local journalists told HRCP that Khoro was uninvolved in the abduction case, dating back many years, and had been arrested at the behest of rivals. In August, RSF protested the abduction and illegal-detention of Sindhi journalist. Omar Soomro, of the daily Sham. The journalist was picked up by the henchmen of local feudals and members of local governments, held for several hours, beaten and humiliated by the shaving of his eyebrows and moustache. The incident came after Soomro published a story criticizing an advisor to the Sindh chief minister. Saeed Sarbazi, a reporter for the daily Business Recorder was picked up in Karachi in September 2006. He was detained for three days. Sarbazi complained he had been questioned extensively by intelligence agency personnel about his links with Baloch nationalists, and had been tortured, as a result of which he had suffered neck injuries.
At the end of November, the family of Dilawar Wazir, a Waziristan-based journalist who worked for the BBC Urdu Service, reported he had gone missing in Islamabad, soon after he had visited his younger brother, Zulfiqar Ali, at the International Islamic University. According to accounts from Wazirs colleagues, some men in plainsclothes had also visited the University and attempted to persuade Zulfiqar Ali to accompany them. He had refused. The claim by the men that Dilawar had been injured in a car accident and had been taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) turned out to be inaccurate. Some weeks earlier, in August, Taimoor Khan, the 16-year-old brother of Dilawar Wazir, was found murdered in South Waziristan. He had been abducted in Wana on his way home from school a day before his body was found.

In other cases, journalists were booked in what media bodies held were false cases. One such instance came in the Chakwal area in April 2006, where the local municipal administration allegedly filed a false FIR against two journalists for filing a story regarding an unsuccessful drive against encroachments. HRCP noted the increased incidents of action against reporters by police or local administrations had come due to failure to act against those responsible. RSF stepped up its campaign during the year for the release from jail of the chief editor of the Peshawar-based daily The Frontier Post, Rehmat Shah Afridi. Afridi, arrested in 1999 on a charge of smuggling hashish, had been sentenced to death in 2001. The Lahore High Court had however commuted his punishment to life imprisonment in 2004. In April 2006, the Supreme Court upheld this sentence. RSF stated Afridis trial had been marred by irregularities, manipulation and harassment, and he should therefore be freed. HRCP received numerous letters from members of Amnesty International, seeking justice for Afridi, who remained at Kot
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Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

Harassed or threatened
Many incidents were reported during the year in which journalists were harassed or threatened by personnel of state agencies, extremist clerics, criminal mafias, landlords or other influential people. The increased number of such cases indicated the extent to which the safety of media professionals was endangered, with authorities failing to provide adequate protection. Some of the cases that came to HRCPs notice were as follows: In January 2006, Adam Khan Jamali, president of the Sarhari Press club was reportedly kidnapped and allegedly beaten up by landlords in Sakrand. Journalists from the Sarhari Press club staged a demonstration against the polices inaction in registering the case and apprehending the culprits. According to RSF on February 24, a cleric in the Khyber Agency threatened reporters Nasrullah Afridi, correspondent for daily papers Mashriq and The Statesmen and Khayalmat Shah, president of the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) in radio broadcasts over an unauthorized FM channel. The reporters had written stories on clashes between the cleric and his opponents. In March, Afridi and Shah were again targetted along with correspondent for The Statesmen, Qazi Rauf. Mufti Munir Shakir told them that they would have to give Rs. 1 million or sign a statement that they would not file any more stories about Shakir and his groups activities. The two journalists sought protection from the NWFP governor secretariat and Director General of Interservices Public Relations (DG ISPR). However, the officials were not able to provide security before the given deadline and the journalists were forced to sign the pledge. Journalists held a rally on March 6 in front of the Sindh Chief Ministers house in Karachi, protesting use of force by Special Branch personnel. Special secretaries of the Sindh Chief Minister, Muhammad Ali and Amir Abidi, allegedly ordered Special Branch personnel to harass and beat up journalists who were covering the Senate elections. The journalists demanded an apology from the CM but received no response. In March, a cleric in North Waziristan allegedly picked up Abdul Samad, a journalist with a local Urdu daily. Samad was released only after the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) was able to convince the cleric that government officials in Peshawar had given the newspaper the report stating he was responsible for the lack of law and order in the area. The cleric ordered his supporters to ensure that the newspaper would never be distributed in the area. In Lahore, Yousal Javed Butt, reporter for Urdu daily Awaz filed an FIR against Guwalmandi SHO, Bashir Pehelwan and a local drug dealer in April for firing at his
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house. In a story on drug activity, Butt had reported that criminals were always able to escape police raids. During the same month, the house of columnist Syed Mudassir Shah, who opposed fundamentalism, was burnt down in district Swabi. On April 24, four masked gunmen stopped vehicles carrying bundles of regional and national dailies at gunpoint in the Mirali bazaar in North Waziristan and set the newspapers on fire. They said that the publications branded them as terrorists and demanded that they be called mujahideen or taliban. In May, the PFUJ reported that security agencies threatened Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer Banaras Khan and stringer Shazadar Zulfiqar after they published photographs and reports about the dissident Baloch leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti. The Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) reported in May that government officials attacked TV journalist Gulshan Sheikh and cameraman Adnan during a city governments demolition operation in Sikandar Goth. Following a demonstration protesting an incident on May 29 when intelligence officers harassed senior journalists, intelligence officials allegedly threatened Mushtaq Minhas, the President of the Rawalpindi Press Club. In June, tribesmen threatened Jacobabad-based correspondent for Sindh TV, Sarmad Kanri and KTN correspondent Mubarrak Bhatti. The journalists had reported on a jirga decision that gave out as punishment the hands in marriage of five girls. Journalists and civil society activists protested the threats made against Kanri, jirga system and Sindh government in Hyderabad. In June, journalists walked out of the Balochistan Assembly session to protest threats they had received from opposition parties. Members of the opposition had accused the press of suppressing their statements and threatened to set fire to newspaper offices. On June 29, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) members reportedly attacked the Peshawar Press Club where three dissident PML members were holding a press conference. Federal Minister for Political Affairs Amir Muqam and nine other PML members were charged for the attack under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The houses of journalist Aziz Mohammad Mirani and his relatives in village Roshanabad, Taluka Rohri were in June 2006 burnt down. The action came after the journalist, at a press conference addressed by the Sindh Chief Minister, pointed out that 300 acres of State land, meant for landless Haris, had been grabbed by government employees. The police registered an FIR on June 5 and arrested Aziz Mirani along with five relatives. A jirga was conducted, with the support of the local administration and headed by Sardar Ali Buksh Khan Mehar, uncle of former chief minister Ali Mohammad
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Mehar. The journalist and his relatives were later released. HRCP conducted a factfinding
In September, three journalists from the ARY television channel were severely beaten up by police in Lahore, while attempting to cover a meeting called by religious parties. The three ARY newsmen, senior journalist Wadoud Mushtaq, cameraman Zahid Azeem and Nazir Awan were then taken away to a police station and subjected to further harassment. The concerned police officers were suspended a few hours later by the Punjab chief minister, after protests by journalists. Later the same night, after the ARY channel continued to broadcast reports regarding the incident, police, allegedly on orders of the chief minister, forced cable operators to take the channel off air. The channel remained suspended in the Punjab for several days. The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) complained in a report sent to the prime minister that the Punjab government action was illegal and set a dangerous precedent. ARY transmissions were restored after its owners met PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

During the same month, a reporter of The News in Rawalpindi, Shakeel Anjum, was booked by police for alleged involvement in a triple-murder case. The reporter had been filing stories on police inefficiency and incompetence. He denied any involvement in the murder case.
Also in December, acting editor of The News in Rawalpindi, Kamran Rehmat, complained to HRCP he had been followed on his way home from work by unknown individuals in a vehicle and subjected to intimidation. [At the end of 2006, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for a full investigation into the detention of New York Times photographer Akhtar Soomro and the beating of reporter Carlotta Gall. The incident took place in Quetta, when men who claimed to be from the Special Branch, entered Galls hotel room, roughed her up and took away some belongings. Soomro was detained separately and held for a day. When Gall tried to stop him from being taken away, she was told He is Pakistani, we can do whatever we want with him.].

Press laws
No decisive action was taken on amending, repealing or enacting laws that would ensure freedom of press. The Freedom of Information (FOI) and Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) Ordinances of 2002 were not amended despite demands by bodies representing newspaper owners, editors and journalists, which were supported by international media bodies. In December 2006, according to Press reports, a draft bill to set up the Press and
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Publications Regulatory Authority (PAPRA) was finalised. HRCP noted the proposed law was clearly designed to take away existing freedoms. The bill granted the Authority sweeping powers to inspect presses and the offices of publications to check accounts and records and imposed tough penalties, including a fine of up to rupees one million and a jail term of up to three years for anything construed by the authority as a violation of the law. Five of the seven members of the Authority, according to the draft, would be tied to the government. HRCP joined media bodies, including the APNS, in expressing grave concern over the proposed legislation. Later on the government announced it had no intention to make the PAPRA law. Concerning the Freedom of Information law, the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) in February proposed an amendment that would put the approval process in the hands of the Parliament instead of an officer assigned by a public body. SAFMA also pointed out that the ordinance further expanded items excluded from public disclosure by including exemptions based on international relations, privacy and personal information as well as economic and commercial affairs. Regarding the Press Council proposed under the relevant law, SAFMA pointed out that while CPNE and APNS members were included on the council, membership was not allotted to any representative of working journalists. The Presses, Newspapers, News agencies and Books Registration Ordinance (PNNBRO), 2002 which replaced the Press and Publication Ordinance, 1963 remained in force. The law empowered a District Coordination Officer (DCO) to approve, deny or cancel newspaper or news agency declarations. The Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Freedom of Information Bill, 2006 in November. Government members stated the bill was intended to ensure the citizens of the province had access to public records and that government functionaries were made more accountable to citizens. Other ordinances, though not media-specific, continued to pose a threat to journalists. These included the 2002 Defamation Ordinance, amended in 2004 to make defamation a criminal offence, and incorporate clauses that media organizations feared made journalists especially vulnerable to action under it. The Official Secrets Act (OSA), contempt of court laws and other legislation used against journalists in the past remained in place.

Conditions of working journalists


The Newspapers Employees Act of 1973 calls for a Wage Award Board, chaired by a Supreme Court judge, to revise journalists wages every five years. The Seventh Wage Award announced in October 2001 had yet to be implemented into December 2006. The PFUJs 2005-2006 Media Report stated that 85 percent of newspapers had not enacted the Seventh Wage Board Award while the Eighth Wage Board Award was
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now past due. PFUJ also reported that majority of journalists and media employees were working on illegal contracts and wages ranging from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 5,000 with no medical insurance. The International Federal Union of Journalists also sought better wages and security of service for journalists in Pakistan. A lack of training, a decline in professionalism and, according to many accounts, lowered ethical standards also hampered the media.

Electronic media
In July 2006, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), established in 2002, released a draft of the first National Media Policy. The document specified restrictions on content and gave the government substantial authority over the electronic media. Restrictions included prohibition on political, sectarian and religious groups from owning and operating a broadcasting station as well as the requirement of PEMRA approval for foreign broadcasts. Under the policy, multinational satellite TV channels of Indian origin would be allowed to acquire landing rights, provided their content conformed to Pakistans religious, social and cultural values. A National Media Coordination Committee would stipulate a ratio of local and foreign content on channels. Chaired by the Ministry of Information Secretary, the committee, consisting of 24 members would include government officials as well as the presidents of the APNS, PFUJ, CPNE, Pakistan Broadcasters Associations (PBA), and Pakistan Advertising Association. The policy required the media to allot a specified percentage of time to public affairs programmes as well as programmes on women and childrens rights. The policy gave the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting the right to ban operators that broadcast programming and/or advertisements perceived as promoting anti-state activity or being against the national interests. The PBA was set up by Pakistani broadcasters in September 2005 to protect the rights of its members and propose improvements in legislation such as the PEMRA Ordinance. The PBA had called repeatedly for a uniform policy for the official and private media channels. The restrictions on electronic media in the proposed national media policy went alongside the PERMA Ordinance of 2002. The PEMRA Bill, an amendment to the ordinance, had been in the works since 2004, and gave significant powers to PEMRA to regulate the electronic media, including powers to close down channels deemed to be broadcasting pornographic material. Upon failing to gain consensus in Parliament in 2005, amidst widespread criticism from media bodies, the draft bill was transferred to
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the National Assembly Mediation Committee where debate continued. The PFUJ continued to call for journalists to be included on the 13-member PEMRA committee. According to the ordinance, the committee consisted of five experts on media, law, human rights, and social service while the other eight members, including the chairperson, were government officials. The current ordinance also gave the federal government blanket power to interfere in the decision and actions of PEMRA and required broadcasters to air programs requested by the Federal government. PEMRA actions During 2006, PEMRA carried out a series of campaigns against what it called illegal TV stations and cable channels. In March 2006, PEMRA issued notices to 3,000 cable operators and cancelled 441 licences of operators who it said were broadcasting obscene material. The Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (CAP) accused PEMRA of taking action without giving sufficient time for compliance and of unlawfully confiscating equipment. PEMRA also sporadically invoked and reinstated the ban on Indian channels. In 2004, the ban in force since 2002 was lifted but reinstated in December 21, 2005 with PEMRA claiming that the channels did not have landing rights and the content did not conform to Pakistani culture and values. The ban brought protests from cable operators and from consumers. PEMRA also launched a campaign against illegal FM radio stations in the NWFP, after complaints that some were being illegally run by extremist groups or used by clerics to spread hatred. According to PEMRA, as of July 2006, there were more than 100 seminaries operating illegal radio stations in the NWFP. Several stations were closed down. PEMRAs power to carry out raids without allowing for a fair hearing gave little recourse to cable and radio operators nor allowed for public participation in the debate of what should or should not be defined as objectionable content. Several incidents highlighted how PEMRAs policies infringed freedom of expression:
FM 103 was taken off air for 44 hours on November 14, 2005 when PEMRA officials raided the radio station and confiscated equipment. The raid came after the station aired a BBC World Service program that analyzed the earthquake relief efforts. The station had stopped broadcasting news from international radio services after losing a court fight against PEMRA on the issue early in 2005. In March 2006, PEMRA banned two private Afghan TV channels, Tolo and Ariana asserting that the operators had not obtained official permission and that the channels broadcasted negative propaganda against Pakistan. Afghanistans Minister
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of Information said the channels had been operating with permission. Pakistans government denied allegations by The Pakistan Press Foundation that the ban was due to the stations reports that Pakistani intelligence was associated with a suicide attack on a senior Afghan politician. (BBC online, 20th March, 2006)
In November, PEMRA placed a ban on Sindh TV, a Sindhi channel that since 2004 had been broadcasting to sizeable audiences in Sindh through cable and satellite. In the run up to the ban, Sindh TV journalist, Pervaiz Narejo, was reported by RSF to have been facing threats after an MMA figure was shown on the channel hitting a policeman on duty. The ban was lifted at the end of November with no explanation provided by PEMRA. Analysts stated Sindh TV owners had been made to sign certain conditionalities and a satiricasl programme on political leaders had been a major source of annoyance.

The new media


According to the Internet World Statistics website, using figures from several sources including the International Telecommunication Union, Pakistan had 7.5 million Internet users as of December 2005. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) continued filtering what it saw as inappropriate content, but there was no formal legislation stating what classified as appropriate and how the definition was to be determined. Government officials stated their main focus was to ban access to pornography. Banned websites
In February 2006, a petition was filed with the Supreme Court to ban blasphemous material from the Internet, specifically citing websites showing pictures of the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), in the context of the objectionable cartoons published in a Danish newspaper. On March 2, the Supreme Court ordered that Internet sites showing blasphemous cartoons be blocked. In complying with the court order, instead of blocking sites that carried the controversial cartoons, PTA blocked access to 12 domain names, making thousands of websites that did not carry such content inaccessible, unless web users went through proxies

In March, PTA banned www.thepresidentofpakistan.com, a website critical of General Pervez Musharraf.


During the same month, PTA instructed ISPs to record all emails for 30-day periods so that they should be available to intelligence agencies. (The News, March 6, 2006) The Electronic Crime Bill of 2004, currently awaiting approval in Parliament, gave the federal Government the right to force a service provider to collect or record

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data and keep any such instructions confidential.


In April, 2006 PTA blocked access to at least four Baloch websites (Integrated Regional Information Network-IRIN, April 28, 2006). A few months later, in July, it added 34 new websites to the list. These included the website of the Washington-based World Sindhi Institute. The other websites were mainly those linked to Balochi groups. RSF condemned the action and reiterated that any decision regarding blocking websites must be taken by a judge and not a government entity.

Campaigns also continued against Internet cafes, with increased restrictions imposed on persons setting them up. The Federal Government continued its attempts to crackdown on piracy. The Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) of Pakistan established in 2005, reported in May 2006 that it had only been able to make 40 cases against intellectual property violators, all of which remain pending in overloaded courts.

Curbs on artistic expression and other restrictions


As in previous years, there were bans on books, pamphlets and attempts to restrict the freedom of theatre artistes. There was some relaxation in restrictions on music, dance and other programmes with large audiences watching a variety of performers from around the world at the colourful annual World Performing Arts Festival held in Lahore at the end of 2005 and in December 2006. The NWFP government banned a booklet, The twin era of Pakistan-democracy and dictatorship, written by a Pakistani-Canadian, asserting that it contained Restrictions on performing arts were relaxed. provocative statements against the government. In June 2006, Pakistani Kahanian, a compilation of stories by prominent writers, was banned from the O level Urdu course, after a long campaign waged by orthodox elements. In June 2006, three theatres in Faisalabad staged shows after a year. In 2005, the citys district administration had banned theatre productions at cinemas, citing obscene
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content. Theatre producers appealed the ban before the LHC, which granted permission for performances to be held. Other attempts to ban artistes or theatre productions on grounds of obscenity continued. In August 2006, the Lahore city district government banned artiste Nargis for staging vulgar dances in a stage show. The ban was revoked a few days later by the Punjab Home department. Restrictions on artistic expression were also imposed in various parts of the NWFP by religious zealots, while the ban on music and other performances in public places, imposed by the provinces MMA government remained in force in Peshawar. [See also Chapter on Freedom of thought, conscience and religion].

Screening of Indian films


For the first time since 1965, Indian films aired on cinema screens in Pakistan.In April 2006, and after discussions involving President Pervez Musharraf, the popular film Mughal-e-Azam, on the life and times of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, was screened. Another film, based in Mughal times, Taj Mahal, which starred a Pakistani actress, was also shown. The relaxation in the policy on Indian films raised hopes among cinema owners that other productions of the giant Mumbai film industry could also be screened in the future. Indian artistes were also permitted into the country for a variety of performances, and featured prominently at the World Performing Arts Festival, held in Lahore in December 2005.

Recommendations
1. The citizens right to information must be ensured by bringing the relevant laws in conformity with established democratic norms and practices. These laws should provide easy and timely access to official documents that manifestly do not relate to national security. 2. PEMRA must not be used to increase official control over independent electronic media channels. The state-controlled electronic media should be editorially overseen by an independent body of professionals and prominent citizens. 3. Intimidation of journalists by national security agencies must stop. On the other hand, law enforcement agencies must protect journalists and media organizations from threat or use of violence by criminal mafias, politicians and persons with influence. Likewise, restrictions that prevent journalists from entering certain areas or covering certain incidents involving security forces must be removed. Orthodox groups should
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not be allowed to block peoples access to electronic or print media by, for instance, destroying television sets or disallowing the operation of licensed cable networks. 4. Working journalists, editors and owners of media outlets should come together to institutionally enforce an agreed code of conduct and launch a self-regulated press council to attend to public complaints about any unfair or erroneous coverage. 5. Censorship rules for films and performing arts should be re-formulated to allow for creativity and artistic freedom to be able to tackle abrasive social issues that our society confronts. Our censorship rules must recognize certain values and standards that have been universalized in the wake of globalization in the domains of media and communications.

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Freedom of assembly
Every citizen shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order. Constitution of Pakistan Article 16 Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 20(1)Freedom of Assembly

Intolerance for assembly of all kinds persisted, with dozens of activists of political and religious parties detained for attempting to organize rallies or gatherings. The authorities in various instances used excessive force even against peaceful demonstrators. In other cases they used policies or rules in a discriminatory manner. Small gatherings by citizens seeking to draw attention to their civic concerns were disrupted during the period under review, with police using force to dispel such protesters. HRCP continued to express concern over the use of force against groups that were either in the opposition, or worse still, consisted of economically disadvantaged citizens attempting to highlight their plight. It also held that as a member of the 47-member Human Rights Council of the UN Pakistan had a special responsibility for enforcing and promoting international agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guaranteed the right to free assembly. It was reported in December 2006 that Pakistan had formally conveyed to the UN that it was working for the early ratification of three human rights treaties, including
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the ICCPR.

Bars on gatherings by political and religious parties


The arrest of activists of political and religious parties was used throughout the reporting period as a means to prevent assembly. The imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, for restricting gatherings by more than four persons, was used repeatedly for this purpose. While police frequently used extreme brutality to prevent gatherings by political parties or citizens, it failed to act against violent mobs that assembled in Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar in February 2006 and rampaged through streets, destroying property. At least four people were killed in Peshawar and Lahore as a result of the violence. The incidents took place as religious parties staged protests against cartoons perceived by Muslims as blasphemous, which had been published in a Danish newspaper. The mobs created immense hardship for ordinary citizens and caused damage to shops, cars and other vehicles. The rally in Lahore had been permitted by authorities. A few days later, the PPP and the PML-N said hundreds of activists had been arrested ahead of a rally opposition parties planned on the same Another rally ends in tears -- or tear gas. issue. The federal government banned all rallies in Islamabad, placed leaders of religious parties under house arrest and detained hundreds of workers soon afterwards, as the MMA announced plans for further protests. Police used batons, tear-gas and rubber bullets to prevent MMA activists staging a rally in the federal capital. The MMA was however able to hold a meeting. Processions were also banned in the Punjab, with the 30-day restriction imposed in February extended for another month in March. The ban was renewed in July, after the announcement of plans by religious organizations to hold protests against government policies. Conflict between authorities and religious parties on the issue continued for several
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weeks, with hundreds rounded up to prevent rallies and a train march. 15,000 security personnel, including Rangers, were deployed in Lahore at the end of February to prevent a planned rally. There were skirmishes with police and incidents of violence in Chiniot, Bahawalpur, Kohat, Sargodha and other cities. More arrests of political activists came in March, as opposition parties attempted to stage rallies against a visit by US President George Bush. Hundreds were arrested, and police in Karachi clashed violently with protesters while attempting to disperse what the Imamia Students Organization (ISO) said was a peaceful rally. During the same month, seven activists of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) were picked up in Karachi after a rally against military action in Balochistan. The JWP described the arrest as a bid to prevent their right to hold peaceful demonstrations. The action came as a part of the severe harassment of Baloch activists seen throughout the year. Earlier, in February 2006, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Amanullah Khan was arrested in Islamabad during a rally to protest the Bhasha Dam. At least 12 other activists belonging to Kashmir or Gilgit-based political groups were also held and sent to Adiala Jail. At least eight other activists were arrested the next day in Gilgit during a protest against the dam staged jointly by nationalist and political parties. In August, the Punjab government made attempts to dissuade the MQM from staging a meeting in Lahore on August 13, citing security pressure on Independence Day. However, it eventually granted permission for the rally to be held at the Minar-ePakistan. The MMA and the Jaamat-ud-Dawa (JD) which had originally been granted permission to hold rallies on the same day, at the same venue, were refused, on the grounds of a security risk. The MMA was eventually allowed to hold its rally on August 14. While the ARD was granted permission to hold a meeting at the Minar-e-Pakistan in September to express solidarity with the people of Balochistan in the face of rising tensions after the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, barriers were placed on roads leading into Lahore and around the venue to prevent people attending the gathering. At least 70 PPP activists were taken into custody in Karachi. 17 buses to be used by participants were impounded. A few days later, PML-N party workers who staged a demonstration against the price hike at the Lahore Press Club were baton-charged by police.

Restraints on other groups


Despite police efforts to prevent people from expressing their grievances through public demonstrations, citizens staged thousands of rallies, hunger-strikes and other protests during the year in a bid to draw attention to rising crime, power outages, lack of civic facilities, water shortages and controversial projects such as the Thal Canal
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and Kalabagh Dam. According to the Sindh Police Department, 2,816 such activities took place in the first six months of 2006 in the province. These included 1,123 demonstrations, 757 processions and 720 hunger strikes. Most took place in the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. The largest number, 245, protests were staged against incidents of murder or kidnapping. Other provinces also saw a large number of protests against crime and the poor state of the civic infrastructure. In many instances reported during the period under review, police used brute force to deal with peaceful protesters. Particular ire appeared to be reserved for protesters drawing attention to the suffering caused by frequent power cuts through the summer months. Karachi and other parts of Sindh were worst affected. At the end of May, police in Karachi used tear-gas and batons to break up a protest by hundreds of citizens, who had in some cases been left without power in the sweltering heat for up to 24 hours. Protests against power o u t a g e s continued in K a r a c h i Police converge on demonstrators. through the summer, with citizens clashing with police on several occasions. Riots over the power situation hit the city in July. In Nowshera, local police were unable to prevent violence when protesters from the Khattek Kalley valley, blocking the Grand Trunk Road from Islamabad to Peshawar, clashed with drivers and passengers. The protesters were attempting to draw official attention to the fact that power supply to tube wells in their area had been cut. Further violence took place in Gujjar Khan in July, when an angry mob protesting prolonged power-cuts blocked the GT Road and set an office of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company on fire. Police were unable to disperse the protesters peacefully, and
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used batons and tear-gas against the desperate people. Protests by citizens in Sindh hit by severe water shortages were also on several occasions violently broken up by police in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana and other locations. The police handling of a rally staged by fishermen in Karachi to draw attention to the plight of fishing communities across Sindh was still more brutal. The action against the hapless fisherfolk, one of the most impoverished groups in the country, was obviously backed by city authorities. On June 19, the Pakistan Fisherfolks Forum (PFF) had planned a large rally in Karachi, with 7,000 participants including women and children from across Sindh expected to attend. PFF officials said they had requested permission and protection for the meeting, organized to protest the contact system for fishing in inland water bodies. They received no response from authorities. Instead, as participants, some travelling from hundreds of miles away, attempted to reach Karachi they were met by armed police at the toll plaza on the Super Highway, on the National Highway and at other locations. Police used blank shots, tear-gas and batons to force the fisherfolk away. At least 200 people were injured.. Protesters who had been able to reach the Mazar-e-Quaid, the starting point for the rally, were encircled by police and prevented from moving. 22 PFF leaders and a dozen other activists were detained. The fisherfolk were able ten days later to hold a protest demonstration in Karachi, backed by political parties and NGOs. In March, police baton-charged protesting staff members inside a branch of the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in Lahore. 40 were arrested. The bank workers had been peacefully observing a daily, two-hour strike called by the CBA to draw attention to their demands. In May, police registered a case under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) regulations against 300 people in Sahiwal who had been protesting the murder of a rickshaw driver, Sajid Goga, by robbers on the GT Road. The police also conducted raids for the arrest of the relatives of the victims. Police clashed with dozens of protesters, most of them women, gathered near the Supreme Court building in June to demand justice for police rape victim, Sonia Naz. Protesters were dragged away and beaten, but the participants of the rally, organized by several NGOS, insisted on moving ahead to demonstrate outside the apex court and use their democratic rights to assembly and to agitation. No mercy was shown either to teachers in Dadu who in June staged a rally outside the office of the district nazim to demand salaries that had not been paid for 15 months.
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Ten teachers were arrested and others manhandled by police. Reports of similar restrictions on assembly and brutality by police came in through the year. In some cases, actions taken by police to prevent assembly amounted to the ludicrous. In February, the entire cabinet of the Agricultural University Teachers Association (AUTA) in Peshawar was arrested by police, a senior professor thrashed and others dragged to a police station after about ten academicians staged a protest in front of the university auditorium against the lifting of the car of the chairman of the economics department of the organization. The police evidently saw the protest by the academicians and scientists, holding a single placard, as a severe security threat and kept senior professors in the lock-up at the Campus Police Station till late into the night.

Recommendations
1. Article 21 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights must be upheld. The article reads as follows The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. 2. The policy regarding the right to assembly, and who will be allowed to stage rallies or public meetings, must be transparent. 3. Use of excessive force must be stopped and those responsible for brutality against peaceful citizens held accountable for their actions. 4. Victims of excesses should take recourse to courts and file complaints with oversight bodies, wherever set up. They should sue for compensation in cases in which the violence was totally unwarranted.

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Freedom of association
Every citizen shall have the right to form associations or unions subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or morality. Constitution of Pakistan Article 17 Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful ... association. No one may be compelled to belong to an association. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 20(1,2)

Civil society organizations faced an increased threat from militant groups, most notably in the NWFP, and also hostility from the government. A study by the NGO Action Aid, the results of which were made public in August 2006, found there were 56, 216 NGOs in the country, 33,168 of them in the Punjab. There were 16,8891 in Sindh, 3,033 in the NWFP and 3,127 in Balochistan. The number had increased over the past year.

Threats from militants and other elements


The scale of the threat to NGOs posed by militant elements grew alarmingly during the period under review. At least three women were killed as a result of these attacks. Others faced threats in the form of fatwas or leaflets warning NGOs, and particularly women activists, to leave specific areas including Bannu, Bajaur Agency, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Mansehra, Waziristan and other areas in the NWFP. Many NGOs pulled out of these areas or curtailed their activities. In most cases, there were
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no reports of action by the authorities against the culprits. Some of the worst incidents were as follows:
In June 2006, two female teachers working with an Asian Development Bankfunded vocational training programme, Salma Bibi and Sayadah Bibi, were shot dead at Khawaga Sarai near Ghalju, headquarters of the Orakzai tribal agency. Also killed in the shooting were the two children of Sayadah Bibi, aged 10 years and two years. The women and children were shot dead as they slept. Officials blamed local supporters of the Taliban, wishing to prevent activities to educate or empower women. Sectarian motives were also attached to the killings in some reports. The victims were Shias. There were no reports of the arrest of the murderers, although several people were held for interrogation. A new extremist group, calling itself the Jabha-e-Khalid bin Waleed, distributed pamphlets in the Bajaur Agency in August, warning NGOs to quit the area or face a threat to their security. The pamphlets in particular opposed any public role for women and their participation in public gatherings. It warned female teachers and health workers from other areas to immediately leave Bajaur. A short while after the leaflets were distributed, in September, two women health workers of the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), a highprofile government backed NGO headquartered in Islamabad, were attacked at Khar, the district headquarters of Bajaur Agency, when a remote-controlled explosive device hit their vehicle as it passed over the Khar bridge. Both women, Raffia and Wasia, were seriously hurt. The driver of the vehicle and a passerby were also injured. 22 year-old Wasia, resident of Totakan village in Malakand Agency, died a day later, at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar due to severe head injuries. The NCHD suspended all work in the area after the incident. In August, a grenade was thrown at a womens vocational training centre, run by the Peshawar-based NGO, Khwendo Kor, in Landikotal, in the Khyber Agency. No one was injured as the attack took place at night. Another centre run by Khwendo Kor had been targetted in a similar fashion two months previously. Local extremist leaders accused the NGO of spreading obscenity, organizing joint meetings of men and women and of disregarding tribal traditions. A spokesperson for Khwendo Kor denied being involved in objectionable activities or flouting local cultural norms. A number of female NGO workers in Mansehra district quit their jobs following calls from mosques for all civil society groups to sack women employees before the end of July or quit the area. NGOs active in the area, including those carrying out work with victims of the October 8 quake, stated there had been a great deal of apprehension following the announcements. There were no apparent efforts by government to offer
176 State of Human Rights in 2006

them reassurance by acting against the culprits.


Due to these fears, UN agencies and other international organizations suspended or curtailed activities in various parts of the NWFP during the year. Several local NGOs, including the NCHD, had wrapped up operations temporarily in Bajaur Agency in January 2006, following threats from local militant outfits [In December 2006, HRCP received a copy of an edict delivered in Darra Adam Khel calling for international organizations, including those working under the UN umbrella and local NGOs working for human rights, to be destroyed using weapons of mass destruction and for their activists to be murdered. HRCP wrote a letter to the Interior Minister urging urgent action in the matter, especially as the person sending out the widely distributed edict had affixed his name to it].

Danish NGO volunteers, including those working in quake-hit areas, left the country in February, after angry protests over the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons perceived as blasphemous by Muslims.

Disturbingly, there were no reports of any of the culprits responsible for the attacks being arrested or the activities of militant outfits curtailed. The increased hold of militant groups in parts of the NWFP presented a continued threat to NGO activists, particularly women. Leaders of the MMA in Sindh, at a news conference in Hyderabad in April, urged the government to check NGOs working against Islam and the national economy. There were also reports of threats from other elements. The coordinator of the Faisalabad-based National Commission for Human Rights, Rao Zafar Iqbal, complained in July that he had been receiving telephonic threats, apparently as a result of his work exposing police excesses and delivering legal aid to victims.

Threats from official quarters


There was no let up in the hostility towards NGOs displayed by members of government usually through remarks questioning their motives, their integrity or by suggesting some NGOs were working against national interests. In September 2006, minister of state for information, Tariq Azeem, accused human rights activists of not being neutral and of acting on the basis of political bias. He was making comments on a report released by the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Azad Kashmir. Reports that new legislation was being prepared to control the spheres in which NGOs could function continued to come in, with a new bill said to be ready to be tabled before parliament in August. The Prime Minister, in February 2006, had asked the ministry of social welfare
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and special education to prepare a draft law to register local, foreign and international NGOs. The ministry was requested in April to speed up work. The fate of a previous draft law on NGOs, the Non-Profit Organizations Ordinance, 2002 which had been in circulation after 2002, was not known. It was reported the draft had been shelved after serious disagreements between the government and NGOs on its contents. In May, the federal minister for social welfare launched a directory of 84 NonProfit Organizations, certified as being effective and credible by the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP). The process of certifying organizations by the PCP, itself an NGO, had been questioned by a number of civil society groups. It was noted after publication of the directory that only a very small number of NGOs had chosen to register with the organization. In August, the minister for social welfare said a code of ethics for NGOs was being prepared to make their working more transparent. NGOs, including HRCP, held that they would not challenge policies or laws that regulate the work of NGOs with the objective of making their work transparent, as long as this did not extend to threatening their independence. They stated such measures should not in any way be used as a means to intervene in their work. Concerns of interference remained high because of reports that civil society organizations could be barred from working in some spheres, such as political education. The Sindh government announced in January 2006 it was planning to clamp down on NGOs. The number of such organizations in the province had jumped from 353 to 6, 151 over the last four decades (Dawn, January 20, 2006.) The CBR in January 2006, announced it had begun scrutiny to prepare list of NGOs seeking tax exemption In areas such as education and health, the government and a number of NGOs continued to work together. HRCP reiterated its stance that equal space must be granted to civil society organizations that dissented from the government view, as given to those that conformed to it. It also warned against any official abdication of responsibility from providing people with their fundamental right to education or healthcare.

Student unions and trade unions


Bans on student unions remained in place. The vacuum left as a result was found to be creating greater frustration and contributing to a lack of political awareness among students. In the absence of student unions, the space was filled by student bodies linked to religious organizations, such as the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba.(IJT). The group retained a
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hold on activities at the Punjab University and other institutions in the province, and was responsible for several reported cases involving the harassment of students, most often to prevent girls and boys from meeting. [See Chapter on Freedom of thought, conscience and religion]. In July, the Sindh education department banned union activities by employees of public sector educational institutions, except those headed by the provincial governor. Punitive action, including termination of service, was approved a month later against teachers who protested. HRCP described the ban on unions as illegal. In December, the Sindh High Court struck down the ban order. The Industrial Relations Ordinance (IRO) of 2002, which imposed tough restrictions on forming Collective Bargaining Agents (CBAs) within organizations remained in place. Demands by labour leaders, political parties and rights activists that it be amended or repealed went unheeded. Trade union activities within various semiautonomous Cries for help. organizations, including PIA and Pakistan Railways, were restricted. At the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), held in June in Brussels, it was noted that Pakistan was among the nations where anti-union activity was carried out by employers at export processing zones, often with the complicity of the government. The ICFTU was also critical on restrictions on unions within the banking sector. [See also Chapters on Labour and Political Participation].

Recommendations
1. All civil society groups must highlight cases in which activists have been attacked and carry out a campaign demanding the government bring the perpetrators to justice. 2. The government should have a wider and genuine discourse with NGOs before
Freedom of association 179

it embarks on any legislation concerning them. Legal measures to curb the freedom of associations or intervene in their working will be derogatory to human rights 3. HRCP is encouraged that political parties have taken note of the IRO. We once more call on the government to delete the obnoxious parts of this law. 4. Civil society organizations, political parties and the media must support trade union activities and help them to build the capacity and resources for effective organization in defence of the rights of all workers.

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Democratic development

III

Political participation 181

182 State of Human Rights in 2006

Political participation
... the state shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people ... Constitution of Pakistan Preamble ... the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed ... Preamble ... fundamental rights [shall be guaranteed] subject to law and public morality ... Preamble The state shall encourage local government institutions composed of elected representatives of the areas concerned and within such institutions special representation will be given to peasants, workers and women. Article 32 ... it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law ... Universal Declaration of Human Rights Preamble All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 1

The increased secrecy of State and the ruthless actions taken to crush dissent in Balochistan and other parts of the country marked the pattern of governance during the reporting period. The actions taken against political activists on various occasions during the year
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proved there was no improvement in the situation regarding basic democratic freedoms, including the right to assembly.

Strife within the State


The conflict that had continued for the past three years in Balochistan assumed more ominous proportions in December 2005, as the Pakistan military stepped up its attacks on civilian settlements and carried out bombardments in which civilians were killed. HRCP sent two fact-finding missions to the war-torn areas of Balochistan in December 2005 and January 2006. They found widespread human rights abuses. 85 percent of the people of Dera Bugti had fled the area at the time of the HRCP teams visit. Lists of civilians, including many women and children, killed in the fighting in Balochistan were compiled by HRCP. Details of people who had disappeared and of summary executions were A secret conflict in Balochistan. also collected. These have been presented in detail in HRCPs report Conflict in Balochistan, released in January 2006. The killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti in a military operation in August 2006 aggravated the political situation in Balochistan. HRCP described the action as a targetted killing. Protests flared up across Balochistan and Sindh after the incident. Rallies were also staged in the Punjab, including one organized by HRCP and other civil society groups. It was feared the action in Balochistan would have long-term consequences, with people of the province denied their right to voice their concerns. The ban placed on Baloch nationalist websites and the harassment of thousands of activists, students and journalists across the province were some of the measures that prevented the people of Balochistan from even making their grievances known. In April 2006, the house of former Balochistan chief minister, Akhtar Mengal, was surrounded by Rangers and placed under siege. HRCP members visited Mengal to
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inquire after his welfare. The Baloch leader stated the action to cordon off his house had come after his security guards apprehended a man who they believed was attempting to kidnap the leaders children. The man, who Mengal said could be a member of an intelligence agency, was handed over to authorities. In direct contrast to the situation in Balochistan, a compromise agreement was reached in August 2006 with pro-militant tribal leaders in the North Waziristan area, which had also seen heavy fighting over the past several years. Under the agreement reached after the holding of a grand jirga of tribal elders, the Pakistan military began a pull-out from the area. Intensified fighting in Waziristan had in March 2006 caused a large number of civilian casualties as the town of Miranshah was bombed. Thousands others had fled the area. A similar agreement reached in South Waziristan collapsed after a building, described by the Pakistan government as a seminary, was aerial bombed in Bajaur in October 2006. At least 82 persons, a number amongst them believed to be teenaged boys, were killed. While the Pakistan military claimed it had carried out the strike, eye-witnesses stated unmanned US drones had been involved. Amnesty International said the incident was possibly a case of extra-judicial killing. [See also Chapter on Law and order]. The use of brute force to crush dissent prevented people from exercising their right to participation in their own destiny and denied them their democratic rights to assembly or expression.

Disrespect for peoples opinions


Even when armed action was not carried out against people their opinions and views seemed to have no significance for authorities. The local government system was used to expand authoritarianism and the will expressed by people was blatantly disregarded. This was visible in the pattern seen during polls conducted in 2005 and the tenure of the first district governments, from 2001 to 2005. In the Punjab, in 2001, of the 34 district nazims elected at least 14 won with the backing of the PPP and nine with the support of the PML-N. Another nazim was backed by the PML-Junjeo and one by the JI. The nine remaining nazims were affiliated with pro-government groups. By the end of their term, 33 nazims expressed loyalties to the ruling PML-Q. Not satisfied by this, the ruling party took in seven PML-N and four PPP turncoats ahead of the 2005 polls. Unsurprisingly, as the final results were announced at the end of September 2005, the PML-Q had won 29 out of 35 seats in the Punjab for district nazims. ARD-backed candidates won four and a PML-N-supported nazim one. In other provinces, not quite as many opposition party nazims switched loyalties. But in Sindh, where the PPP had won 10 out of 15 districts in 2001, it retained only two districts this time round. The other 20 districts were won by pro-government
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nazims. Changes in constituency demarcations, threats to opposition candidates and manipulations on polling day itself were partly responsible for this, according to observations by HRCP teams. There was less evidence of a tendency to switch loyalties in the NWFP. In Balochistan at least nine district nazims previously affiliated with the PML-N had switched over to the PML-Q camp ahead of the 2005 polls. (Herald, November 2005). HRCP noted that such blatant disregard for peoples will and democratic values augured ill for the general polls, scheduled for 2007. In its annual report on human rights practices for 2006 released in March, the US State Department noted that during contests for reserved women and minority seats on Rule of the baton. district and tehsil councils, held in October 2005, international observers found that all political parties had been engaged in attempted intimidation, coercion and vote-buying.

Elections to the Senate


The elections to 50 vacant Senate seats early in 2006 were marred by allegations of horse-trading, or the buying over of loyalties, most notably in the NWFP. Awami National Party (ANP) leader Ilyas Ahmed Bilour accused the PML-Q and its ally, the PPP-S of interior minister Aftab Sherpao, of buying votes under a package deal. The provincial chief minister, Akram Khan Durrani backed these allegations, and said MMA candidates who had sold out would face disciplinary action. During voting itself, Malik Imran of the PML-N, a member of the provincial assembly, was prevented from casting his vote by PML-Q members. Malik Imrans assembly membership had been suspended by the PHC on the basis that he held a fake degree, but this ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court (SC) on the day of the
186 State of Human Rights in 2006

Senate elections. There were also allegations of corruption in Balochistan. Dr Azizullah Stanakzai of the MMA lost his seat after one MMA MPA voted for an independent candidate. It was alleged money had changed hands. Opposition members accused the military of interfering and ensuring the victory of candidates they favoured, including Mir Mohabat Khan Marri and Mir Israrullah Zahri. Marri was a former provincial minister while Zahri headed the pro-establishment faction of the BNP. According to press reports, JWP MPA Salim Khoso was picked up by an intelligence agency and pressurized to vote for Marri. He was released after opposition parties organized a press conference and demanded he be produced. Marri alleged he had been offered Rs 20 million to vote for Marri. The PPP, which lost two of its nine Senate seats in the polls, also alleged votes had been bought in the NWFP. Overall, the PML-Q increased its majority in the Upper House by three seats, and held 58 of the Senates 100 seats. The MMA and nationalist parties both made a strong showing.

Bars on women voters


Across the NWFP and also in other parts of the country, women were barred from exercising their right to ballot as a result of agreements reached between feudal chiefs, orthodox elements and other influential people. The restrictions prevented women in some areas from contesting in or balloting for district government polls in 2005. [See Chapter on Women]. Early in September 2006, the Assistant Election Commissioner of Khyber Agency, Mohammad Farid, reported difficulties in registering women voters for inclusion on new lists being prepared by the Election Commission. He said many women were reluctant to even disclose their names and had no identity cards. NGOs monitoring the exercise, including the Islamabad-based Pattan, stated that the lack of female enumeration staff compounded the problem.

Lack of transparency and militarization


The increasingly secretive manner in which the State went about its business meant that ordinary people were largely excluded from all processes of governance and decision-making. There was also a visible decrease in tolerance for dissent expressed within official ranks. Senior officials who disagreed with official policies were penalized in various ways. People were provided extremely limited information about the military operation
Political participation 187

that continued in the North and South Waziristan agencies during 2006 or the fighting in Balochistan. Bars on allowing media personnel to enter areas of conflict meant in many cases there was no independent account of events unfolding in these parts of the country. Journalists throughout the reporting period complained of new hurdles in the way of accessing even routine information. [See Chapter on Freedom of expression]. In September 2006, the Paris-based Reporteres Sans Frontieres (RSF), in a strongly worded statement, criticized the failure of the Pakistan government to make public the results of a commission of inquiry headed by a PHC judge into the death of journalist Hayatullah Khan. Hayatullahs body had been found in June 2006, six months after he disappeared. Hayatullahs teenaged brother, Shabbir Ahmed, was shot dead on his way to school in Mirali in September 2006, apparently to dissuade the family from continuing to pursue the matter. [See Chapter on Freedom of expression]. Problems associated with the lack of transparency cropped up repeatedly in the aftermath of the October 8, 2005 earthquake in northern parts of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. HRCP noted that the failure to include people in decision-making and the lack of transparency over the distribution of relief had led to great mistrust among survivors over official policies in the quake zone. The fact that NAB reported in August 2006 that there had been large-scale corruption and mismanagement in the handling of quake funds went to underscore the dangers inherent in the lack of accountability and transparency measures when dealing with large amounts of goods and money. The growing lack of transparency was linked to increasing militarization. Much of the post-earthquake relief and rebuilding work, continuing well after immediate rescue operations, was conducted by the Pakistan military. In this environment, according to complaints received by HRCP, some television news channels were asked to tone down coverage of the faltering relief efforts after the quake, in the interests of national security. Retired and serving military men held thousands of jobs in the civil sector, including key positions in the education and health sectors. In May 2006, the PML-N called for an end to the militarization of civil institutions. The partys information secretary, Ahsan Iqbal, told the Press there were 600 serving or retired military men holding posts in the federal government. The party released a list of these persons. The prime ministers secretariat, civil service training institutions, the ministry of interior and the Federal Public Services Commission (FPSC) had more serving or retired generals than ever before. There were at least eight former armed forces personnel serving as the head of Pakistani missions in other countries. The lack of transparency in all spheres of public life promoted corruption. According to the Berlin-based anti-corruption organization, Transparency International (TI), 67.3
188 State of Human Rights in 2006

percent of respondents in Pakistan perceived the Musharraf-led government that had ruled the country since 2002 to be corrupt. This figure was higher than for any previous government. Unusual attempts by the local office of TI to clarify the findings led to suspicions they had been pressurized by official circles. In December 2006, TI stated that Pakistan had been ranked at 142nd place on its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2006. Most South Asian countries fared better than Pakistan, with Bhutan at 32nd place, India at 70th place and Sri Lanka at 84th place. Bangladesh finished behind Pakistan at 156th place. Nigeria, Rwanda and Burundi were placed higher than Pakistan, while Sudan and Haiti finished behind it. . President Pervez Musharraf and his allies meanwhile continued to indicate he would seek re-election by the present national assembly and retain his post as Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Apart from a violation of pledges made in the past, this also meant that constitutional provisions could continue to be bypassed. These provisions included Article 43 which categorically provided that the president shall not hold any office of profit in the service of Pakistan or occupy any other position carrying remuneration for the rendering of services; Article 41(2) which provided that a person shall not be eligible for election as president unless he is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly and Article 63 (1)(d) which disqualified a person from being elected as a member of the National Assembly if he holds an office of profit in the service of Pakistan other than an office declared by law not to disqualify its holder.

Preparation for 2007 polls


The Election Commission of Pakistan began preparing new voting lists in the middle of 2006. The new rolls were scheduled to be published in January 2007. There was considerable confusion over the exercise, with the EC initially indicating NADRA would be involved in computerizing the lists. However, in September 2006, the EC announced the task would be entrusted to a private company, with experience in a similar field. The decision to permit voting on both old and new ID cards was seen as a step that could lead to confusion. However, in its defence, the EC pointed out many citizens did not possess new, computerized cards. In Sindh, PPP leader Syed Qaim Ali Shah in September called on the EC to prevent the provincial government from manipulating the process of voter registration. He alleged that an ally of the Sindh government had forcibly taken over the task of enumeration from EC staff. Qaim Ali Shah and other opposition leaders also raised questions about the computerization process, arguing that this amounted to creating a new list, in violation of The Electoral Rolls Act of 1974. At the end of August, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz survived a no-trust motion,
Political participation 189

brought by the opposition which listed 30 charges of financial wrongdoing. The opposition parties gained 136 votes against the required number of 172 in a house of 342 members. PML-Q President, Chaudhry Shujaat Husain, and other party office-bearers, meanwhile continued to indicate the polls could be delayed, while other ministers and PML-Q office bearers stated they would be held on schedule. President Musharrafs confession in his book, In the Line of Fire, released in September 2006, that he had helped establish the PML-Q in violation of his constitutional role as President and COAS went only to reinforce prevailing beliefs about the party. The wide expectation that the party would win the next election, regardless of public opinion, indicated most people believed the election results would be tampered with, as had happened more and more blatantly in polling exercises held since 1999. In October, the ARD alleged that official patronage for ruling party candidate Naveed Ashiq Dyal had played a part in his win in the by-poll for a Punjab provincial assembly seat. The seat had fallen vacant after the PML-N MNA elected in 2002 was disqualified for lack of educational qualifications. The MMA government in the NWFP passed the controversial Hasba Bill in November 2006. In a statement, HRCP warned that through the law, the MMA government had in effect put in place a powerful network that would play a crucial role in aiding the success of the religious parties alliance in future elections. In the middle of December 2006, the SC stopped the NWFP government from enacting the Hasba BIll and issued a stay order on a presidential reference challenging the Hasba law as unconstitutional.

Intervention in political parties


Less and less effort was made to disguise the fact that the ruling PML-Q continued to be controlled by President Musharraf and his team. Despite strong opposition from forward blocs within the party, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushaid Hussain were re-elected president and secretary-general respectively in August, when internal party elections were held. The fact that the two leaders drew strong support from the presidency was a major factor in their success. Former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali, who had decided to contest the election for secretary-general, was persuaded to withdraw his papers a day before the polls, after a meeting at the Prime Ministers house. The polling process and the lack of democracy within the party came in for strong criticism. From within the party, there were complaints of voting lists being kept secret and army involvement in the process. Similar undemocratic measures had marred party polls in the Punjab and NWFP. In the NWFP, the party split with a new constitutional group of the PML-Q formed under Ulas Khan Khalil. Amir Muqam, the federal minister of state for political affairs and a former MMA member, who had been
190 State of Human Rights in 2006

Poll monitoring in Kashmir


HRCP monitored polls in AJK in July, 2006, as part of its continuing engagement in that area. HRCPs monitoring of the rights situation in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and its enhanced involvement in the region following the earthquake of October 8, 2005, led it to conclude that it should send observer teams to the region for polls held on July 11, 2006. The consistent emphasis by local people on the fact that management of earthquake relief was closely linked to the issue of adequate representation for people was also a factor in the decision to monitor AJK polls for the first time. Five teams, comprising of council members and staff, visited six districts of Kashmir. The districts covered were Bagh, Kotli, Rawalakot, Palandari, Mirpur and Muzaffarabad. Training meetings for monitors were conducted prior to the exercise. While polling on the whole remained peaceful, the HRCP team saw various instances of malpractice. At some polling stations in Muzaffarabad the voter lists were full of errors, whereas at others there were no arrangements for voters privacy. It was noted that army personnel either sat inside the polling stations or visited the polling booths and met with presiding officers frequently. Lack of privacy for voters, and violations of election regulations concerning canvassing or the serving of food to supporters, were seen almost everywhere. At one booth in Palandari, seven people were injured in a clash over errors in voter lists and alleged casting of fake votes. Members of some political parties were seen campaigning inside polling stations in violation of the code of conduct. In a small village near Rawalakot, around 250 voters out of a total of 500 boycotted the elections because the persons elected in previous elections had not fulfilled their promises of providing basic necessities to the residents. Irregularities observed in the balloting held for the AJK polls in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta were far more serious and extremely widespread. They included the use of fake Kashmiri domiciles, and other malpractices. Kashmiri parties or independent candidates advocating independence for the region were barred under existing rules from contesting the polls.

Political participation 191

strongly supported by President Musharraf was elected president of the official PML-Q. In Sindh, the feud between Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim and former provincial minister Imtiaz Sheikh, who had been sacked in February 2006, continued to simmer. Both had levelled corruption charges against each other. President Musharrafs support for the Sindh chief minister strengthened his hand, despite PML-Q president Shujaat Hussains initial support for the dismissed minister. Changes in the federal cabinet, announced in April 2006, also came about only after prolonged discussions between Chaudhry Shujaat, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and President Musharraf. Opposition parties, particularly the PPP and the PML-N, continued to face pressure with activists arrested and cases brought against leaders. [See also section on threats to political opponents]. The leaders of the two parties, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, after a meeting in London, signed a Charter of Democracy in May, setting out the route to be followed for a return to democracy and the exit of the army. Reports and rumours of backdoor deals between President Musharraf and the PPP continued, with people having no role to play in the forging of secret deals.

Northern Areas Legislative Council elections


The ruling PML-Q swept the elections for the 12 reserved seats to the Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) held in March, winning all six seats for technocrats and four out of six seats for women. The total strength of the NALC was increased to 36 after this election. The electoral college for the election to the 12 seats was the 24-member NALC, elected by direct vote in 2004. The PML-Q, with 15 seats, dominated the council. The six seats for technocrats had been created in 2004, and had been challenged by the PPP and the PML-N on the grounds that they were an unnecessary burden on the exchequer. Instead, the opposition parties called for an increase in general seats to be filled through a direct vote. The petition was dismissed on March 22, the day of polling. The NALC was first formed in 1970, when it was termed the Advisory Council. Increase in its seats has been a regular feature. However, the fact that the NALC had no legislative powers was a source of acute grievance for the people of the Northern Areas. HRCP, which undertook a mission to the Northern Areas in August 2005 and released its report in September 2006, found that to resolve the problems of the Northern Areas, it was vital that people be given a guarantee of fundamental rights and a say over their own destiny. HRCP also found most people wished the Northern Areas to be merged into Pakistan as its fifth province,
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for greater autonomy and for an end to the ambiguity over their constitutional status. The impotency of the existing NALC was evident in the fact that of the 18 resolutions it passed from 1999 to 2004, and then submitted to the Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (KANA) Ministry for implementation, none was executed. HRCP strongly recommended in its report that the chief executive of the Northern Areas be an elected member of the NALC. It also detailed its findings on the lack of development in the area and the humanitarian situation emerging due to growing sectarian violence.

Threats to political opponents


In its September 2005 rep[ort on Authoritarianism and Political Party Reform in Pakistan, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) noted that under Pakistans military government, mainstream parties had been marginalized and their activists were subjected to coercion, most recently during local government election. A new and alarming manifestation of the scale of the threat posed to political opponents from official quarters came in the thousands of disappearances reported during the year. As dissent in Balochistan grew after intensified military action in Dera Bugti and Kohlu after December 2005, the number of people picked up by agencies in the province rose dramatically. According to data collected by the HRCP Quetta office in Police proved a drag on political activity. September 2006, at least 600 people had disappeared in Balochistan. HRCP gathered credible evidence during the year of the picking up of dozens of Baloch nationalists by intelligence agencies. In a statement in July 2006, HRCP expressed outrage that members of prominent Balochi families were being targetted, despite the fact that they had no links with militancy. Sindhi nationalists were also among the disappeared, with a growing number coming in for such action during the period under review. [See Chapter on Jails and
Political participation 193

Prisoners]. Hundreds of political activists linked to the MMA, the PPP, the PML-N and other opposition parties were arrested while attempting to stage rallies or other gatherings. In some cases, these persons were detained for prolonged periods of time. In February 2006, the MMA stated over 100 of its activists had been arrested ahead of planned protests on the issue of cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, which were perceived by most Muslims as blasphemous. Leaders of the coalition of religious parties, including Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, were placed under house arrest. [See also Chapter on Freedom of Assembly]. The PPP and the PML-N both complained of coercion, threats to activists and pressure exerted on members to switch loyalties ahead of local government elections in 2005. The PML-Ns Javed Hashmi remained in jail. The PPPs Yusuf Raza Gillani, serving a ten-year sentence, was released in August on bail after five years in jail. PML-N MNA Khwaja Saad Rafique was declared a proclaimed offender by a court in Lahore in October 2006, after he failed to appear in one of several cases pending against him. [See also Chapter on Jails and Prisoners]. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was widely seen as a tool for harassment and intimidation. In November 2006, a woman, Nasim Kausar, collapsed in the Sindh High Court (SHC). She had moved a complaint against a midnight raid on her home and harassment by NAB, which was apparently attempting to arrest her husband. The family stated they had been badly affected physically and mentally, and complained that Khalid Javed, a businessman, was being targetted because of his affiliation with religious organizations.

Recommendations
1. A fair social contract needs to be established between the people and the State. The peoples representatives have to participate in governance at the lowest level of the administration. 2. Full and fair elections are essential. 3. There must be independent authorization to monitor and enforce human rights, especially of women and children. 4. An independent tribunal should be established to check corruption at all levels. 5. Millions of new jobs should be created through proper changes in economic policies.

194 State of Human Rights in 2006

Rights of the disadvantaged

III

Women 195

196 State of Human Rights in 2006

Women
All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone. No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of ... sex ... Steps shall be taken to ensure full participation of women in all spheres of national life. The state shall protect the marriage, the family, the mother ... The state shall ... [ensure] that ... women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their sex.... Constitution of Pakistan Articles 25, 27, 35, 37 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights ... Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind ... All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law ... Men and women of full age ... are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage should be entered into with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country. Mother and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1, 2, 7, 16, 21(2), 25(2)
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A number of issues central to the rights of women, including the Protection of Women Bill which the government stated was a means to amend the discriminatory Hudood laws, dominated debate on womens rights during the period under review. New issues of concern arose, such as the forced conversion of women belonging to minority communities and an increase in incidents of the rape of minor girls as well as marriages of girls, mostly minors, to settle tribal disputes. As in previous years, the lack of empowerment of women, growing socio-economic difficulties and violence against women were the most pressing concerns of millions of women in the country. Their situation was aggravated by discriminatory laws and a lack of any genuine official will to improve their situation.

Women and the law


A renewed debate on the controversial Hudood ordinances began early in 2006, with changes in the law passed in November by parliament under the Protection of Women Act, 2006. The legislation was passed by the ruling PML-Q with the support of the PPP. The MMA boycotted the final passage of the bill, while the PML-N abstained from voting. HRCP described the bill as a first step forward, but stated that many other changes in law were required to make any meaningful difference to the plight of women. The process leading to the final passage of the bill was a long and often heated one. A draft of the Womens Protection Bill prepared by the government began to do the rounds early in 2006. This initial draft recommended fairly sweeping amendments in the Hudood laws. The draft, which after passing through the hands of a select committee, was tabled before the National Assembly in August 2006 was however reported to have been significantly watered down. However, the MMA created chaos over the bill, declaring it un-Islamic and hurling torn copies of the
Public voices were finally heard on Hudood laws.
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draft to the floor. The government, following this chaos, entered into dialogue with the MMA, at the end of which the two sides agreed on a new draft, which in effect rendered the bill meaningless. In its statement on the issue, HRCP described the new draft as farcical and held that it did nothing to address the basic issues of discrimination against women. HRCP said the changes gave leeway to the judiciary to interpret the law in the most orthodox way and contended that the legislation complicated matters by creating confusion between Islamic and civil laws, as well as on questions of jurisprudence of the appropriate judicial forum. Amid mounting controversy, this draft was not passed, while the MMA threatened to resign if the version of the draft finalized by the select committee was converted into law. The willingness of the government to negotiate on all aspects of the draft with orthodox elements and agree to alterations which in fact meant women would be no better off than before, had come under severe criticism from womens rights groups and other bodies. The bill was eventually passed on November 15, with the law containing one amendment from the version approved by the select committee. It was passed by the Senate a short time afterwards, again after bitter debate. HRCP and other civil society organizations continued to demand the Hudood laws be scrapped in their entirety. A repeal of the laws imposed in 1979, under which hundreds of women across the country remained in jail, had already been recommended in 2003 by the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW). Its findings echoed those of various commissions and committees over the years, including the 1997 Commission of Inquiry for Women headed by Justice (retd.) Nasir Aslam Zahid. Regarding other legislation to better the plight of women, HRCP held that while the relief, in the form of the release from jails, given to hundreds of women under the Law Reforms Ordinance, 2006, issued by President Pervez Musharraf in July 2006, was welcome, it did nothing to address longer-term issues, with more women continuing to be detained each day. [See also Chapter on Jails, prisoners and disappearances]. Draft bills moved by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) early in 2006, seeking a scrapping of Hudood law provisions failed to make it through parliament. The MMA and the PML-N walked out of the house in February 2006 when a fresh attempt was made to table the bill. A draft law on the prevention of domestic violence against women, moved by two women MNAs was also sent to a committee in August after the minister of parliamentary
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affairs made remarks in the National Assembly claiming the bill violated Islamic laws. His comments created an uproar with a number of members of the ruling party supporting the PPP on the issue and insisting the bill at least be introduced. Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Religious Affairs, in a statement, condoned marital rape. Other discriminatory legislature including the Qisas and Diyat law, laying down fines to be paid in cases of bodily harm, stayed on the statute books. Official attitudes towards legislating for the rights of women were highlighted in June 2006, when the interior ministry rejected a proposal moved by two government MNAs in the National Assembly two years previously that the husbands of Pakistani women who marry foreign men be granted citizenship. This provision was already in place for Pakistani men wedding foreign women. The interior ministry in its objections, held such a change could allow spies to infiltrate the country. In June 2006, proposals made by the NCSW on changes in inheritance laws for women were promptly rejected by a senior minister in the NWFP government, who said a committee set up in Peshawar would make its own recommendations. A meeting attended by top provincial officials to review the issue of establishment of Family Courts in the provinces was held at the Supreme Court in July. It was agreed there was a need to streamline the working of family courts and create more posts for women judges and magistrates.

Women and politics


In international rankings, Pakistan fared well in terms of the role it gave to women in government. In a report in July 2006, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the international organization of parliaments based in Geneva, said Pakistan stood at 42nd position amongst 134 countries in terms of the representation of women in legislative bodies. This placed it above all other South Asian countries. There were 73 women in Pakistans National Assembly which comprised 342 members. Women thus made up 21.3 percent of the lower house. There were 17 women in the Senate, which had 100 members in total. At least 43,000 women councillors were elected to local governments in elections held at the end of 2005. While there was criticism of the fact that many of the women representatives were related to influential male political figures, and as such did not represent ordinary Pakistani women, HRCP said it believed the increased room for women in politics would bring positive results in the future. Far more disturbing was the fact that tens of thousands of women remained
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deprived of their right to vote. Many more men than women were listed on voting lists and there seemed little hope that the discrepancy would be rectified as the Election Commission, in the middle of 2006, began the process of updating voting lists. EC officials stated in September it was difficult to enlist women in some parts of the NWFP. [See also Chapter on Political Participation]. In Dir, where orthodox elements had during local government elections held in 2005 attempted to prevent women from voting or filing nomination papers for contesting polls, it was reported in April that women councillors were not allowed to attend meetings of the district, tehsil and union council meetings. Instead, their male relatives, who were themselves not elected, were reported to be attending the sessions on their behalf. Local political leaders and nazims of the No discrimination by police. district, tehsil and union councils were stated to have barred the women councillors from attending meetings and other activities of their union councils. (Dawn, April 29, 2006) The local administration had made no attempt to intervene. There were nine women councillors in the Upper Dir District Council, six in the Upper Dir Tehsil Council and three in the Wari Tehsil Council. Only two women councillors were attending the council sessions. In Lower Dir district, women councillors complained they were not given any role in the district councils working and stated they had been called to the council meeting only for the election of the district nazim. The women had been elected to councils and women voters allowed to vote after NGOs, in 2005, backed by the Election Commission and the Supreme Court, had taken action during local body polls in 2005. NGO activists attempting to encourage women to participate in the polling process were harassed and in some cases reported in late 2005, threatened by local orthodox elements. [See also Chapter on Freedom of association]. In March 2006, women lawmakers from the PPP and PML demanded parties
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nominate women candidates on 20 percent of general seats and also reserve slots for them in decision making bodies within the party The Womens Political School (WPS), a project of the ministry of women development, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme, in May began a $4.5million project, funded by the government of Norway, to train women councillors. The schools first project was to train 28,000 councillors. Women councillors complained during the year that, despite a clear-cut policy, they were frequently denied the 33 percent share in development funds pledged by the government. They also complained of exclusion from decision-making and a denial of privileges extended to their male counterparts, such as office space. Women MPAs in the NWFP, who had been given Rs. 5 million each for development work in 2002 and Rs 10 million in 2005-2006 were reported not to have come up with any scheme to facilitate or empower women. The women legislators stated they had not been permitted to identify schemes outside the priority sectors mentioned in the Tameer-e-Sarhad programme, and thus had spent funds mainly on road paving or canal de-silting. (Dawn, May 31, 2006).

Women at work
A drastic setback to the rights of working women came in the form of amendments in labour laws, made covertly by the government and included in the annual Finance Bill which was passed by parliament in June 2006. The amendments permitted employers to extend working hours for women till beyond the previously mandated time of Many women workers were not counted. 1 0 . 0 0 p m . Organizations of working women condemned the amendment while HRCP stressed the need for women workers to be given an option in the matter. [See also Chapter on Labour]. The contribution of women workers, who were estimated to form 75 percent of the informal sector of home-based workers, went unrecognized in national figures.
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Success stories: Rising to the top


While most women in the country lacked education, opportunity and encouragement to excel in professional spheres, there were also stories of women who had done exceedingly well in their chosen fields. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar took over in December 2005 as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, becoming the first female governor of the SBP since it was established in 1948. In January 2006, PIA recruited its first female pilot, Captain Ayesha Rabia Naveed, after she completed 6,000 flying hours as a co-pilot. Her first flight as Captain, a few days later, made history as the first flight in Pakistans history flown by an all-female crew. PIA had six female co-pilots. Tasnim Aslam was appointed spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign office in October 2005, making her the first woman to hold this high-profile post in Pakistans ministry of Foreign Affairs. Aviation Cadet Saira Amin made history in September 2006, by winning the prestigious Sword of Honour at the Pakistan Air Force Academy as its best cadet for the year. She became the first woman to win the honour in any defence academy in Pakistan. Both the Pakistan army and the Air Force, which had opened their doors to women recently, continued to recruit girls seeking careers in the military. These women were also uncovered by labour laws. The arduous work of tens of thousands of women at home and in agricultural fields too went without note. NCSW recommendations that home-based women workers be given the same protections as industrial workers continued to be ignored. In July, the federal cabinet approved the reservation of a 10 percent quota for women in the Central Superior Services. The same PML-Q government had in April 2004 abolished a five percent quota for women in government services. In May, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz announced women government servants would be posted at the place of residence of their parents or husbands. While the decision was appreciated, there were no reports as to its implementation. A National Coordination Committee for Women Employment Concerns in Pakistan (WEC-PK) was launched jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and ministry of labour and manpower in September, 2005. The need for safe housing for working women, particularly those who were single,
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was raised at various forums.

Harassment
Harassment at the workplace remained a hurdle confronted by thousands of women. Stepped up efforts to draw attention to the issue, most notably by the Association Against Sexual Harassment (AASHA), consisting of nine NGOs, however brought some results. In October 2006, the federal government announced it was including gender harassment in the official definition of misconduct. According to the proposed change in the law, if a government official is found guilty of sexual harassment, he or she could be removed from service. There were no reports during the remaining months of 2006 of any action under the provision. One of the high profile cases of harassment during the year took place in June within the Sindh Assembly. According to opposition parties, MPA Eshwar Lal of the PML sent an indecent note to a PPP woman legislator Shazia Marri. She received another similar note from MQM MPA Poonjomal Bheel, minority member of MQM. She passed the notes on to the leader of Opposition, Nisar Khuhro who passed them on to other opposition members. A fist-fight then broke out between Lal and opposition members. Following the incident, the Speaker of the assembly suspended the membership of Lal for the entire budget session and of four PPP MPAs who had beaten him up for two days. Lal brought a case of attempted murder against the MPAs. The incident was widely condemned by civil society organizations. Other reports of harassment also came in. Female domestic help, who, according to AASHA number six million, were particularly vulnerable to abuse by employers, though most cases were not reported. In June 2006, in Multan, a woman police inspector allegedly inflicted severe torture including electric shocks on a 13-year old maid, after the son of an army officer accused her of theft. The maid claimed the case had been registered after she refused to enter into relations with the man. [See also Chapter on Labour]. In September 2006, a bailiff recovered a 20-year-old female domestic employee from the home of a retired army officer in Lahore. The woman had been tied in chains after being raped. Her husband had moved a plea for her recovery before a court. In October, the Supreme Court ordered the district and sessions judge Malir, Karachi, to probe the alleged harassment of a woman, Nadra, by the taluka nazim of Kunri in Umerkot district and submit a report within four weeks. The woman had alleged the
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nazim was pressurising her and threatening to abduct her young daughters. A prayer leader who had signed a false marriage certificate and four witnesses to a marriage were arrested on the premises of the Supreme Court in Lahore in December 2006, during the hearing of a case in which a peasant member of the Wagah Town Council, Basharat Husain, was accused by the father of his maid servant of raping her. The court had taken suo motu notice of a letter written by the girls father. It rejected claims by the councillor that he had married the girl after police reported the marriage certificate he had produced was fake. In September, Bilquis Bibi, an attendant at a government school in Lahore, complained that the deputy district education officer (female), had subjected her to abuse, physical violence and threats in order to pressurise her to work as domestic help at her home, in addition to her official duties. An inquiry was ordered.

Growing poverty and the rights of women


According to studies conducted both locally and internationally, poverty had a particularly adverse impact on women. With at least 25 to 30 percent of the population in Pakistan living below the poverty line and many others hovering precariously above it, women disproportionately shared the burden of poverty, which had a twofold impact. On the one hand, the workload of women increased in a bid to ensure family survival, while at the same time their share in food and nutrition intake decreased further. The inadequate calorie intake of women and high levels of anaemia was only one manifestation of the effect of poverty on their well-being. Strains on family income, as a consequence of a loss of job or illness, often meant cuts in expenditure on girls and women, including education and healthcare. Pakistans dismal maternal and infant mortality figures, low levels
A heavy load.

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of literacy among women and other indicators reflected the plight of most women in the country. [See also Chapters on Education and Health].

Violence against women


Institutionalized violence, in the form of discriminatory laws and official attitudes reflected in the reluctance to pass legislation that could protect women against violence, contributed to the many incidents in which women were beaten, raped or murdered. HRCP found no evidence of any decrease in the rate of crimes committed against women. Some violent crimes, including incidents of the rape of minor girls, increased. Records maintained by HRCP showed violent crimes were committed against at least 1,821 women from January to December 15, 2006. The crimes included murder, rape, mutilation, burning and other offences. In 2005 at least 1,726 women auffered similar violence. There was no improvement in the situation regarding punishment of those guilty of such crimes. Indeed, it was observed that the fact that most culprits walked away without punishment acted only to encourage further acts of violence. Encouragingly, for activists who had campaigned for decades to place the issue of violence against women in the mainstream of national debate, there was increased discussion on discrimination and violence against women, their lack of empowerment and their social status, which played a key part in incidents of violence. The debate on the Hudood laws, on television channels and on other forums, played a part in raising awareness about crimes committed against women. There was also a marked increase in the number of cases involving the forced conversion to Islam of women belonging to minority communities, with this form of violence emerging as a bigger threat than during previous years. Fear of violence, intolerance and discrimination forced many women to convert. The trend was to kidnap or lure away a girl, get her converted and admitted to a madrassah. A number of cases of such conversions during the period under review were followed by HRCP. [See Chapter on Freedom of thought, conscience and religion].

The hold of tradition


Many crimes against women continued to be committed in the name of tradition. Attempts by orthodox elements to enforce total segregation at times had catastrophic consequences. In April, 21 women and eight children were crushed to death and scores injured in a stampede inside a three-storey madrassah in Karachi where a large number of women were present for a weekly gathering. Male rescuers, who arrived in ambulances, were prevented by madrassh security staff from moving the injured women to hospitals. The same situation had arisen in some areas following
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the earthquake of October 8, 2005, with communities preventing male doctors from treating women. The giving away of women to settle a dispute between men, as in the practices of swara and vani continued despite the fact that they were specifically barred by law. The expansion in the number of tribal jirgas held across the country promoted crimes committed against women on the grounds of tradition. In April, a jirga in Upper Dir announced that anyone reporting an honour killing case to the police or filing a case with the court would be killed. A week earlier the same jirga had delivered a verdict stating the killing of a couple who had married of their own free will was permissible. While NGOs and mainstream political and religious parties criticised the verdict, and senior police officials in the area maintained honour killings would continue to be treated as a crime, there was no official action against those who had given out the call for murder. There was also evidence that in a relatively new trend, young women being handed over as swara in the NWFP faced a growing risk of murder. In September 2006, the deaths of three young women, in mysterious circumstances in various parts of the NWFP were recorded. Their families alleged they had been murdered by in-laws to whom they had been handed over as swara. In September 2006, it was reported the Peshawar High Court had, a few weeks previously, granted bail to five people, including a prayer leader, who had handed over a three-month-old baby girl as swara to the rival family. Despite a 2004 ban on such tribunals by the Sindh High Court, jirgas continued to be held across the province. From January to June 2006, at least 50 such jirgas were held. In May 2006, in Murad Satthar village of Shikarpur, a jirga ordered a father, Mohammad Ramzan, to hand over two daughters aged nine and one as compensation for money owed to a local feudal lord for three buffaloes. Fortunately for the girls, the SHC intervened and barred the transaction. A few weeks earlier, five small girls in Jacobabad district were given away in marriage to settle a dispute which arose because male relatives had been involved in a killing committed nine years earlier, before the girls were even born. In June 2006, a nine-year old girl from Jacobabad, Wahida, was deemed to be of the same value as a consignment of rice. The girl was given away in vani marriage by her father, Jan Mohammad, to Abdul Sattar, 60. The settlement was made as Jan Mohammad was the guarantor for a consignment of rice, costing Rs 50,000, which
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had been bought from Abdul Sattar on credit by a friend. Police arrested Jan Mohammad and Abdul Sattar, and removed the girl from Sattars home, after details of the case were published. The number of women given away under customs of swara or vani was not known. However, as increased awareness led to more cases reaching the media and greater research. It was reported in October 2006 that the number of women given away in such exchanges in the NWFP could be higher than expected. But there was also new found resistance to the tyranny of tradition by women themselves. In November 2005, Amna Niazi, 22, a masters student in a village in Mianwali, her two sisters and two cousins refused to honour marriages that took place in 1996, when they were aged between six and 13 years. An uncle of the girls had shot a man and a jirga had ordered that the five girls be handed over as vani. When they refused to comply, the jirga ordered that they be abducted, raped or killed. The father, supported by civil society organizations, since paid the blood money and refused to hand over his daughters. In April 2006, another woman in Mianwali, Naheed Akhtar, 24, rebelled against a decision agreed when she was only one year old. At the time she was promised as a bride in a settlement of a murder case through vani. Naheed filed a police petition against the man selected to be her husband and also against her own father for selling her rights in order to gain a lesser penalty for the crime in which he and his brother had been involved. Other, similar cases of women refusing to be handed over as vani have been reported. In December 2005, when HRCP office-bearers visited Mianwali to mark international human rights day, they found growing opposition to practices such as vani, most notably among women. In March, it was reported from Mianwali that two girls, Kalsoom Bibi and Nusrat Bibi, who had several years earlier obtained, with HRCP support, a court order granting them khula from men to whom they had been given as vani in their infancy, were facing grave difficulties in getting married. The local nikkah khawan refused to soleminise their marriage, on the grounds that they were in fact already married women. In July, the Supreme Court, hearing a case in Lahore, ordered the arrest of four persons present at the court who were accused of surrendering an eight year-old-girl to the custom of vani. The incident had taken place in Bhakkar district in 2004, when after a young couple eloped, a local panchayat ordered that the eight-year-old sister of the boy, Shamim, be given as vani to the 15-year-old brother of the young woman who had eloped. Despite a Supreme Court ruling in December 2003 that allowed adult Muslim
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women to marry by choice, attempts by young women to choose their own marriage partners continued to result in violence. The stories of at least ten such couples were reported during the period under review. Many remained on the run for months, fearing death at the hands of the family of the woman. In at least six other cases courts allowed couples who had married by choice to live together. In December 2006, a newly-wed couple, Farhana and her husband Basheer Ahmed Solangi, appealed to the superior judiciary at a press conference in Hyderabad to provide them protection as a jirga of the Solangi clan had declared them karo-kari and ordered that they be killed. The couple also called on authorities to release some relatives who were being held hostage. In April, a district and sessions judge in Hyderabad in Sindh finally set free a young couple, Sodi 23, and her husband, Abdul Hakeem Khashkeli, 26, after five years in jail. The court ruled their marriage was valid. The couple, who wed of their own free choice in October 2001, were arrested on charges of adultery and jailed in separate prisons after Sodis father accused Abdul Hakeem of abducting her. Other traditional practices, including the marriage of children and of watta satta marriages, in which two men marry each others sisters, continued to be reported from across the country. In December 2006, an 18-year-old girl, Kausar Bibi, was kidnapped by ten people who stormed her house in Lodhran, following a dispute over a watta satta marriage. An F.I.R was registered. A month previously, in November, a sessions court in Lahore sentenced a man, Zulfikar Ali, to a jail term for luring away and marrying a 12-year-old girl. The girl was sent home with her parents who had filed a petition. In its 2006 annual report, UNICEF stated that 32 percent of women in Pakistan between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before the age of 18. In July, police in Shahdadpur in Sanghar arrested two feudals who had presided over a jirga in which it was decided a peasant was to give his two infant daughters in marriage to the infant sons of Sohrab Rind, for a loan of Rs 25,000. Honour killings There was no decline in the number of honour killings reported from across the country. According to figures compiled by HRCP, at least 565 women were killed for honour across the country from January to Decewmber 31, 2006. A number of men were also killed alongside them in karo-kari killings. 60 of the victims were minor
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girls. At least 475 of the murders were carried out after accusations of illicit relations. The accused persons had been apprehended and an F.I.R registered in only 128 of these cases. 287 such murders were documented by HRCP in 2005. The increase noted in 2006 was due at least in part to expanded data collection by HRCP. HRCP continued its policy of compiling figures only from credible sources. Other NGOs provided figures of crimes against women far higher that those of HRCP, which are not disputed by HRCP. The data collected by HRCP may be only the tip of the iceberg. Some of the cases of honour killing reported during the year in the Press and sent in by HRCP activists were specially gruesome. A father slit the throats of his four daughters in a village near Multan in December 2005, because he believed that the eldest daughter, Muqadas Bibi, 25, had stained the family honour by marrying of her own choice. He feared that his other three minor daughters, aged 12, 8 and 4, could also follow in her footsteps. The father was arrested. In May 2006, 14-year-old Noor Jehan was shot at point blank range in her village near Jacobabad in Sindh by her cousin, who accused her of being a kari (black woman). She survived the attack, but died days later in hospital due to a stomach infection caused by a bullet. Five people including a teenaged couple who married against their families will were killed by relatives in their village in Sindh in August. The couple Kamalan and Allah Rakhio both 18 and from rival clans, had married about three months previosuly after eloping. They were killed days after returning from Karachi to their village in an attack in which three other relatives of the boy were also gunned down. A woman was shot dead by her husband on the pretext of honour in her village in district Shikarpur at the end of October. According to reports, accused Mir Hazar Jaffery suspected his wife had illicit relations with his cousin. He opened fire on her, killing her on the spot, and fled. Similar cases were reported across the country. It was believed many other such deaths went unreported. Officially, the figure of at least 1,000 women killed each year in the name of honour continue to be cited in the National Assembly and at other forums during debates on the issue of the rights of women. The interior ministry recorded more than 4,100 honour killings between 2000 and 2004. Domestic violence Official attitudes to domestic violence were reflected in comments made by a
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minister on the floor of the National Assembly in August 2006 [See Women and the law]. The Prevention of Violence Against Women Bill, 2003, moved in the Punjab Assembly remained pending. According to the studies conducted over the past several years and the complaints received by HRCP, it was obvious the rate of domestic violence was extremely high. Studies in previous years by international human rights watchdog bodies had estimated nearly 70 percent of women in the country suffered domestic violence in some form. Data compiled by HRCP indicated at least 74 women had suffered domestic violence from January to December 31, 2006. It was believed the vast majority of cases went unreported. [See also section on Shelter for Women]. 59 cases had been reported in 2005. It was reported from Sukkur in August 2006 that five women from the Panno Aqil area had killed themselves over the past five days because of the torture they suffered at the hands of their husbands. In December 2005 a Domestic Violence Counter was established by the Punjab police. Initially based at a male police station, it was shifted in 2006 to a womens police station. This however brought about only a marginal increase in the very small number of complaints it had received since its inception. Burnings Domestic violence inflicted on women included beatings, torture and mutilation. Stove-burning, in which women were set alight often on the pretext of a kitchen accident, however remained one of the most widespread forms of such abuse. According to figures compiled by HRCP, 43 women died in 2006 after being set on fire. Another 24 died in stove burning accidents bringing the total of those killed to 66. Nine more died in other burning incidents. It was feared a number of the deaths described by relatives as accidental could be cases of murder. In 32 cases in which women had been set on fire, husbands or in-laws were accused of committing the crime. HRCP had documented 80 cases of burning in 2005, including 26 cases of women who had been set alight. Activists of the AGHS Legal Aid Cell met at least 70 female burn victims at the Mayo and Services hospitals in Lahore in 2006. At least 29 of the victims died as a result of their injuries. AGHS noted that generally no F.I.Rs were lodged in cases reported to be accidental. Some of the most harrowing cases reported in the Press and documented by
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AGHS and HRCP were as follows: In February, Shehnaz Bibi, 28, died as a result of severe burn injuries across 75 percent of her body at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore. A visiting AGHS activist was told by the victims family she had been set alight by her husband, who poured kerosene over her and set it ablaze. The couple fought frequently about their failure to have a child. A 35-year-old woman, Mussarat, was reported in May to be fighting for her life at a hospital in Lahore after being set ablaze by her husband. Her husband of 12 years, Abdul Majeed, had set her on fire after an argument, during which he also stated he was divorcing her. The fight accelerated when she refused to leave her home. During the same month, the family of a 30-year-old woman, Naheed Akhtar Tahirkheli, continued to seek the arrest of those they alleged had killed her. The woman had died of burn injuries suffered at the home of her sister-in-law. Her parents stated she had been murdered and had not committed suicide, as claimed. In July, Saadia, 18, died at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore. She had initially stated she had attempted suicide, but later stated her husband had burned her. The victims mother lodged a case of murder against the girls husband, Naveed who she said had burnt her. AGHS activists were told by the victims mother she had married Naveed of her own free will a short time before her death. In September, a mother in Karachi, Nighat, continued her quest to gain justice for the murder of her daughter. Nighat said her young daughter, Amna, had been set ablaze and murdered by her husband, Asif Maqbool, who had beaten and tortured her through the two years of their marriage. No arrest had been made in the case even weeks after the incident. Many cases of burning went unreported, while the lack of adequate burn treatment facilities at hospitals contributed to the problem and the suffering of victims. Acid attacks The increase in the rate of acid attacks seen over the past five years continued. Disfiguring and severely injuring women by hurling acid on them was increasingly used as a means to settle disputes over matrimonial matters or other issues. In some cases, entire families were targetted. Some of the women received assistance as a result of the growing international attention the brutal attacks had received. A number of women were treated by local philanthropic organizations working with foreign experts. HRCP recorded 13 cases of acid throwing from January to December 15, 2006, claiming 22 victims. 20 of teh victims were women and three among them were minor
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girls. Ten women, including four minor girls, became victims of such attacks in 2005. At least four of the persons accused of the crime in 2006 had been arrested, and F.I.Rs registered in most cases. Some of the cases were as follows: In April 2006, Rabia, a student at a university in Lahore, was attacked by two men who hurled acid on her face as she stood outside her college. The girl, who was rushed to hospital, had received burns across her face and neck. The attackers fled away on a motorbike. The motive for their heinous act was unknown. Two young men were arrested by police a few days later. In January 2006, it was reported that Saira Bibi, a young woman from Okara, had been hospitalized at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore for seven months, after suffering severe acid burns to her face, chest and arm. Her husband, a narcotics addict, had thrown a bottle of acid on her following a dispute over his wish to sell their small house. In April, 17 members of a family were burned when acid was thrown on them The victims were all members of the family of Shamim Mai, 20, who had eloped with Muhammad Rafiq a few days befire the incident. Her relatives attacked Rafiqs house. Those present at the house, including Rafiq, allegedly hurled acid at the agressors in retaliation, and injured 17 people.. Mutilation Several incidents of grotesque mutilation and torture of women, most often by close family members, were reported during the period under review. It was believed many other cases went unreported. HRCP recorded 14 cases of amputation and 31 of serious injuries inflicted on women in 2006. The persosn accused of the crime had not been arrested in most of the cases.

More and more women suffered brutal violence.

This number compared to seven cases of the amputation that had been reported in 2005, and as such represented an increase in incidents of such brutality. There were also two incidents in 2006 in which the heads of women had been
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shaved. Some of the cases reported during the period under review are as follows: In May 2006, in the Dera Ghazi Khan district, Ayesha, 18, was brutally mutilated by her husband of two months, Eisa Khan Khosa. He had accused Ayesha of having an affair with her cousin, after which she had gone to live with her brother. However her husband and his brother visited her there, took her to a field, tied her to a post and slit her nose and lips. They also inflicted other cuts with a knife across her body. The girl was taken to the Dera Ghazi Khan district hospital. In November 2005, Shamim Mai, from Bahawalpur, was admitted to the Bahawal Victoria Hospital, in a critical condition. Her brother, Bashir, with four accomplices, had chopped off her legs, after she contracted a marriage of her own free will. One of the assailants, Faiz Rasool, was reported to be a union councillor. Ahmed Nawaz Shah Khagga, son of district PML chief, was in February 2006 accused of slashing the tongue of his wife, Shazia, in a bid to grab her property. He had locked her in a room in his house in Sahiwal and allegedly subjected her to severe torture. He was able to escape during an appearance at a local court. The hands of two sisters were reported to have been amputated in Bahawalpur in November by the husband of one of the young women, Zahida. Aslam was stated to have become angered over his wifes decision to visit her sister. He went to their house with his brother, and amputated the hands of both women. The two men fled after the crime. Murder Women, as in previous years, were murdered for a wide range of reasons, from disputes over property to domestic discord within homes. Many of the crimes were carried out on the pretext of honour, in the hope of receiving more lenient treatment from the police and the courts. HRCP recorded 389 murders of women from press clippings from January to December 15, 2006. New cases were reported each day. 254 cases of the murder of women were documented in 2005. The women who died varied in age, in class and in place of residence. Most of the victims were aged under 45 years, with the largest number of deaths motivated by domestic discord. Rape Cases of rape and gang-rape continued to be reported in the press. There was an increase in incidents of the rape of minor girls, with several horrifying
214 State of Human Rights in 2006

cases reported during the period under review. This suggested a growth in violence against the most vulnerable of citizens. HRCP recorded cases of the rape of 420 women and the gang-rape of 424 from January to December 15, 2006. It was thought many other crimes went unreported. 115 victims of gang-rape and 185 who suffered rape were minor girls. In October 2006, the NGO Sahil, monitoring child abuse in the country, reported at least 213 minor girls had been gang-raped in the first half of 2006. [See also Chapter on Children]. According to HRCP data, there had been 206 cases of gang-rape and 172 of rape in 2005. Some of the cases reported during the period under review were as follows: A student of Bahauddin Zakariya University, in Khanewal, was gang-raped by a fellow student and his accomplices in January 2006. An attempt was made to hush-up the matter until the Punjab chief minister ordered an inquiry and the arrest of the rapists. Some of the worst cases of rape involved small girls. In March, the body of six-year-old Asia was found in Lahore. She had been kidnapped by unknown assailants, gang-raped and then murdered, at least 24 hours after she had been abducted. Another small girl, Mahwish, eight years, was found dead in Faisalabad after violent rape in April; 2006, while a four-year-old was killed after rape in Sialkot in February.. In May, another six-year-old, Shamim, was found dead in Rawalpindi after rape. The child had been abducted from her tent outside the gypsy colony where they lived, and strangulated after rape. The 16-year-old daughter of a South African national was raped in Islamabad in August, at a guesthouse where the family was staying. In August 2006, HRCP investigated a case of kidnapping and alleged rape. Ghazala Shaheen, a young woman from a village near Kabirwala in the southern Punjab, was picked up along with her mother Mumtaz Mai. Some reports said influential persons in the area belonging to upper castes, had become infuriated after Ghazala Shaheen, from a low caste, announced she had passed her MA in the first class. Others attributed the incident to enmity between rival clans. The women were forcibly taken away from their home, held in captivity for several days and subjected to rape. It was alleged police and the local administration had attempted to cover up the incident, to shield a federal minister whose henchmen were alleged to be involved in the crime. In January, a young woman who had been abducted by ten people from her village
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in Jhang in May 2005 and gang-raped threatened to commit suicide along with her three children if the perpetrators of the crime were not apprehended. Another family of a rape victim, a young school teacher who had allegedly been assaulted by a relative of a prayer leader in Lahore a few weeks earlier, also threatened self-immolation in front of the Lahore Press Club, to draw attention to their plight. They stated they were being threatened by local influentials and pressurised not to pursue the matter. In November, Noor Jehan, at a press conference in Lahore, appealed to police to help apprehend the persons who had raped her two young daughters in Pakpattan and also kidnapped her son to deter the family from pursuing the matter. She alleged the crime had been committed with the connivance of a police officer. Kidnappings It was difficult to ascertain the true number of women who had been kidnapped, since cases of abduction were often registered by the families of girls who had eloped. Official figures showed there had been 9,209 kidnappings in 2005. No break up was given for women or children. [See also Chapter on Law and Order]. According to figures collected by HRCP, there was however a distinct increase in the trend. More women and young girls were also kidnapped for ransom. According to this data, 891 women were reported to have been kidnapped in 2006. 12, including seven minor girls, had been kidnapped for ransom. There had been 630 cases of kidnapping in 2005. In other cases, girls belonging to minority groups were kidnapped and forcibly converted. There were 20 reported incidents of the kidnapping of Christian women and two of the abduction of Hindu women. [See Chapter on Freedom of Thought, conscience and religion]. In June 2006, two college girls kidnapped for ransom in Sangla Hill were freed by police a few days later from a house in Lahore. The members of the gang responsible for abducting them were also held. Molestation and stripping In July 2006 a female student present at the campus of the Karachi University was lured away by a male staff member of the university and his accomplices. She was molested and an attempt made to assault her. HRCP conducted a fact-finding into the case and called for a full investigation. Other cases of molestation or harassment of women were reported from across
216 State of Human Rights in 2006

the country. It was believed most however went unreported. In September 2006, five men in the Khanewal district attacked a widow, stripped her naked and then paraded her around in the village bazaar, apparently because her son had teased a relative of one of the assailants. Two of the three men were later arrested.

Violence in custody
The case of Sonia Naz, the young woman who had alleged rape by policemen in a bid to prevent her continuing her search for her husband who had been arrested in Faisalabad in 2004, continued to make its way through the courts. The story of Sonia Naz, who had first been arrested when she entered parliament early in 2005 to draw attention to the case of her husband, re-emerged after the young woman was subjected to rape on the orders of a senior policeman in Faisalabad a short time later. Sonia sought shelter at Dastak in Lahore and moved the courts with the support of NGOs and activists. In October 2006, taking suo motu cognizance of news reports about the victims sufferings at the hands of the accused police officials, a three-member bench of Supreme Court ordered a two-member panel of senior police officers to probe Sonias allegations that SP Khalid Abdullah, Inspector Jamil Chisti and eight other policmen had raped and tortured her. The two accused men had been released on bail in November 2005, and Sonia had alleged that since then she had been threatened and an attempt made to kidnap her two small children. On the basis of the report submitted by the two-member panel set up to inquire into the matter, the SC ordered an F.I.R to be lodged and then intervened for the arrest of the two main accused. Sonia Naz was not granted police protection, despite her repeated requests.. This was not the only case in which policemen were accused of inflicting violence on women or subjecting them to sexual assault. In September 2005, a police officer was arrested in Rawalpindi after a woman stated four policemen had entered her home, beaten and then gang-raped her. She stated they were attempting to extract a bribe for the release of her husband, who had been arrested previously. Police violence against women extended to those attempting to make their grievances known. In May, while attempting to prevent a demonstration by brick kiln labourers, police dragged Ghulam Fatima, general secretary of the All Pakistan Kiln Workers Association, on to the road, tore her clothes and severely manhandled her, in the presence of many journalists. Women in jails also faced brutality, while suffering greatly due to the lack of
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healthcare facilities, clean water or other basic amenities. [See Chapter on Jails and prisoners].

Trafficking of women
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reported in its annual report in 2006 that Pakistan, alongside India, was a major country of destination for trafficked women and girls and also a transit point into the Middle East. The displacement of people and separation of families raised new risks of the trafficking of vulnerable women and children, following the earthquake of October 2005. The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other international agencies conducted several programmes to raise awareness about trafficking in the chaotic months following the quake. The US State Department, in its Trafficking in Persons report for 2006, noted Pakistan was a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation, involuntary servitude, and servitude as child camel jockeys. It stated that Pakistani women and men migrate voluntarily to Gulf states, Iran, Turkey, and Greece for work as domestic help or construction workers; but some of these persons could find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude when faced with overwhelming recruitment and transportation fees, restrictions on their movement, non-payment of wages and physical or sexual abuse. The report stated Pakistani girls were reportedly trafficked to the Gulf for sexual exploitation. The increased trafficking of such women led to some Gulf states imposing new restrictions on Pakistani women travelling to their countries. According to the US State Department, women and children from Bangladesh, India, Burma, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan were also trafficked to Pakistan for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. In addition, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, and Burmese women were trafficked through Pakistan en route to the Gulf or Greece. Pakistan faced a significant internal trafficking problem reportedly involving thousands of women and children trafficked from rural areas and sold to settle debts and disputes or forced into sexual exploitation, forced labour or marriage. The sale of women in open markets, mainly in the NWFP, continued.

Suicide by women
According to figures compiled by HRCP, at least 2,058 persons, including 728 women, committed suicide from January to December 15, 2006. There were also 1,701 cases of attempted suicide, including 753 by women.
218 State of Human Rights in 2006

Domestic problems were cited as the reasons for suicide in the largest number of cases. HRCP had recorded 988 cases of suicide, including 341 by women, in 2005. Whereas stepped up efforts by HRCP to compile data from more districts was one of the factors for the upsurge in the number of deaths reported, it was also apparent a larger number of women were claiming their own lives, as compared to previous years. Findings that the rate of mental illness including depression was on the rise among women were relevant to these findings. [See Chapter on Health]. Several cases of suicide are listed below: Other similar cases were reported from around the country throughout the period under review, with financial and domestic distress often a key factor in the decisions made by women. A woman in Gujrat, Zahida, committed suicide in April by jumping into a canal, along with her three children. She had faced domestic discord for many months.
A young girl in Lahore, Sumera, committed suicide by swallowing pills in May, after her parents turned down a proposal from a man the victim wished to marry. In Sargodha, in June, three young sisters, Rukshana, 23, Humera, 20 and Sana 16, committed suicide collectively by swallowing poison after a row with their mother over a domestic issue.

A 45-year-old woman in Mardan, Shakila, committed suicide by hanging in August, apparently due to the familys growing financial problems.

Many other such accounts of suicide came in through the year.

Shelter for women


The Darul Amans, based in cities around the country, offered the main place of shelter for women caught up in legal cases. The shelters were run by the social welfare departments and were often no better than prisons. Women were denied the right to free movement and there were widespread reports of abuse and rights violations at the hands of the administrations of these shelters. In July, three women, Kulsoom, Raheela and Ramzana, who escaped from the Darul Aman at Faislabad, alleged they had been subjected to abuse and torture by the administration. After the escape, seven other women approached the courts asking to be permitted to return to their parents because of the attitude of staff at the shelter. There were also disturbing reports that the Sindh government was planning to shut down the Darul Aman in Karachi. Shelter remained an urgent need of women unable to live at home. Shelters did not
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offer a solution, but did provide immediate protection and short-term relief to women facing violent situations. HRCP held that in the longer-term, only empowerment and recognition of their rights and dignities could protect women from violence. It also emphasized that the guidelines for shelters must build in the protection element for women, while ensuring their basic rights, including those to movement and association, were not infringed. Apart from the social-welfare run institutions, some shelters were run by private organizations or charitable concerns. Many of these shelters faced difficulties in terms of premises where they could be securely based. The expanded official focus on the issue did however produce some results. The ministry of women development stated in the middle of 2006 that it was managing and operating crisis centres in different cities of Pakistan to provide support to women in distress and rehabilitate the survivors of violence. Ten crises centers were said to be operational in Islamabad, Lahore, Sahiwal, Vehari, Rawalpindi, Mianwali, Peshawar, Kohat, Quetta and Karachi. More were planned. These crises centers were run in collaboration with some NGOs, particularly those engaged in philanthropic work. A shelter house attached to the crisis centre in Islamabad provided residence to women facing situations of violence. Information about the crisis centres was not widely disseminated and they did not address the need for a safe place to stay for women facing violence. It was stated in September 2006 that at least 293 suppressed women from all across Sindh had registered their complaints during the previous eight months at the Women Crisis Centre, Karachi. Domestic violence was the commonest complaint. At meetings, workshops and other forums experts continued to call for an increase in the shelters available to women in distress.

Recommendations
1 The government of Pakistan must take a holistic approach to enhancing the status of women and draw up comprehensive policies for combatting violence against women. Selective and piecemeal measures will not advance the rights of women nor will this be effective in ending gender-based violence. 2. As a first step, all discriminatory laws against women must be reformed so that women have equal rights in all spheres criminal law, family matters, citizenship and laws of evidence. 3. Laws alone are not sufficient to undo centuries of political, social and economic disempowerment of women. The government and policy-makers must not only pledge
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themselves to support the rights of women but also follow this up with concrete measures, including the following: a) Ensure that the representation of women is enhanced at all levels. In addition a more creative methodology of representation needs to be introduced, so that not only the quantity but the representative nature of women parliamentarians and local representatives improves. In this regard policymakers could consider the recommendations given in the Womens Commission reports. b) Civil society should form partnerships and closely engage women councillors in their activities. This will build their capacity and the confidence required to make a meaningful contribution to local communities. c) The government should ensure women councillors are allocated resources and given political support to carry out their functions. d) A strict ban must be placed on employment of child workers in the domestic workplace. A media campaign should build public opinion supporting the law. e) Legal aid services should be extended to domestic workers so that they can defend themselves against abuse and sue for compensation as well. f) The government must issue a notification for regulating sale of acid. All purchasers of such corrosive substances should be authorized and registered with retailers. g) The Ordinance of 2001, inserting section 174-A to the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 should be followed. Police stations, doctors and the general public should be made aware of it. This says that the dying statement of a burn victim recorded by a medical officer will be accepted in court as a dying declaration; a medical officer or a police officer on duty is to immediately report a serious burn case to the nearest magistrate who may record the victims statement if there is enough time. h) The government should collect gender specific data on: i. ii. Death penalty for women Murder of women

iii. Rape and gang-rape including ages of the victims. iv. FIRs on acid burns or stove burning of women.
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v.

Honour killings

vi. Domestic violence The NGOs should follow up cases as far as possible. 4. The law enforcement agencies should be trained by human rights activists and lawyers so that they are more responsive to the special needs of women. The training must include interaction with victims and sensitization to the various forms of violence and sexual harassment which are punishable by law. 5. Shelters are not a solution but preventive measures or short term remedies for the protection of women. The objective of shelters should be to protect and promote the human rights of women and not become an instrument to make them invisible and inaccessible. As such all shelters run by governments, religious bodies, NGOs or private entities must make their guidelines public. Under no circumstances should shelters impose bans on the movement or association of their female guests/visitors. The superior courts should be urged to respect the fundamental rights of women.

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Children
No child below the age of 14 years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment. Constitution of Pakistan Article 11 (3) The state shall protect the marriage, the family, the mother and the child. The state shall make provisions for ... ensuring that children ... are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age ... Article 37(e) ... Childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Preamble In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration. Article 3(1)

With at least 50 percent of its population below the age of 18 years, the government of Pakistan did little to implement national laws and international standards relating to children during the period under review. After the October 2005 earthquake, the plight of children living in affected parts of the NWFP and AJK worsened considerably. Sanitation, health, education, child abuse and child labour endangered children across the country. UNICEFs 2007 annual report on the State of the Worlds Children, rated Pakistan
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at 47th place among 157 countries in terms of basic indicators for child welfare.

Conditions of childhood
Mortality and malnourishment In its State of the Worlds Children Report for 2007, released in December, UNICEF stated 500,000 children in Pakistan died each year before reaching the age of five years. Save the Children reported that out of every 100 children born, nine would die before their first birthday. The government of Pakistan, in the Economic Survey for 2005-2006, acknowledged that Pakistan lagged well behind other countries in the region with respect to indicators on the situation of children. According to the report, i n f a n t mortality for 2003 stood at 74 per thousand live births, and under-five mortality at 98 per 1000 live births. The Facing an uncertain future. figures were the worst in South and East Asia. Infant mortality in India and Bangladesh was 63 and 46 respectively per every 1000 live births. In terms of under-five mortality too, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka all showed figures considerably better than Pakistans. East Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines stood still further ahead. Save the Children reported that approximately one-third of the population in Pakistan lived in poverty, 70 million did not have access to health facilities and these realities particularly affected the health of children. With only 54 percent of the population using adequate sanitation facilities, according
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to official figures, children remained at high risk of disease. The target of eradicating polio remained unmet, but the situation improved over the previous year. [See Chapter on Health]. In January 2006 at least 17 children died of measles in different areas in and around Chaman in Balochistan and another 60 children were admitted to hospital for treatment. Outbreaks of measles were also reported from Sindh. Education Save the Children reported that 22 million, or nearly 50 percent, of the 40 million children between the ages of 5-14 living in Pakistan were not in school. Some had never attended school while others dropped out before completing their primary education. There was a large disparity between the numbers of boys and girls receiving elementary education in Pakistan. In their 2004-2005 survey on education, the Federal Bureau of Statistics reported that 21,333,000 boys were enrolled in elementary school compared to 9,082,000 girls. The Economic Survey for 2005-2006 stated that the Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM) carried out in 2004-2005 at the district level showed vast disparity in the enrollment rate at schools in various parts of the country. For example, whereas net enrollment was measured at 85 percent in Karachi, 84 percent in Sialkot and 70 percent in Abbotabad, it fell to 38 percent in Bahawalpur, 24 percent in Kohistan and a dismal 19 percent in Killa Abdulla in Balochistan. The literacy rate among women and girls was officially stated to be 40 percent. However, some non-official estimates placed it at around 32 percent. [See also Chapter on Education].

Children at peril
Crimes against children Children continued to be made the victims of violent crimes, with the rate of kidnapping for ransom rising across the country. According to data compiled by HRCP and based on its record of press clippings, at least 500 cases of aggression against children were reported during the period under review. Some of the worst cases were as follows:
In November 2005, a seven-year-old boy was kidnapped, sodomised and later strangulated to death in Rawalpindi, after his parents sent him out to buy some sweets from a nearby shop.

In March 2006, a three-year-old boy was assaulted and strangulated in Quetta. The father of the child told the press that he did not have any enmity with anyone. The

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boy disappeared after his father sent him out to buy some sweets from the shop.
In May, a 14-year-old boy was attacked by an unidentified group of people who poured petrol on him and set him on fire in broad daylight in Karachi. In June, a ten-year old boy was sodomized and burnt alive by strangers on his way to a market in Lahore.

There was also a marked increase in the number of cases of kidnapping for ransom. In 2005, nine cases of kidnapping for ransom were being reported on average every month in the Punjab. (Dawn, 19 November, 2005) In the first six months of 2006, there were 12 high profile cases of kidnapping for ransom in Rawalpindi only. Most cases involved school children (Dawn, 12 June, 2006) Other cases took place around the country. In February 2006, a four-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped near Daska, in Sialkot district. In March, a 10-year-old boy from Rawalpindi was abducted and killed. In April, another boy, 3, from a village near Sialkot was kidnapped then murdered. In April, a two-year-old girl was kidnapped for ransom, then tortured and killed in Karachi. In June, a class-III student was kidnapped for ransom, then raped and strangled to death in Rawalpindi. A particularly marked upsurge in the cases of kidnapping for ransom was reported in Balochistan. The HRCP provincial chapter reported that in 2006, 22 incidents took place across the province, 12 of them in Quetta. One of the grimmest cases was that of nine-year-old Shugufta Piracha, who was kidnapped in Quetta in March 2006. Her decomposed body was found two and a half months later. Sexual abuse Organizations working for the rights of children reported that both boys and girls remained vulnerable to abuse within and outside their homes. In its 2005 annual report, the Islamabad-based NGO Sahil, working against child sexual abuse, stated that on average five children were sexually abused in Pakistan each day. Girls were more likely to be murdered after sexual assault. 82 percent of female children who had been sexually abused suffered repeated assault over periods of time ranging from one day to six months. In October 2006, Sahil reported that according to its compilation of data, in the first six months of 2006, 1,164 children had been sexually abused. From among these victims, 213 girls had been subjected to gang-rape. Of the 1,164 reported cases, 849 victims were girls and 315 boys. Over 50 percent of the abusers were acquaintances
226 State of Human Rights in 2006

of the victims. In September 2005, a 16-year-old girl was raped by her doctor at his clinic in Karachi. A case was brought against him. During the same month, five cases of the rape of girls were reported in the Civil Hospital in Karachi. (Dawn, 7 September, 2005) Other cases of sexual abuse continued to be reported through the period under review, while the prostitution of children was also reported and was believed to be commonplace. Corporal punishment An HRCP study on corporal punishment completed in 2005 indicated that in the first six months of 2005, at least 51 children had been tortured. Another six children were reported to have suffered from other types of corporal punishment such as beatings. Corporal punishment was most often carried out by authoritative figures such as teachers and police officials. Most cases were not reported. In September 2006, the death of a pupil of Class V, Qaiser, at a government school in Lahore was widely reported, allegedly after being severely beaten by a teacher. An inquiry, made public in October, however found the child had been sick and hit his head on a bench after collapsing. In October 2005, a private school in Sheikhupura was closed for violating instructions about corporal punishment on children.

Lessons learnt or spirits broken.

In February 2006, three young girls in Gujranwala were severely beaten by their teacher for refusing to do household chores at her residence. The girls were beaten and their faces blackened before the teacher paraded them from class to class to humiliate them then sent them home in the same condition. In May 2006, a 13-year-old boy reported being brutally beaten by his teacher at a private school in Rawalpindi for not answering his question. His teacher repeatedly hit
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his head against the wall until he lost consciousness. The boy had bruises all over his body and his face was disfigured. Street children Child rights groups estimated that at least 50,000 children lived on the streets of Pakistan, most of them in major cities. The majority of these children come from homes where there were six or more children and whose parents were illiterate. Many of the street children were also addicted to drugs and had been sexually assaulted while living on the streets. During a seminar on street children organized by the Pakistan Voluntary Health and Nutrition Association in Karachi, the speakers mentioned that there were 70,000 street children in Pakistan of which 12,000 were in Karachi. It was reported that 56 percent of street children ran away from home due to domestic violence, 22 percent left because of their parents hostile behaviour and 12 percent due to their parents drug addiction. It was also reported that 63.4 percent of street children in Karachi were sexually abused and a large number were exposed to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C as well as to sexually transmitted diseases. The Society for the Protection of the Rights of Children (SPARC) reported in March 2006 that children left their homes for a number of reasons including poverty, corporal punishment at home or at school and sexual abuse. Street children were vulnerable to all types of abuse and were an easy prey for the police who arrested them for petty crimes. They were also prone to road injuries since many of them were found working and begging in and around large intersections. SPARC reported that around 80 percent of street children were sexually abused.

Children affected by the earthquake


The earthquake of October 2005 had an extremely adverse affect on thousands of children. AGHS and HRCP carried out a survey in 2006 on the situation of children in Mansehra district and noted that many faced difficult situations. A large number had been orphaned and were dependent on relatives. International agencies also reported a significant increase in child labour in quake-hit areas in the months after the quake due to the closure of schools and the loss of livelihood suffered by families. A United Nations report in February 2006 said that children in areas affected by the earthquake were vulnerable to psychological problems, crime, sexual and economic exploitation, drug use and human trafficking. It stated that women and children did not have equal access to relief services, supplies and economic opportunities. UNICEF reported at least 10,000 schools had been destroyed by the quake and many others damaged. The Pakistan government stated in some districts, including Mansehra, 90 percent of existing schools had been destroyed. The educational disaster
228 State of Human Rights in 2006

caused as a consequence had not been fully compensated for even a year after the quake, despite the efforts by local and international agencies, as well as the government, to establish formal and informal schools across the quake zone. Even a year after the quake some children remained at risk. Dozens of children were reported to have been displaced at the end of October 2006, when a shelter for women and children at Hattian in Attock district was closed down, due to differences between the ministry of social welfare and the NGO running the shelter. [See also Chapter on Environment]

Children behind bars


Official figures in April 2006 stated there were 2,011 male juveniles and at least eight female juveniles in jails across the country. Most of the juvenile detainees were under-trial prisoners. The keeping of children in custody by police was illegal under the Juvenile Justice Systems Ordinance (JJSO), which did not allow police to keep children in their custody even if they were arrested. This provision was frequently ignored, police continued to arrest children and abuse of children in police custody was frequently reported. In April 2006 press reports stated that two juveniles were arrested, beaten publicly and whipped by two police officers in Lahore, in an attempt to extort bribes from them. Juveniles were kept in fetters and handcuffs while in police custody. There were no specific reports of this practice in jails, but due to the weak independent oversight of prisons which was not institutionally built into the system, exposure of abuse was difficult. It was reported in April 2006 that three children arrested for theft were kept in chains at a police station in Karachi. One was nine-years-old and the two others 14 years. The detainees were soon released. Following the incident, the Sindh Inspector General of Police suspended 13 policemen and the Supreme Court initiated disciplinary
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actions against the policemen involved and the judicial magistrate who remanded the three juveniles to police for 14 days. The magistrates powers were suspended. Juveniles continued to be brutalized while in police custody. In April 2006, a tenyear-old boy was arbitrarily arrested in Lahore, kept in detention for 14 days, interrogated without the presence of a parent and severely beaten with a stick with nails in it. The boy was accused of car-lifting. In February 2006, 80 juveniles were among those arrested and tortured by the police in Peshawar during a protest over the publication of cartoons seen by most Muslims as blasphemous in a Danish newspaper. Those detained included a six-yearold boy who was charged under the AntiTerrorist Act. Most of the arrested juveniles were between the ages of eight and 12 years. Some were arrested in front of their houses, others on their way back from a days work or from school, some were arrested while playing cricket. The 80 juveniles stated they were tortured Rescued from a life in chains at a madrassah. while in police custody and they were produced before the court in handcuffs, a violation of the JJSO. They were released on bail the day after their arrest by two juvenile courts. In April, the Kamoki police registered a dacoity case against an eight-year-old boy. In November 2005, it was reported that many children, some aged under-10 years, had been arrested in Lahore for flying kites. A ban had been placed on the pastime a few weeks earlier, but the children were unaware of it. They were produced in court with their hands tied up. Failure to produce a challan by investigation officers continued to delay juveniles cases. In September 2005, it was reported that two juveniles arrested under the Control of Narcotic Substance Act, 1979 (CNS Act) in July 2004 had still not appeared before the special court II (CNS) dealing with the CNS Act in September 2005. The reason behind this delay was that the investigation officer had not yet submitted the charge230 State of Human Rights in 2006

sheet despite the court and the jail authorities repeated requests. International standards which stressed juveniles should only be detained as a last resort, for the minimum period of time necessary and for reformatory and rehabilitation purposes were widely disregarded. 75 percent of juveniles in jail were under-trial, and served prolonged periods in prison while awaiting court verdicts. Children were also exploited by adults for use in criminal activities, including drug trafficking.

Justice for juveniles


No separate juvenile courts had been created in the country. Under the JJSO either the provincial government or the provincial high courts were empowered to create juvenile courts or confer juvenile court authority to a session court or judicial magistrate. No court had been created and only powers conferred. However, bail was more commonly granted to children under-15 years, except for offences such as murder, narcotics or dacoity. A report on juvenile justice in Pakistan, compiled under the supervision of HRCP and AGHS, and based on interviews and research conducted over the summer of 2006, found that the current state of justice for juveniles in Pakistan hampered the well being of children who came into contact with the law. The report recommended revisions in the JJSO to cover loopholes, the promotion of non-custodial sentencing and the release of many more juveniles on bail, among other measures. In February 2006, in a majority judgement by the SHC, it was decided that a juvenile charged under the Anti-Terrorist Act would be tried by the Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATC) and not by juvenile courts. The SHC ruled that the ATC would not be bound by rules of procedure required for juvenile courts but that juveniles tried under the ATC would still receive the substantial protection of the JJSO. Children continued to languish in jail for extensive periods of time while their cases were under-trial. In the Punjab, most juveniles where kept at Borstal institutions in Faisalabad and Bahawalpur. It was reported in May 2006 that a 13-year-old boy accused of stealing cement meshing worth Rs 1,000 and sentenced to one years imprisonment was released because he had already spent one year in under-trial detention. In November 2005, it was reported that a 17-year-old accused of theft had been under-trial detention for ten months, in contravention of section 10(7) of the JJSO that provides for bail opportunities for juveniles detained for a specific period of time. Difficulties in determining a persons age, in the absence of any adequately enforced system of birth registration, complicated justice for detained juveniles, with courts in
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some cases choosing to try them as adults in the absence of certification also created difficulties.

Childhood Lost: Children at work


Although Pakistan ratified ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in 2001, children continued to be employed in all sectors. In most cases they were forced to work due to their familys financial needs. Despite being a signatory to the convention, children were found working in hazardous industries such as mining and bangle-making. Initiatives to curb child labour had limited success and that too only in specific sectors. General child labour was rampant and advocacy against the problem weak. The exact number of children working in Pakistan was very difficult to assess because the majority of children worked in the informal sector. Children employed in informal sectors were not protected by labour laws. In its quarterly labour force survey, the Federal Bureau of Statistics indicated that 25 percent of the total labour force in Pakistan, which numbered just over 50 million, was aged between 10 - 19 years. Early in 2006, it was stated at a meeting organized Small hands, tough work. by the Islamabadbased Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) that one third of the child population in Pakistan was part of the workforce. It was estimated that out of the 70 million children in the country, 25 million are working. Children were among the many bonded labourers in the country and were freed alongside adults released from bondage at brick kilns on court orders, through 2006. A newspaper report in February 2006 stated that 15-20 percent of children working in brick factories suffered damage or loss of eyesight due to hazardous working conditions.
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(Daily Times, 22 Feb. 2006) In April 2006 the ILO in collaboration with the labour ministry, launched the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) to assist children involved in rag-picking. The programme set out to create educational and skill training opportunities for children in seven districts. A research project conducted by the Thardeep Rural Development Program (TRDP), an NGO based in Tharparkar, stated in November 2005 that 12 percent of children in Tharkarpar were engaged in the carpet weaving industry, while another 39 percent were employed in household chores, and 15 percent engaged in other forms of labour, such as animal herding. Some official efforts to combat child labour were made. In November 2005, a District Coordination Committee to end child labour was established in Hyderabad district. The committee was headed by the district nazim and aimed to end child labour, especially in the glass bangle industry in which children worked with hot flames. The ILO had set aside US$0.5 million to provide educational facilities for 5,000 children working in the area.

Trafficking in children
Children affected by poverty were the most vulnerable to being trafficked, both within or outside the country. While a ban on the use of children as camel jockeys imposed in 2005 by the government of the UAE, led to a reduction in the number of children being trafficked to Gulf, the US State Department Report on Human Trafficking for 2006 said that children from Pakistan were still being sent to the Middle East. Some were used as camel jockeys in violation of the law, while others were exploited for other purposes. It was also reported that while several hundred child jockeys had been brought back to Pakistan, many others remained in the Gulf, awaiting rescue. The governmentrun Child Welfare and Protection Bureau (CWPB) in Lahore continued to house six of the 331 children who had returned through it. Others had been returned to their families, mainly in the southern Punjab. The CWPB said it continued to monitor these children and 284 others who had returned on their own. The October 8 earthquake led to an increased the number of children at risk of being trafficked. 50,000 children were orphaned or separated from their parents by the earthquake and more than 1,000 children were evacuated and sent to hospitals across the country. Soon after the disaster, Unicef reported their concern that earthquake affected children could be taken from health facilities by traffickers. In May 2006, the London-based Sundays Times reported the story of 20 Christian children from the Punjab who were kidnapped and taken to Quetta to be sold as labourers
Children 233

or for their organs. In a sting operation, the boys were rescued by Christian missionaries. Their powerful kidnapper was alleged to be linked to a major religious group. No further investigations into the incident were reported and the kidnapping charges were denied. There were also reports of an increase in the domestic trafficking of children, usually for use as beggars, forced labour or the sex trade. Girls as young as ten were sold for marriage in the southern Punjab and parts of Sindh by impoverished families.

Recommendations
1. Laws enforced to protect children, despite the weaknesses and loopholes inherent in them, have the potential to make a difference to the ground situation. However, the poor implementation of these laws, because there is no oversight set-up, means they remain largely ineffective. There is also a need to create institutional awareness about existing legislature. The JJSO rules, for example, should be widely disseminated and trainings imparted to familiarize court officials, police, jail staff and other concerned persons with their provisions. 2. The government must give priority to the issue of child protection. The Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act is only an attempt at this. There is a need for national laws that can be uniformly applied to children everywhere in the country. 3. Policy guidelines on responses to complaints about the abuse of children must be put in place. It is disturbing that despite widespread attention to the issue, complaints regarding the safety of child victims of the October 2005 earthquake met with no proper response. 4. Child labour is a huge issue. The small projects being carried out by the government with the ILO or UNICEF amount to only a drop in a vast ocean. They also create a false sense of complacency. Civil society must start a movement against child labour. 5. There is an urgent need for a law on child labour in the informal sector, where the largest number of children work, most often in the worst conditions.

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Labour
The state shall ensure the elimination of all forms of exploitation and the gradual fulfilment of the fundamental principle, from each according to his ability, to each according to his work. Constitution of Pakistan Article 3 Slavery is non-existent and forbidden and no law shall permit or facilitate its introduction into Pakistan in any form. All forms of forced labour and traffic in human beings are prohibited. No child below the age of 14 years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment. Article 11 (1-3) Every citizen shall have the right to form associations or unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or morality. Article 17(1) The state shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work ... Article 37(c) The state shall secure the well-being of the people, irrespective of sex, caste, creed and race, by raising their standard of living, by preventing the concentration of wealth and means of production and distribution in the hands of a few to the detriment of general interest and by ensuring equitable adjustment of rights between employers and employees, and landlords and tenants; provide for all citizens, within the available resources of the country, facilities for work and adequate livelihood with reasonable rest and leisure; provide for all persons, employed in the service of Pakistan or otherwise, social security by compulsory social insurance or other means; provide
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basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief, for all such citizens, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account of infirmity, sickness or unemployment; reduce disparity in the income and earnings of individuals ... Article 38(a) to (e) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 4 Everyone, as a member of society, has a right to social security .... Article 22 Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. Article 23 (1-4) Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holiday with pay. Article 24 Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Article 25(1) State parties recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the childs education, or to be harmful to the childs health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 32(1)

High rates of unemployment, coupled with inflation, meant life for labourers was difficult. Their problems were compounded by unfriendly government policies, which
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included an amendment in laws to remove the right of workers to limited hours of labour. The controversial Industrial Relations Ordinance (IRO), restricting workers rights to form unions or demand rights remained in place. The fact that many people who entered the labour market did not possess skills required by the market meant they were likely to remain without regular, full-time jobs. They therefore fell outside the protective umbrella of conventional labour market institutions and were thus excluded from the benefits of industrial relations championed by unions and from any productive partnerships within these markets. The vulnerability of this labour force was compounded by the poor implementation of laws and by the indifferent attitudes of bureaucracy towards labour even when not conniving with the management.

Distribution of the labour force


The Economic Survey for 2005-2006 showed an increase in rural sector employment, from 28.64 million in 2004-2005 to 33.18 million in 2005-2006. Urban sector employment grew from 13.11 million in 2004-05 to 14.39 million in 2005-06. The total labour force in the country was 50.89 million out of a population of 155.4 million. The agricultural sector employed most people, with its share increasing marginally from 43 percent the previous financial year to just below 45 percent. The manufacturing sector employed 13.6 percent and construction 5.9 percent. Female labour force participation showed an increase from 15.93 percent the previous financial year to 20.2 percent in 2005-2006. Most new job opportunities for women came in the agriculture, fisheries and telecom sectors. The largest chunk of female workers was however categorized as female, unpaid helpers assisting male family members in agricultural tasks or other activities.

Labour markets
The labour market continued to be divided between those who could earn a decent living wage and those who, despite working, could not escape poverty; between those protected against risk of bad health, disability, unemployment and old age and those pushed into poverty by the slightest shock; a minority that was well-educated and a majority that was poorly educated. The large majority of the labour force (approximately 70 percent of those employed in non-agricultural activities) worked in the informal sector, a number which rose to almost 80 percent when those engaged in agricultural activities were included. They constituted the rapidly growing category of the labour force working on contract or on an irregular basis or in the unorganized sector in poor working conditions, who were
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paid low wages and denied the benefits of employment security or social protection provided for in law. This category of workers might not have work throughout the year or even for most of the year, with their employment status changing frequently, at times radically. There was a high incidence of low paid female and child labour with forced participation of females and children in family enterprises. Moreover, the working/ employment conditions of women were worse than those of men. Not only was the quality of their employment poor a smaller proportion among them were regular employees a situation characterized by low pay, higher unemployment and greater concentration in a few sectors.

Labour legislation and policies


In a measure that reflected official attitudes towards labourers and also the lack of respect for democratic methods of introducing legislation, amendments in existing laws were made in June in 2006 to increase the daily working hours of labourers from eight to 12. In addition, the restriction on female labourers working beyond 10.00pm was removed and contractual work legalized. [See also Chapter on Women]. The far-reaching amendments were furtively passed under the annual finance bill in June 2006, by amending several laws that laid down conditions of employment. This effectively prevented debate in parliament or discussion at other forums on the amendments. At a press conference in Karachi in late June, HRCP, along with representatives of labour organizations, termed the amendments as illegal and in violation of international labour laws, while fearing they would lead to an expansion in the exploitation of Global policies, local problems workers. They also described the method used to introduce them as deceitful The controversial Industrial Relations Ordinance (IRO) of 2002, which severely
238 State of Human Rights in 2006

restricted the right of labourers to form bodies to collectively bargain for their rights, remained in place despite demands by labour federations that it be amended. HRCP held the IRO signified a regression in the coverage of the labour market having further diluted worker protection available under the earlier repealed versions of this law. In addition to police and the armed forces some sectors and activities specifically fell outside the scope of this law. Other than dejure exclusion, the right of association had been denied defacto to workers in agriculture, informal sector enterprises and institutions like banks, PIA, WAPDA and KESC among others, resulting in the exclusion of close to 85 percent of the total work force, thereby failing to integrate the labour market. Even among the 15 percent of workers in the formal sector, less than 17 percent were unionized and thereby protected by the IRO, 2002. These restrictions contravened ILO conventions pertaining to the universally accepted rights of workers. The Ordinance also augmented the discretionary powers of officials in the matter of registration of trade unions, but curtailed the powers of the National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC). In particular, the power it had to grant interim relief was withdrawn, thereby making it extremely difficult for workers to defend themselves against the vengeful actions of employers and their unfair labour practices. Curbs on labour inspections at factories in the Punjab and Sindh stayed in place, despite calls by the ILO to allow such visits. Policies of privatization continued in the public sector, despite protests by organizations representing workers. The draft of the Labour Protection Policy, work on which began two years previously at workshops organized by SMEDA (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, was made available in December 2005. It was noted by analysts that the long-delayed document offered little beyond the Labour Policy of 2002, and emphasized capital over labour (Dawn, December 17, 2005) New legislation introduced in the country violated provisions of 33 ILO conventions ratified by Pakistan. Labour laws were extremely poorly enforced. Employers simply bypassed the laws. The government turned a blind eye to these hidden flexible exercises while keeping the formal sector and systems intact, thereby succeeding in both stifling the noises of labour unions and keeping employers happy. Moreover, officials had limited autonomy in enforcing labour laws and the official penalty for violating laws was also nominal. For instance, the cost of violating the minimum wage law was only a fine of Rs. 200 (US$ 3.40).

Real wages and enforcement of minimum wage law


The Minimum Wage Law still did not extend to agricultural workers or government employees, which affected the efficacy of the legislation. It was not quite clear why
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the government should be exempted from the provisions of this law. Another issue with the standing minimum wage legislation was that there was no mandated way of evaluating and adjusting the minimum wage. There were no well publicized, well researched criteria on which the level of minimum wage was, or should be, based, and there were no mandated procedures for ensuring that the set minimum wage was revised periodically. These were left at the discretion of the Federal and provincial governments respectively. Using data of the governments own Labour Force Surveys it was found that elementary workers, the focus of the Minimum Wage Legislation, registered a low growth in money wages, resulting in large erosion in real wages from Rs. 2,671 in 1997/98 to Rs. 2,374 in 2003/04. The fact that according to the Labour Force Survey of 2003-04 more than a quarter of all wage earners and 14 percent of regular workers were earning less than the minimum wage prescribed in 2001 highlighted the poor implementation of the minimum wage legislation. In fact, the distribution worsened during the period 199798 to 2003-04. An analysis of the data revealed that there was hardly any bunching of wages of different groups of workers around the minimum wage. Less than seven percent of regular employees and less than four percent of other employees were in the wage bracket Rs.2,500 to Rs.2,750 for the years 2001/02 and 2003/04 A review of labour markets data also suggested a worsening labour market situation during the period 1997-98 to 2003-04, which in fact represented an extension of the trends since 1990, characterized by rising unemployment rates, a high level of underutilization of labour and inactivity rates of the educated, increasing casualisation of labour and declining real wages. The low and declining real wages attended by the casualization of the job structure provided one of the key explanations of growing poverty.

Social security and EOBI


The principal objective underlying the imposition of levies such as the EOBI and Social Security was to design schemes for the welfare of workers. If the purpose was being realized effectively some of the burden of the payees could have been lessened. Unfortunately, however, the programmes implemented under the auspices of these organizations fell well short of stated objectives. A recent study concluded that apart from the issue of poor coverage (less than four percent of the non-agricultural labour force) of EOBI and Social Security ostensibly implemented for the welfare of workers did not benefit them. Apart from distorting business incentives that encouraged employers to opt for contract labour, corruption and other inefficiencies tended to keep the returns to labour low. For instance, in the case of the Punjab ESSI the expenditure on medicines per person covered (including workers dependents) was roughly Rs. 59, while
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administrative costs were Rs. 58 per person covered, indicating the high costs and low efficiency of delivering health services to workers through the PESSI. Moreover, complaints abounded (both from workers and employers) on the quality of services provided through these institutions. Concerns were also expressed about the poor accountability mechanisms that contributed to poor staff attendance and leakage of medicines from ESSI hospitals. Another issue was the uneven representation of the principal stakeholders on the boards of these agencies. It was widely acknowledged that the governing bodies of the WWF and Social Security were unable to influence the decisions of the Board, which were manipulated by government officials or political representatives. The Boards functioned as attached departments of the Federal Ministry of Labour or Provincial Department of Labour rather than as autonomous bodies dedicated to workers welfare. The organizational and financial management structures and systems were inadequate and subjected to abuse by the arbitrary exercise of authority by government officials on matters of staffing, project selection and fund deployment. Since most labour-market entrants, particularly low-skilled workers, would remain without regular full-time jobs and therefore outside the protective umbrella of conventional labour market institutions there was a pressing need for institutional safeguards that could guarantee portable entitlements on the basis of joint employeremployee contributory schemes (to pensions and health care) to all workers contract, casual, and piece irrespective of the location or duration of their employment, without foreclosing outsourcing as an option. This required that contractors also register themselves so that their employees were not deprived of their rights.

Policies of privatization
The case of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), based at Port Muhammad bin Qasim in Karachi, and employing 20,000 workers, assumed central place through late 2005 and 2006 in the debate regarding privatization policies in Pakistan. Critics of the governments privatization initiatives, begun in the 1990s but accelerated since 2001 under Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, held that by privatizing public sector giants such as the Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation (PTCL), handed over to the UAE-based Ehtisalat at the end of 2005, the State was losing too many assets. Those favouring privatization held it brought in foreign exchange and prevented large, inefficient public sector corporations acting as a drain into which the government was forced to pour funds. The methods of privatization, with employees not taken into confidence, added to concerns regarding downsizing and the loss of security of tenure. In June 2006, BBC reported on its website that 70 percent of proceeds from privatization in Pakistan were going into government coffers, with only two percent reserved for restructuring and
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rehabilitation which included golden handshakes and re-training for workers to enable them to take up other jobs. As the process of privatizing PSM moved into top gear towards the end of 2005 under the Privatization Commission, the Pakistan Trade Unions Defence Committee (PTUDC) staged countrywide protests in December. In April 2006, after a Russian-led consortium was declared the highest bidder by the Privatization Commission, the matter came under debate in the National Assembly. Opposition legislators held that at US $362 million, the governments 75 percent stake in the company was sold off too cheaply. There was also controversy regarding the inclusion of valuable land in the sale. In June 2006, the Supreme Court blocked the sale. The privatization was referred to the court after a petitioner said the plant was a strategic asset that was being sold to the consortium in haste at a throw-away price. The SC full bench pointed to violation of law in the privatization process and declared the purchase agreement void. It ruled the case should be sent to the Council of Common Interests (CCI), a constitutional body that considered matters of national interest. Following the ruling, the CCI was constituted by President Pervez Musharraf in July, with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz as its chairperson. At its first meeting, early in August, the CCI immediately approved the privatization of the steel mills and of ten other public sector entities. The swift decision by the body, meeting on a single-point agenda, was criticized by opposition parties. Unrest over possible downsizing continued within PTCL, following privatization in 2005. 4,000 PTCL workers had been laid off in September 2005, as the privatization process continued. Downsizing also took place other sectors. In November 2005, protests were held in Multan against the laying off of over 500 the Pak Arab fertilizer factory, privatized in 2005. More then 2,000 workers were laid off by Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) in March, 2006, as part of what the banks management said were efforts to streamline the organization. Job losses occured too for other reasons. In September, 2005, 32 bangle factories shut down in Hyderabad rendering 50,000 workers jobless. According to the National Labor Federation the factory owners shut down the units without making payments due to workers. Some payments were made a few days later under pressure from workers. (The Nation, 29 September, 2005) In May, an HRCP fact-finding team looked into the illegal closure of the Dadu Sugar Mills, causing a loss of jobs for the 1,100 workers employed there. Police beat
242 State of Human Rights in 2006

Fisherfolk fight for livelihoods


The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), representing 125,000 fisherfolk and a largely impoverished community of 15 million people in Sindh, continued its struggle against contracting out rights to key fishing areas The fisherfolk, and the NGOs supporting them including HRCP, held that the reduction in fresh water flows to Sindh delta areas, deep sea trawling and the contract system introduced by the Sindh government was effectively depriving them of their livelihoods. Rallies, press conferences and meetings were staged through the period under review to draw attention to their concerns. The fisherfolk had from 1977 to the mid-1990s fished Sindhs waters under licences awarded to them. The contract system, under which fishing rights to specific areas was auctioned off to the highest bidder, had been introduced by the Sindh government in the mid-1990s. Under it, fisherfolk complained, they were forced to hand over 75 percent of their catch to the contractor. In most cases, they were also coerced into selling the remaining 25 percent at prices far below the market price to the same contractor. The PFF complained this had meant a drastic income reductions coupled with dwindling catches. Critics of the contract system held it promoted corruption among government officials, who received payments from contractors seeking to win fishing rights during the auction process. In December 2004, fisherfolk had been able to persuade authorities to end the system under which Thar Rangers who controlled fishing grounds in Badin and other areas of Sindh gave out contracts. The PFF had since continued its struggle against the contract system. In August 2006 the Sindh government extended the contract system to inland fishing areas, as the Sindh fisheries department auctioned 1,260 public waterways. The PFF complained this deprived an increasingly impoverished fishing community of its historical rights to fish from Sindhs waters. The attempts by the fisherfolk and local and international organizations allied with them were on occasion met with brute force. In June 2006, a rally organized by the PFF in Karachi was dispersed by police using tear gas and empty shells. Organizers said that while 7,000 had been expected at the rally, most were held up at pickets on the way to Karachi and forcibly turned back. [See also Chapter on Freedom of Assembly]

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up women, children and workers protesting the deprivation of jobs. In Gujranwala, 700 employees were laid off in November 2005, after the city was divided into four towns. (Dawn, 7 November, 2005) Contractual workers also faced lay-offs, while the growing issue of a lack of security of tenure remained a key concern for workers and for labour unions.

Unemployment, poverty and the search for jobs


Government claims of creating more jobs and estimates regarding a decline in unemployment continued to be challenged. There was even greater controversy over the poverty figures put out by the government. In March 2006, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz informed the National Economic Council (NEC) that poverty had declined by 6.7 per cent on the basis of calorie intake. Quoting the initial findings of the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey 2004-2005, he said that overall So many mouths to feed. poverty had fallen from 32.1 per in 2001 to 25.4 per cent in 2005. Similarly, unemployment had dropped from 7.8 per cent in 2003-04 to 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Analysts however held that these figures did not correspond with statistics showing rapidly climbing inflation levels and a decline in the buying power of low-income groups. They were also contradicted by statistics included by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its report. (Dawn, 2 March, 2006) The controversy continued over the next few months. The official figure for poverty, 23.9 percent, given in the Economic Survey sparked debate at many forums. Both the World Bank and the UNDP questioned the statistic. The World Bank put poverty in Pakistan at 28.3 percent and the UNDP at 25.7 percent, though the WB later accepted Pakistans official figure. There were also allegations that persons in
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government who had questioned the poverty data had been forced out of their jobs. The need to create more jobs was taken up at a workshop conducted by the ministry of finance and the UNDP in May 2006 in Islamabad. It was suggested 11.27 million new jobs needed to be created through government cooperation with the private sector. It was also noted that 2.1 million acres of farmland needed to be given to small farmers to equalize the uneven land holding situation. Lack of employment among educated people remained a concern. While graduates from Indian educational institutions were sought by international corporate giants, this did not hold true for Pakistan. The desperation of people for jobs was seen through the year, with thousands applying for limited posts, including those with qualifications far higher than what was sought. In October, 2005, 100,000 persons applied for 200 jobs as meter readers for The Hyderabad Electric Supply Corporation (HESCO). (Dawn, 17 October, 2005) The earthquake of October 8, 2005, which hit northern areas of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir caused a massive loss of livelihood. The ILO estimated soon after the disaster that 1.1 million jobs had been lost. Loss of land, livestock and damage to infrastructure added to the threat posed to livelihood. [See Chapter on Environment for details].

Spiraling suicides, more murders


The figures compiled by HRCP through 2005 and 2006, from press reports and figures sent in by correspondents across the country, showed an alarming increase in the number of persons committing suicide. From January to December 31, 2006 HRCPs statistics showed 2,090 persons, including 740 women, had killed themselves. 171 among the people who took their own lives were minors. Another 1,721 people including 767 women, had attempted suicide. Domestic problems, including financial hardships, accounted for the largest number of suicides. Expanded data collection by HRCP was partially responsible for the rise in the number of persons reported to have committed suicide, but it was also apparent more and more persons were pushed towards such desperate means as a result of the circumstances in which they lived. In 2005, according to HRCPs data, 988 persons had committed suicide while attempts to do so were made by another 608. A press report in June 2006 said that 8,845 persons had committed suicide over the last five years in 12 central districts of Sindh, mostly due to unemployment or financial distress. (Dawn, 29 June, 2006) It was believed the actual number of deaths could be considerably higher, given
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many suicides were covered up by families. As in previous years, there were also shocking cases of people taking the lives of children due to their own financial situation. In June 2006, in Lahore, a factory worker cut the throats of his three young daughters, all aged under ten years. Mohammed Ashraf, 38, then confessed to police and stated he was convinced he would not be able to give the girls an honorable life with his meagre earnings. Media reports stated Asghar was addicted to drugs. In a continuing cycle of brutality, a police officer then shot Asghar dead. Some of the cases of suicide reported during the year in the national press were as follows, and reflected the wider pattern of such deaths.
In March 2006, 35-year-old Ashraf committed suicide near Lahore by taking poisonous pills after being taunted by friends about his joblessness.

In April, Danish, 22, threw himself before a train in Lahore jumped in front of a moving train and ended his life. He had come to the city from Kohat, but had failed to find work.

A few days later, Mazhar Ali Memon, 18, from Syedabad town in Dadu, drank pesticide and killed himself after an argument with his parents about his joblessness.
Mohammed Riaz committed suicide during the same month in Karachi by hanging himself. Unemployed, and a father of five sons, he could not pay rent to the insistent house owner. Rasheed Zubair, a masters degree holder shot himself dead in May, in Multan, after failing to get a job.

Also in May, Aqeel, 24, committed suicide in Lahore, after remaining jobless for months.
Sanam Memon, a young woman in village Pirgorh, Khairpur, swallowed poison in June over domestic concerns arising from fiscal hardship.

Similar cases continued to come in through 2006, with the majority of those killing themselves aged below 50 years.

Tenants on farms
Despite the repression they had faced since 2002, when Rangers were deployed on military-controlled farms in the Punjab, landless farmers demanding their rights refused to give in to the pressure exerted on them. The struggle between the landless farmers and the military had begun in 2002, when, after an attempt to alter their status as tenants, nearly a million landless farmers
246 State of Human Rights in 2006

working on 70,000 acres of Punjab-government farmland began an uprising. The land had been divided into 21 farms, with the largest, in Okara, managed by the military. The landless farmers, represented by the Anjuman Mazarain Punjab (AMP), claimed their right to the land their worked under various agreements, including those dating back to colonial times, when the peasants were shifted to the then barren lands to cultivate them. The failure to resolve the issue through dialogue and violent attempts to crush the uprising had led to the death of at least a dozen tenants since 2002. Many others were imprisoned, harassed or had There were many such protests against injustice. cases registered against them in an attempt to coerce them into signing new lease agreements that would alter their status from tenants to employees. Recommendations of the Senate Committee on Human Rights, which early in 2005 had proposed reaching a resolution by allocating other land to tenants, went unheeded. As the standoff continued, violence on the Okara farms flared again in May 2006, after two AMP leaders who refused to hand over a share of their crop or the contract amount, to the administration, were beaten by police. Protest rallies were staged by the tenants. Most tenants had resumed paying the amount, after a standoff over the issue in 2002. AMP leaders who declined to do so faced arrest, harassment and death threats. On June 5, the AMP organized a public meeting at in Deepalpur to demand peasants rights over the land. Tenants on the Army Welfare Trust stud farms in Pakpattan, in April 2006, staged a sit in along the Haveli Lakha road, after what they claimed were attempts to force them off the land. In an unrelated incident, in March, peasants in three villages of Rahim Yar Khan staged large scale protests over apprehensions of evictions from lands allotted to them
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under the tenure of late prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in the 1970s. The peasants alleged landlords, buying up land in the area, were harassing them in an attempt to seize the land. (Dawn, 23 March, 2006)

Trade union activities


Persisting tensions between the government and trade unions manifested themselves early in the year, when the Sindh chief minister accused unions of disrupting normal working. The All Pakistan Federation of Trade Unions (APFTU) stated at various forums during the year that the Sindh governments threat to ban trade union activity, the failure to amend the IRO and government policies towards trade unions

Workers carried a heavy burden.

violated ILO conventions. The ILO continued to ask the Pakistan government to bring its laws on unions and labour inspections into conformity with the ILO charter. Workers of PSM, WAPDA, postal workers, Karachi Port Trust employees and other labour unions staged protests throughout 2005 and 2006 against policies of privatization, inflation and unjust laws. In July 2006, HRCP protested the ban by the Sindh government on the associations of teachers and staff at academic institutions in the province. Teachers protesting the decision were baton-charged. The SHC annulled the ban in December, 2006 and held that the government action was violative of the fundamental freedom of association and expression, granted by the Constitution of Pakistan.

Domestic labour
There was greater recognition during the year of the need for legal protection for
248 State of Human Rights in 2006

A case of abduction: Trade union leaders at risk


In an extraordinary case proving the extent to which managements, backed by the government, were ready to go to pressurize trade union activists, 16 members of the Pakistan Petroleum Workers Union (PPWU) from Balochistan were picked up in Karachi in December 2005 and kept for months at unknown locations. During its missions to Balochistan in December 2005 and January 2006, HRCP documented details of the disappearance of 18 union activists. In December 2005, 16 activists of he PPWU were invited by the management of Pakistan Petroleum Limited to Karachi for negotiations on a charter of demands presented by the union. The 16 activists were: Sher Muhammad, general secretary of the PPWU CBA, Mirza Shaukat Ali, President PPWU, Saifuddin deputy secretary PPWU, Haji Taj Muhammad, member PPWU, Ghulam Muhammad, Vice President, PPWU, Niaz Muhammad, Senior vice president PPWU, Niaz Muhammad, Joint Secretary PPWU, Tanvir Ahmed, Vice president Adhi Field, Nadeem Asghar, member PPWU, Abdul Aziz son of Haji Taj Muhammad, Abdul Hamid, Mir Ahmed, Mahmud Kafil Ahmed, Amir Ali and Khuda Baksh from PPWU.. On 6th December, 2005 they reached Karachi and were put up at a local hotel. Over the next two days, the union members held negotiations with the management. The 16 persons named above were asleep when they were rounded up by security forces accompanied by plainclothes persons. According to eyewitnesses, the incident took place at 2am on 9th December. Two other persons with the union activists at the time were also taken away. Families and friends remained unaware of their whereabouts for days. HRCP was informed the trade union activists had been picked up by intelligence agencies. According to press reports, the detained men were tortured, questioned about a bomb blast in Sui in November 2005 and accused of abducting people on behalf of Nawab Akbar Bugti (Monthly Herald, August 2006). 12 of the men were released in July, after seven months in detention, and warned not to speak of their ordeal. Others had been freed over the previous months. The disappearances were seen as part of a widespread campaign of harassment in Balochistan. [See Chapters on Jails, prisoners and disappearances and Political participation].

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domestic workers. AASHA (Alliance Against Sexual Harassment at Workplaces), a network of nine NGOs, pointed out at meetings through the reporting period that there was no law protecting maids from sexual exploitation. AASHA said that domestic servants were not included in labour statistics and there was no monitoring authority to observe their work conditions. It recommended domestic workers be covered under labour laws. AASHA pointed out international organizations had estimated about 90 percent of Pakistani women face domestic abuse, including the majority of female domestic help. In August 2006, The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) finalized recommendations, framed on the basis of a national survey, for legislation to protect the rights of domestic servants. Whereas much of what happened behind the closed doors of private homes remained unknown, some stories give an insight into the plight of domestic servants. At least six cases of the abuse of female domestic help were reported during the period under review. It was believed many others went unreported. [See also Chapter on Women].

Women and children at work


Efforts to tackle child labour continued in various sectors with ILO cooperation. But despite these efforts, child labour remained extremely widespread. Official surveys, cited in the Education Sector Reforms, Action Plan 2001-2005, put child labour in Pakistan at 3.3 million. The Islamabad-based Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), stated in several reports during the year, including its report in August 2006 on domestic child trafficking, that an estimated eight million children were currently working in Pakistan, with almost two-thirds employed full-time. In Sindh, SPARC said, children made up a quarter of the unskilled workforce. Concern was expressed during the year on the number of children working in the potentially hazardous fishing industry, which was reported to employ at least 50,000 child labourers. It was noted in official reports that the female unemployment rate declined in rural as well as urban areas, with more entering the labour force. It was stated that microfinance schemes targeting women, as well as an increase in job opportunities, were factors in this. The work of women in the informal labour sector, on fields and in their homes
250 State of Human Rights in 2006

was not counted. A major concern for working women was the law to increase their working hours beyond 10pm. Proposed legislation to this effect was angrily rejected. A survey by the Working Womens Organization Trust Losing out on childhood. showed that 98.43 percent of women opposed the amendment increasing working hours. They said this increased the risks of harassment. It was also noted that despite its ratification in 2001 of ILO convention 100, on equal pay for men and women, female workers were frequently paid lower wages than men.

Bonded labour
Bonded labour, in the form of debt bondage, continued across the country, with the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1992 extremely poorly enforced. According to the Agriculture Survey of Pakistan and the ILOs World Labour Report in 2005, there were approximately 1.7 million bonded labourers in Pakistan, most of them in the agricultural sector. The lack of official will to tackle the issue of bonded labour was cited by many as a principle reason for its prevalence. It was pointed out in press reports that the government fund for the assistance of bonded labour was untouched, while cells to monitor bonded labour, in Punjab and Sindh, did not function. In November 2005, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) upheld the 1992 law abolishing bonded labour, after brick kiln owners appealed against it. The court ruled bonded labour was illegal in all sectors. The plight of labourers held in bondage, at brick kilns and in other sectors was highlighted during the year by cases in which they had sold their kidneys in a bid to
Labour 251

escape debt bondage. At least a dozen such cases were reported during the period under review. It was thought the real number could be significantly higher.

Haris in bondage
The renewed interest during the year in the case of Munnu Bheel, a Hari released through HRCP efforts along with his family in 1996, revived hopes that nine members of Bheels family, kidnapped from the village of Waryum Memon, Deh, Digri, Mirpurkhas in 1998, would be freed. Over eight years later, the landlord who had originally held Bheel, Abdur Rehman Marri, and later kidnapped his family members, had still not been brought to justice, despite unstinting attempts by Bheel and by HRCP. In January 2006, HRCP called for an unhindered investigation in the case, after receiving complaints that a police officer in Hyderabad, seeking to interrogate or arrest Marri, was being impeded and threatened with transfer. In April 2006, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took suo motu action in the case on an application filed by Swedish human rights activist Torborg Isakssan, and issued warrants for the arrest of Marri. In May, the court ordered forfeiture of the property of Marri, a disciple of powerful Sindhi spiritual and political leader, Pir Pagara, for his involvement in the abduction of nine members of Bheels family. Headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, the three-judge SC bench directed the sessions judges of Sanghar and Mirpurkhas districts to carry out the confiscation order. Previously, the bench had issued a contempt notice to Chief Secretary Sindh Fazlur Rehman for transferring, on April 27, 2006, Deputy Inspector-General Saleemullah Khan, whom the bench had entrusted with the job of investigating the case, and thus flouting court orders. The chief secretary tendered an unconditional apology and informed the bench that the DIG had been reinstated to probe into the mysterious disappearance of Munnu Bheels family. In July 2006, with hearings continuing in the matter, the apex court reprimanded police for failing to perform their duty, and sought the production of Abdur Rehman Marri in court. Marri appeared before a court in Digri during the same month and his remand was extended by the court. Marri made repeated claims of ill-health, and as hearings continued, the Sindh High Court in November 2006 ordered he be examined
252 State of Human Rights in 2006

at the Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi. DIG Saleemullah Khan, suspended in October, claimed he was being harassed and threatened. Police stated several raids had been made in Mirpurkhas at houses owned by Marri in a bid to recover Bheels family. Two young girls, who police claimed were Bheels missing daughters, were recovered by police from a village in Khipro in September. Both Bheel and the women denied being related to each other. The court ordered a DNA test. Haris freed over previous years remained in camps at Hyderabad, with the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) engaged in rehabilitation efforts. The pace of releases had slowed down dramatically after the 2002 ruling of the Sindh High Court that disputes between landlords and haris over debt should be settled under the Sindh Tenancy Act of 1960. HRCPs petition against the ruling, seeking the upholding of the 1992 Bonded Labour Systems Abolition Act remained pending before the Supreme Court. According to HRCP estimates, 1.7 million haris continued to be held on agricultural estates. A conference held in Hyderabad on bonded labour and rehabilitation called for the government to set up a judicial body to abolish bonded labour The conference also called for ensuring that National Identity Cards (NICs) were issued to the freed haris and their names included in the voter lists. Data compiled by the HRCP Special Task force on Bonded Labour in Hyderabad showed that from January to December 15, 2006 it had received 175 applications from Haris. 132 complaints had been sent to authorities. There had been only 13 responses to these complaints. 998 Haris had been released, the largest numbers from the Mirpurkhas district, from where 358 were set free and from Sanghar, from where 263 were released. 12 of the released haris had been freed by the district administration. The rest, 986, had escaped.

Bonded brick kiln workers


Brick kiln workers across the country stepped up their efforts to seek rights, and an enforcement of laws against bonded labour. In April 2006, thousands of kiln workers in Lahore and other cities rallied against attempts by employers to maintain the system of making advance payments (Peshgi). The advances acted as a form of debt bondage. Workers called off their action after many brick kiln owners agreed to raise wages
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and write-off advances. Government officials assured labourers that laws against bonded labour would be enforced. The Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union, both before and after the strike, repeatedly drew attention to the plight of workers at kilns. It pointed out thousands of kilns were unregistered, and thus operating illegally. At least 50 brick kiln labourers were freed during the year in the Punjab and NWFP on court orders. In most cases the petitions seeking their release had been moved by family members. Press reports through the year detailed the plight of brick kiln workers. Some faced regular beatings and abuse, while women workers were raped by kiln owners or their Bonded to misery. henchmen. In Sargodha district, as elsewhere, forced labour was common and payments were often adjusted against advances taken by workers, with entire families, including children, often labouring at the kilns. (Dawn, June 3, 2006)

Slave labour on farms


Little information was available regarding slave labour on farms in the Punjab. However, there were indications such labour was on the increase. It was reported from Sargodha district in June 2006 that many workers on the farms of landlords in fact laboured as slaves, to pay off advances made for marriages or on other occasions. Entire families were sometimes forced to labour in this fashion, and were paid, if at all, with a small amount of wheat. In some cases, bonded farm workers, while seeking freedom from one landlord,
254 State of Human Rights in 2006

had fallen into the hands of another who had paid the court fee or other amounts to secure their release (Dawn, June 3, 2006)

Human smuggling
During the past four years, over 33,000 Pakistanis who had entered the country on fake documents supplied by the traffickers were returned home from Oman alone. Thousands others were sent back from other countries. The situation indicated the number of Pakistanis travelling out of the country illegally each year. In response to pressure from the UK, the US and other governments, the countrys authorities accelerated their campaign against human trafficking, arresting several persons running major trafficking rackets during the year. A special cell to combat trafficking was set up in the interior ministry. Acknowledging these efforts, the US State Departments Trafficking in Persons report for 2006, released in June, commended antitrafficking efforts by the Pakistan government. In 2005, Pakistan had been removed from the watchlist of countries engaged in trafficking, and placed on the general list of Tier 2 countries in the report. It maintained its position in 2006. It was estimated that at least 100,000 people left the country legally each year. They included some Foiled bid: The cargo seized at the airport. of the best educated and skilled members of the workforce. At least triple that number was thought to leave illegally, some risking their lives to make it to the Middle East, Europe, the US, the Far East or other countries. The ministry of labour, manpower and overseas Pakistanis stated that its Overseas Employment Bureau, through Overseas Employment Promoters (OEPs ) had sent 271,265 persons for employment abroad since October 1999. In March 2006, 692 Pakistanis were deported from Muscat. Some of those returned during the year from Oman alleged that the smugglers left them on coastal areas, from
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where the Omanese authorities arrested them. Many stated they had paid their large amounts to smugglers, who had assured them they would be sent to Dubai or other Gulf countries. Joblessness, a lack of opportunity and social and financial frustrations at home were cited as the main reasons for leaving. The interior ministry in January listed 333 traffickers, who were being actively pursued. The ministry pointed out that 18,000 Pakistanis had been apprehended in Iran in 2005 for entering without proper papers, while 14,000 Pakistanis were in Iranian prisons. The FIA passport cell arrested a number of persons they stated were involved in human smuggling, including the leader of a large mafia held in Gujrat in June 2006, who was involved with his sons in sending people to Greece.

Recommendations
1. In the context of Pakistan, where legal rights are weak and enforcement uncertain, legal and institutional structures need to be designed to ensure that while the right incentives are available for employers the rights of workers are also protected. Under the guise of contract labour, employers are presently denying basic facilities and benefits to a large chunk of the workforce. 2. There is a need to establish an effective minimum wage regime that not only guarantees a certain basic standard of living but also allows some space for accumulation (capital, skills, education and so on). This minimum wage legislation should extend to all sectors and be backed up by effective institutional arrangements for monitoring and enforcement. 3. Good quality basic education, supplemented by decent quality multi-skill training for enhancing the versatility of workers can make the most potent and lasting contribution to industrial productivity, worker earnings, more flexible labour markets and a better environment for business, thereby enabling those in the informal sector to access more productive jobs. 4. There is a need to gradually adopt the principle of protecting workers to deal with unemployment risk instead of protecting the job. The instruments that can help include a combination of unemployment insurance and traditional income protection mechanisms. 5. The Bonded Labour Abolition Act (1992) must be consistently upheld and the government must clarify it holds precedence over previous laws on tenants and other forms of bonded labour whenever there is confusion over the interpretation of the law. The repeal of sections of earlier laws, in conflict with the Bonded Labour Abolition Act, should be considered.
256 State of Human Rights in 2006

Social and economic rights

III

Education 257

258 State of Human Rights in 2006

Education
The state shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period; make technical and professional education generally available and higher education equally accessible to all on the basis of merit... Constitution of Pakistan Article 37 (b) and (c) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 26(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. Article (27)

As in previous years, Pakistan spent just over two percent of its GDP on education, the least among South Asian countries. This fact alone reflected on the priorities of government and accounted for the fact that only 53 percent of the population, according to official figures, was literate. For women, literacy stood at 40 percent. UNESCOs Education For All Global Monitoring Report 2007, released in Islamabad at the end of November 2006, stated that Pakistan had experienced a rise in its illiterate
Education 259

population and ranked second among the countries of the world with the highest number of out-of-school children. The poor conditions of public sector schools, declining standards of education, glaring gender disparities and controversies over the curriculum were some of the symptoms of the educational malaise.

Policies and priorities


Pakistans expenditure of 1.15 billion rupees, or 2.1 percent of its GDP on education, compared poorly to India, which spent 4.1 percent. Even Bangladesh and Nepal spent more, averaging 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent respectively. Of this budget 50 percent went to the Higher Education Commission (HEC). A 52 percent share of the total budgetary allocation for the education sector went to the Punjab, 26 percent to Sindh, 15 percent to the NWFP and seven percent to Balochistan. The Economic Survey for 20052006 stated there had been an increase of about 10 percent in the Net Enrollment Rate (NER) from 42 percent in 2001-2002 to 52 percent in 2004-2005. The survey said educational targets set under Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had not been met. There were disparities in literacy rates between provinces and regions. Sindh had the highest literacy rate, at 55 percent and Balochistan the lowest at 37 percent. Urban literacy was 71 percent while the rate dropped in rural areas to 44 percent. Literacy levels in Jhal Magsi and Qilla No classroom to go to. Saifullah districts in Balochistan were only 20 percent, while Karachi, at 78 percent, had the highest literacy in the country. Some unofficial estimates suggested female literacy was considerably lower than the 40 percent figure given officially. There were also immense regional disparities. Between 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, primary enrollment increased from 19.92
260 State of Human Rights in 2006

million to 21.33 million according to official figures; at middle level it rose from 4.28 million to 4.55 million and at the secondary level from 1.79 million to 1.88 million. According to the ministry of education, in 2005-2006 2,187 new primary schools were established 1,221 in the public sector and 881 in the private sector, in both rural and urban areas. Over the previous four years, 249 additional technical and vocational institutions had been established as well as 35 new universities, 13 in the public sector and 22 in the private sector. Issues including a shortage of trained and motivated teachers, a lack of coherence in the system of education offered and policy that focussed almost entirely on increasing enrollment rather than on guaranteeing good quality education, held up progress. The prevailing situation was reflected in reports in September 2005 that not a single student from 10 colleges in Gujrat had passed in the BA/BSc exams. Similar accounts of dismal academic standards, usually due to teacher absenteeism or poor teaching standards, continued to come in. Campaigns by provincial governments to supply textbooks to pupils free of cost had some positive impact. It was reported from Sindh in August 2006 that about four million children of government primary schools were still without text books halfway into the school year. Similarly, 350,000 girl students of government middle schools in the province did not get scholarship money for the academic year ending on May 31, 2006. The National Education Census, stated to have covered 97 percent of institutions, was completed but results were delayed, with the government citing the law and order situation in Balochistan. The Punjab government expanded the number of special education institutions in the province from 49 to 91. In February 2006 a World Bank report stated that despite an increase in public spending on education in Sindh, indicators remained stagnant. HRCP found school management committees were largely ineffective, during its study of the educational situation in Karachi Multan, Peshawar and Quetta districts for a project on educational budget tracking. A representative of the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) told participants at a meeting on education organized in Lahore by HRCP in October 2006, that devolution had failed to bring about the improvements envisaged in schools when the plan was drawn up. UNESCO reported during 2006 that due to a lack of will, ill-planning and resource constraints, Pakistan was unlikely over the next few years to achieve its target of
Education 261

Education For All. Pakistan had multiple international committments regarding the provision of the basic right of education to all citizens. It was among the signatories of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed in 2000 by UN member nations, setting targets to be attained by 2015 and also a signatory to agreements reached at the Dakar World Education Forum in 2000. In April 2006, the federal government accepted that the Non-Formal Basic Education Schools (NFBES) project, initiated in 1999, had proved to be a major fraud. Only 10,000 schools, out of 82,000 that were to be set up under the project had been established by NGOs given large amounts of money for the purpose and most were running extremely badly. Poorly planned policy decisions hampered the streamlining of education. In February 2006, following reports in the Punjab of the failure of district governments to run the affairs of colleges, the provincial government took charge of the institutions. The Sindh education department took back control of about 238 education colleges from the district governments a few months later.

Primary and secondary schools


Even as new facilities were set up, those that existed fell into neglect. According to experts speaking at a seminar on the National Educational Policy in Karachi in June 2006, out of 328,829 schools in the country, 17 percent had no roofs, 39 percent were without drinking water, 62 percent without electricity, 50 percent without toilet facilities and 46 percent had no boundary walls. There were at least 30,000 ghost schools. 40 percent of children in the country didnt go to school, while the dropout rate was 45 percent. The lucky few who go to school. (Pakistan Observer, 10 June, 2006) There was an acute shortage of teachers, particularly in science education. Of the 355,952 sanctioned posts, 15 percent were vacant. Another report (April 3, 2006, Dawn) described the dismal state of schools in
262 State of Human Rights in 2006

Tharparkar, some of which had no fans despite the scorching heat. A similar state of affairs prevailed at schools in Swabi, according to reports appearing over the period under review. In May, it was reported that 200 primary schools were lying closed in all the three talukas of district Nawabshah. The Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan reported in April 2006 that there were 30,000 ghost schools in the country. Due to the lack of transparency and public monitoring, funds were embezzled or not distributed on a need-basis, depriving schools in backward areas of basic facilities. In June, it was reported that out of 2,852 government schools in Sialkot, where 13,000 teachers had been appointed, 50 schools had been lying closed due to nonavailability of teachers for the last several years. Some had been converted into cattle sheds. (Business Recorder, June 14, 2006). While an increase in enrollment was noted, partly as a response to government campaigns and the grant of free text-books, the quality of education and the conditions prevailing at schools denied most children in the country meaningful learning. In addition to the dismal physical conditions at schools, corporal punishment was common, despite official efforts to ban beatings. The fact that many teachers did not attend schools, or were extremely poorly motivated, added to the problems. It was noted teachers employed at government schools often had a highly contemptuous attitude towards the impoverished children they taught and seemed disinterested in offering them lessons in an environment conducive to their mental growth.

Children out of classrooms


Given the conditions at schools, it was not surprising that the drop-out rate was high. Poverty, poor conditions in schools, teacher absenteeism and the poor quality of education were all factors cited by experts as a reason for children leaving schools. According to official figures, the percentage of children that reached grade five in 2004-05 was 61 percent and the dropout rate was 39 percent. This retention rate was low compared to India, where 84 percent of children remained in schools after grade five. The retention rate for Sri Lanka was 98 percent and for Nepal 65 percent. UNESCO stated in November 2006, in its 2007 Education For All report that a study of primary schools in rural areas of the NWFP and the Punjab concluded that economic constraints on households were a key factor in keeping children out-ofschool. In February 2006, a World Bank report stated that in Sindh, less than five per cent
Education 263

of rural girls attended middle schools. According to a survey conducted early in 2006 by the Universal Primary Education (UPE) project of the Peshawar-based NGO Khwendo Kor, working for the education of girls, over 25,000 children aged between five and seven years in the Lower Dir district did not attend schools.19 per cent were boys Tough work, bleak horizons. and 30 per cent girls. Across the NWFP at least two million children were out of school. In July 2006, the federal education minister stated more than 13 million children in Pakistan did not go to schools.19 million children were enrolled every year. Nearly 45 percent among these dropped out before finishing primary school and another 30 percent left before middle school.

Public-private cooperation
The government continued its policy of passing on more and more responsibility in the education sector to private organizations. Government-supported NGOs, such as the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), assumed some of the tasks usually associated with the education ministry, including responsibility for extending education to all citizens. The Community Support Rural Schools Programme (CSRSP) was one of largest initiatives promoting education in rural areas. 260 schools, enrolling 23,300 children ran under the CRSP, supported by international donors. NGOs continued to run at least 300 public sector schools in the Punjab, adopted by them under a government policy initiated several years previously.

Private sector schooling


Enrollment in private schools grew rapidly. The Pakistan Social and Living Standards
264 State of Human Rights in 2006

Measurement (PSLM) 2004-05 report showed that enrollment at private schools had increased by 33 percent from 2001-2002 to 2004-2005, while the increase in enrollment at government schools was only 15 percent. There was a marked shift from public to private schools, most notably in urban areas. HRCPs own findings indicated parents were more likely to enroll boys rather than girls at private schools. While private schools offered higher standards of education to privileged children, the failure to regulate these institutions meant there was in most cases no check on teaching standards or fees. Standards at some private schools, especially those outside major cities, were reported to be extremely low. Some 500 private institutes were reported in September 2005 to function outside any regulatory control. An Education Regulatory Authority (ERA), announced by the government as a part of its future plans, had still not been set-up. In late 2005, a complaint was filed before the LHC against exorbitant fees charged by private schools. The Sindh governments regulations regarding private schools were frequently violated. It was reported that in many cases, guidelines concerning fees and the registration of new schools were openly flouted. (Dawn, 29th April, 2006). In the Punjab too, attempts to put in place new laws to regulate private schools were resisted by influential associations representing the schools.

Textbooks and the curriculum


The content, printing quality and broader ideological underpinnings of the curriculum taught at schools and colleges came in for criticism. The federal government continued with plans to introduce an altered curriculum at schools, starting in 2007. The process of changing the curriculum entirely was expected to be completed by 2009. [In December 2006 a draft of the new curriculum was completed and circulated. Experts welcomed some of the changes made]. While experts expressed optimism at seminars through 2006 that the changes would result in an improvement in the material taught at schools, the comments by the federal education minister in July 2006, that jihad would remain an integral part of learning at schools, created some consternation among the many who had hoped for a forward looking, broader dimension to the content of school-books. Some of the problems inherent in this process were demonstrated in December 2005, when the MMA held countrywide protests against changes in Islamiyat textbooks, which the government stated were being made to curb sectarian controversy over the
Education 265

method of offering prayers. In the middle of 2006, the government banned a textbook, Pakistan ki Kahanian (Stories of Pakistan), used by O level Urdu students. The ban came after a campaign by orthodox elements, including the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT) who held that the content of the book, which included short stories by leading writers, was objectionable and vulgar. Frequent changes in policies regarding the language of instruction and other issues complicated learning. Delays in printing held up the distribution of textbooks to thousands of school children in Sindh early in 2006. [See section on Conditions at schools].

Teachers and administrative matters


Teaching remained among the lowest paid professions in the country. Its poor status meant few people were motivated to take up careers as teachers. Many private-sector schools employed untrained teachers, while among government school teachers, high levels of absenteeism, lack of interest and poor training were commonplace problems. In September 2005, the executive district officer, Gujranwala, c o n d u c t e d proceedings against 92 employees, most of them teachers, on charges of absence from duty over the past three years. 14 were found guilty and censured. A few months later, in April A desperate cry from the lowest-paid professional group. 2006, in Hyderabad, the Sindh Education Secretary ordered the suspension of another 18 absentee teachers. Teachers across the country continued to protest hiring on contract, poor salary structure and the lack of perks. In September 2005, the Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) urged the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to revise the salary
266 State of Human Rights in 2006

structure of public sector university teachers. In July 2006, the Sindh government imposed a ban on teachers unions and associations at all academic institutions except those under the Governor of Sindh. HRCP described the ban as illegal and a violation of human rights. Teachers who took out a rally to protest the ban in August were baton-charged and tear-gassed. Dozens, including women, were injured, and some were arrested. The ban was annulled by the Sindh High Court (SHC) in Decermber 2006. In December 2005, the United Teachers Front and the Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) protested misuse of authority by officials of local governments to harass teachers and also the ban on corporal punishment placed by the Punjab government. The protest over the issue highlighted the fact that teachers had not been consulted or any attempt made to evolve a consensus over the corporal punishment issue.

Higher education
Pakistan had one of the worlds lowest rates of enrollment in higher education, standing at a mere 2.9 percent. The rate had increased from 2.6 percent in 2001. Enrollment rates in neighbouring India were 10 percent. Equally disturbing was the quality of higher education. Not a single Pakistani university ranked among the top 500 institutions in the world. According to press reports, leading international companies meanwhile vied to recruit graduates from Indias top technology and management institutes (The News, May 15, 2006). The Higher Education Commission (HEC), set up in 2002, remained responsible for higher education affairs. In September 2005, Chairman Dr Atta-ur-Rehman announced that 400 projects were being implemented across the country to impart quality education. Four new engineering universities were planned, one in each province. 35 new universities, 13 of them in the public sector, had been set up over the past four years. The HEC made public a controversial ranking of universities in October. According to this, the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad was the best in the country. Critics held the criteria used were unfair. Out of the 10,000 faculty members at the countrys universities, only 3,000 possessed Ph.D degrees and the country annually produced only 300 Ph.D holders. In January 2006, it was reported that 3,500 posts for college teachers were lying vacant in 475 colleges in the Punjab. Of these, 100 colleges were functioning without a principal. In March 2006, the University of Karachi (KU) restarted admissions to its M.Phil.
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and Ph.D courses. These had been suspended following a dispute with the HEC over the courses, examinations and research requirements. According to results announced in March 2006, almost all the students taking the MA English and Economic examination of the Punjab University failed. While there were calls for fresh testing, analysts said the situation pointed to the poor teaching standards at many institutions. Only around 50 percent of pupils across the country cleared matriculation and intermediate examinations. A month later, in April, hearing a petition, the LHC pointed out the HEC had failed to safeguard the interests of students who had been granted admissions by colleges established unlawfully. The court called for notices to be given to 116 such educational institutions in the Punjab. In response, the HEC, which cited pressure from politicians as a reason for the delay, warned that universities which had not improved their standards would be downgraded to the status of colleges, while all illegal universities would be closed by February 2007. In March 2006, the HEC closed down three private universities in Islamabad for running illegally and imparting substandard education. In October, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) criticised appointment of a retired brigadier as the vice chancellor of Bolan University in Balochistan. Other organizations representing academics and teachers also condemned the decision. [See also Chapter on Political Participation].

Educational ethics and examinations


The cases of plagiarism reported during the year, some concerning high ranking professors, said a great deal about levels of integrity within the educational system. In May 2006, the director of the Punjab Universitys Centre for High Energy Physics (CHEP) and four members of the teaching staff were accused of plagiarism. They were alleged to have lifted lectures from international sources and presented them as their own work in a paper read at an international conference. Three of the same professors were also accused of plagiarising material from a 1997 article written by a leading physicist based at Oxford University, and publishing it under their own names in a scientific journal. After an initial inquiry found the charges had substantial basis, a three-person committee appointed by the HEC began a full investigation. This was not an isolated case. In July, the University of Sindh at Jamshoro withdrew the Ph.D. degree of a student and issued him a show cause for plagiarising from a paper published by a foreign researcher.. In this environment, it was not surprising that cases of unfair play were widespread.
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Although tougher policing measures led to a marked reduction in the number of cases of cheating during examinations in both the Punjab and Sindh, malpractices at all levels continued. Early in 2006, the Punjab government launched an inquiry against the Punjab Medical Faculty secretary, registrar, other officials and eight examiners, who were found guilty of corruption in a paramedics examination during a preliminary inquiry. The NWFP provincial government sacked the chairman of the Education Testing and Evaluation Authority (ETEA) following leaking of the test paper for medical college admissions in September 2005. Administrative mismanagement in the conduct of examinations was common. Late in 2005, the results of 57 candidates were delayed by the Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) due to an error over photographs pasted on forms. The students alleged the delay threatened their careers. Confusion over policy-making aggravated existing problems. In October 2005, the Sindh chief minister announced he was over-riding a decision announced days earlier by the federal government, regarding a composite exam for the 9th and 10th grades. The chief minister held this burdened students and would promote drop outs. Concern was expressed in 2006 over the presence of an increasing number of educational boards and the consequent lack of standardization. The educational boards were the Federal Board, Secondary and Higher Secondary Boards working under the provincial governments, Cambridge System of Education (O and A Levels), Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB) and Islamic Education Boards, made up of five Wafaqul Madaris Boards. Reports of corruption and nepotism, absenteeism by both teachers and students and unfair play in the admissions process were widespread. They were doubts as to whether the four-year BA honours degree, introduced several years ago, had helped raise standards of education, while complaints from recruiting companies about the standards of graduates in various disciplines came in regularly.

Schooling at madrassahs
A large number of madrassahs across the country applied to provincial governments for financial assistance, under the ongoing programme to promote reform at seminaries. According to official figures, 58 madrassahs in AJK and 36 registered madrassahs in FATA were cleared for funds. The largest number of madrassahs had been registered in Mohmand Agency and the South and North Waziristan Agencies. There were press reports through the year that a very small number of madrassahs had applied for registration, and also of a failure to effectively utilise foreign funds
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coming in for the madrassah reform programme. (Business Recorder, 3 February, 2006). The number of madrassahs in the country, most of them unregulated and unregistered, continued to multiply. According to conservative estimates, there were at least 20,000 seminary schools in the country. In January 2006, the NWFP government A meaningful learning? refused to comply with a central government order to expel foreign students enrolled in Islamic schools. The thousands of seminaries scattered across the country continued to impart an extremely narrow learning and promoted bigotry on the basis of gender, sect or religious belief. As in previous years, HRCP received complaints of the maltreatment of children at seminary schools. One of the worst cases came to light in January 2006, when the daily Dawn published a photograph of two boys, eight-year-old Mohammad Ammar and ten-yearold Ahsan Muawaiya, sons of Misbah Allah, chained in heavy fetters. Both the children were residents of Sadiqabad, and had come to Karachi to gain Islamic education at the Madrassah Touhidia. On January 30, 2006, an HRCP team conducted a fact-finding into the incident. They were told the boys older brother, Sanaullah, had admitted them to the seminary. They were tied up by Qari Mohammad Syed in fetters to prevent them from escaping. The boys were however able to run away and approached local people. They were taken to Azizabad police station and an FIR registered against the madrassah. After being produced in court, the boys returned to Sadiqabad. The question of precisely what training was imparted at some seminary schools again came up after it was reported in July 2006 that in the town of Jandola, in Dera
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Ismail Khan, a teacher at a madrassah had accidentally blown himself up with a hand grenade he had brought into the classroom and was handling at the time of the explosion. There were also other reports of physical and sexual abuse at seminary schools. [See also Chapter on Children] In May 2006, the federal government stopped funding for some religious seminaries due to the lack of transparency in the utilisation of funds.

Gender discrimination
According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan for 2005-2006, there had been very limited progress in reducing gender disparity in education. A decrease of a mere one percent had been recorded over the past three years. Predictably, gender disparity in literacy in 2004-2005 was lower in urban areas (16 percent) compared to rural areas (29 percent). According to a World Bank Country Gender Assessment Report 2005, the reasons for the lack of progress were the distance from schools and high costs. The Pakistan Rural Household Survey-(2004-05) stated that only 46 percent of villages covered in survey all over Sindh and Punjab had girls elementary schools, whereas 87 percent of the villages had elementary schools for boys. The PSLM 2004-05 statistics showed that at the primary level there had been a decline in the gender gap in the Gross Enrollment Ratio from 22 percent in 2002 to 17 percent in 2005. Gender disparity declined in all provinces except in Balochistan where there was an increase of one percent in disparity. The gap between genders in terms of education was greatest in Balochistan.

Recommendations
1. The situation in the education sector at all levels primary, secondary and higher education remains grim. While high profile and expensive media campaigns have claimed success for ambitious programmes for universal education, results remain questionable. The Government must focus on implementation of announced programmes with built-in mechanisms for monitoring and feedback. 2. Higher funding for education during 2005-2006 has not demonstrated a corresponding improvement in ground realities. It is imperative to ascertain reasons for failure and non-delivery of programmes. These need to be articulated and addressed. 3. Corruption in this sector, as in other sectors, continues to be a major hindrance
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in development. Tampering with funds, manipulating or misreporting of figures, continuing phenomena of ghost schools and non-existent staff are some of the long standing issues which need to be seriously confronted. 4. Government schools adopted by many NGOs have witnessed an appreciable improvement in enrollment, curriculum, physical facilities, teaching and student performance. This indicates the readiness of the people to participate, and co-operate in the process of the education of their children. The Government must move to learn from such models and adopt the demonstrated, successful patterns of governance. 5. The sharp increase in budgetary allocations for higher education has not so far been matched by better performance in examination, research or productivity. The Higher Education Commission needs to focus on the malaise of poorly qualified faculty, lack of accountability in the classroom and the administration, ill-equipped infrastructure, infighting, inertia, lack of intellectual inquiry and freedom and other academic problems. The race to open new universities without addressing the serious issues of the existing ones may compound the problems of higher education instead of alleviating them.

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Housing
The state shall secure the well-being of the people, irrespective of sex, caste, creed and race, by raising their standard of living . Constitution of Pakistan Article 38(a) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself and his family, including ... housing ... Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 25 (1)

The most acute housing crisis in the country came in the areas in the north of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir stricken by the earthquake of October, 2005. According to the Earthquake Relief and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), set up by the federal government soon after the disaster, at least 400,000 housing units across the quake zone had been totally destroye, and at least 200,000 badly damaged. Reports coming in at the end of 2006 indicated the number could be significantly higher Many survivo0rs remained without adequate shelter as the winter snows hit affected areas.. A programme of rehabilitation under which cash compensation in two phases was granted to affected household heads continued till the end of 2006, but there were many complaints regarding delays, and the manner in which the amount was fixed. [See Chapter on Environment]. There were also other housing issues in the country, with dozens killed by collapsing buildings. Others were forcibly evicted, while an acute lack of basic amenities affected tens of thousands.

Shortages
According to the Economic Survey for 2005-2006, to address the current housing
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backlog over the coming 20 years, overall housing production needed to be raised to 500,000 units annually. The current backlog was estimated at 6.19 million. The present housing stock was aging rapidly, with 50 percent estimated to be over 50 years old. It was officially stated that 50 percent of the urban population lived in katchiabadis. The most acute shortages of housing were experienced in the larger cities, with the population of shelterless people estimated to be at least 100,000 in Karachi and Lahore Hard lives for the homeless. alone. While official focus after October 2005 remained on housing shortages in quakehit areas, existing statistics showed that at least 70 percent of housing structures in the country were katcha or semi-pucca houses, many of them with no water supply or planned sanitation.

Quality of housing
The reports of collapsing houses that came in through the reporting period, and accelerated as heavy rains hit the country during the monsoon in July and August 2006, highlighted the dangers faced by people living in sub-quality housing. At least 90 deaths were reported from across the country from September 2005 to December 2006. Most victims, who included a large number of children, died when the roofs or walls of their houses caved in, usually after heavy rains. In Rawalpindi, at least six were killed during the monsoon season when the notorious Nullah Leh, choked with garbage, overflowed and flooded areas along its banks, causing houses to collapse. In the middle of August, it was reported that at least seven buildings had collapsed during the rainy season in Lahore, claiming at least a dozen lives. 3,331 buildings in the Walled City of Lahore had been declared dangerous. Most were occupied by tenants paying nominal rent, who had no other place too move to. Owners were unwilling to make repairs, while local governments sought the help of the provincial administration
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in dealing with the issue. The city nazim had reportedly identified 700 buildings as particularly hazardous. However no steps were taken to protect people living in them. (Dawn, August 22, 2006). At least 100 people were killed in the NWFP and the Punjab as a result of rains and floods in July and August. In March 2006, 17 small villages in the Thatta area of Sindh were flooded by a tidal wave, causing at least three dozen houses to collapse. Heavy rains in Karachi in August completely paralyzed the city, leaving the residents of many areas stranded in their homes as water up to four feet deep filled roads and open spaces. Prolonged power outages aggravated the suffering of citizens. Hightemperature-related power breakdowns in Karachi had caused people to take to the streets in protest earlier in the summer. Various city departments levelled accusations and counter-accusations over the state of sewage and other amenities in the countrys largest city. Most people across the country, in both urban and rural areas, did not receive safe water to drinking. Water piped to homes was found increasingly contaminated in many large cities. [See Chapter on Environment]. In July, a report from Mubarik village, on the SindhBalochistan coast, stated that there was no electricity, no water-lines and no health facilities in the area. (Business Recorder, 10 July, 2006) The earthquake of October 8, 2005 heightened concerns over the safety of Was anyone home? buildings, particularly high rise complexes. The collapse of one of the two towers of the Margalla Towers building in Islamabad in the quake killed at least 25 people. Demands for compensation continued. In the aftermath of the quake, the federal government decided to revise and update the Building Code of Pakistan, with recommendations on seismic design parameters. Designs for earthquake-resistant structures were also shared with local communities across quake-hit northern areas by local and international relief
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The plight of the Lyari Expressway victims


Since work on the controversial project began in January 2002, the Lyari Expressway Project displaced at least 200,000 people in Karachi and led to multiple injuries and deaths as houses were forcibly bull-dozed. As new demolitions and evictions took place in Lyari through 2006 to accommodate the expressway along the Lyari River being built by the federal government through the Frontier Works Organization (FWO), the residents of the area, political parties, NGOs and other organizations continued to resist the displacement. Over the past four year, at least 11,397 homes and 3,000 shops had been razed in the Lyari area. Critics of the project, including leading urban planners and sociologists, had consistently stated that the human cost of the project simply could not be justified on the grounds of easing traffic congestion, especially when an alternative in the form of the Northern Bypass was already being constructed. Recommendations of the Sindh High Court, in 2004, that only as much land as essentially required for the project be acquired and displacement minimized, went largely unheeded. According to the URC, since 2002, affected people had not been allotted proper resettlement and compensation. Only a small number of the 50,000 affected families had been relocated at the Hawkesbay Site, located 13 kilometres away from Lyari. This had resulted in the organizations.

Evictions
The Karachi-based Urban Resource Centre (URC), an NGO monitoring evictions since 1992, reported that from January to end June 2006, at least 3,490 houses were bull-dozed in various parts of Karachi, including Lyari [See box]. A total of 23,124 people were made homeless as result of these evictions, and their investment of at least Rs. one billion on construction of their houses lost. The URC also reported that, the city authorities planned to demolish another 6,000 homes. The nazim had previously said all katchi abadis set up after 1985, and thus not protected by the law from that year granting dwellers housing rights, were being considered encroachments. In May 2006, the Karachi City Government demolished 250 houses in Sikander
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loss of livelihoods, education and other hardships for families now living in the resettlement area. Another settlement site, at Taiser Town, 30 kilometres away from the Karachi city centre, was opened up early in 2006, and had a capacity for 95,000. However, its distance from the city and inadequate transport arrangements meant residents were denied access to work, education, health facilities and other amenities. Those that existed at the site were inadequate. Land scams surrounding the Lyari Project surfaced and were discussed in the media, adding to the controversy over the manner in which land for the project had been acquired and plots in new sites allotted. (Dawn, 10 March, 2006). The eviction issue surrounding the Lyari project drew attention at the highest international levels. Miloon Kothari, the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, in a statement in May 2006, called for an immediate halt to all forced evictions and criticized the lack of public participation, inadequate relocation site and excessive use of force during eviction. UN guidelines, requiring the conduct of comprehensive impact assessments in advance of evictions and written notifications to all affected persons ahead of any resettlement had all been ignored in the case of the Lyari Expressway. Reports said that even houses that did not fall along the path of the Expressway had been demolished as part of an attempt to grab land.

Goth. Another 750 were ear-marked for demolition to make way for a high rise plaza. Violence broke out when residents resisted the operation by anti-encroachment squads, resulting in the death of one demonstrator and injuries to others when police opened fire. Soon after the incident, the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Miloon Kothari, called for an immediate end to forced evictions in Karachi. He stated in his statement that UN housing policies called for displacement to be minimized, force to be avoided and a process of consultation opened up with people before they were shifted for any reason. Activists also pointed out the right to adequate housing was protected in the provisions of international treaties ratified by Pakistan. The most important is in Article 11(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR),
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ratified by Pakistan in 1992. As a member of the UN Pakistan was required to abide by the provisions of the UDHR, which guaranteed the right to adequate shelter. Opposition parties in Sindh protested the evictions in Karachi through 2006, and in June, activists representing various organizations staged a massive show of strength demanding an end to the razing of homes. Press reports stated operations had been slowed after the huge rally. While the largest scale evictions took place in Karachi, people in other cities were also rendered homeless. In March 2006, the CDA bulldozed 2,000 homes in sector G-11, terming them illegal dwellings. Residents made an attempt to resist, but were prevented from doing so by the heavy contingent of police present as bulldozers razed their tiny huts. The Awami Tehreek and the PPP, in March, held separate protests against the razing of old Sindhi villages in Karachi and Hyderabad. In Lahore, private developers exerted pressure on families to abandon homes. It was reported in April that over six dozen impoverished families were being pressurized by owners to desert a dilapidated building in which around 74 rooms had been rented out. .A similar situation arose in Naushero Feroze in June, when villagers in Karim Dino Dehraj staged a protest against a landlord who they alleged was attempting to demolish their homes after obtaining forged ownership papers. It was unknown how many other citizens were pressurized to leave their homes or forced out of them across the country, with many cases going unreported.

Problems of katchi abadis


The process of implementing the 1985 law granting housing rights to residents of katchi abadis, under the housing policy of 2001, continued across the country, although with many delays and glitches. In Faisalabad, in June, the residents of 26 katchi abadis in the city were informed they could obtain ownership papers from the Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA). During the same month, the Punjab chief minister stated that the residents of 42 katchi abadis, located on land owned by Pakistan Railways in the Punjab would be granted proprietary rights and civic amenities developed at the settlements. The issue of settlements on Railways-owned land had led to controversy and mass evictions in previous years. After heated debate, the Karachi city council in June passed an amendment allowing the council to set new lease rates for notified katchi abadis in the city. Opposition members of the council angrily opposed the amendment, holding that it would impose
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new burdens on poor people. The katchi abadis were categorized as residential, commercial or industrial for the purpose of setting the lease rates. In Lahore, in March 2006, 24 Christian families appealed to the Supreme Court for help against the LDA. The families had been forcibly evicted from their homes in 1992 and said the alternative plots allotted to them by the Punjab government in 1998 were not being handed over. It was reported in April that the residents of Islamabads largest slum, the sprawling French Colony, had still not been granted ownership rights. The delay was stated to have arisen as residents sought ownership rights before development Is this housing adequate? work, while the CDA wished to remodel the colony before handing over papers to the bulk of residents. A long history of distrust between the CDA and colony residents aggravated the situation (The News, 6 April, 2006). At a rally in Islamabad in April 2006, leaders of the All Pakistan Alliance of Katchi Abadis stated that ownership rights had not been granted to residents of several Christian abadis in the federal capital. They said plans promised in the past and laid down under the 2001 Katchi Abadis policy, regarding the provision of amenities and of development, had not been carried out.

Housing sector problems


Multiple scams concerning housing schemes, the unharnessed operations of land mafias responsible for artificially raising land prices, actions by qabza groups and the high cost of building materials hampered citizens in acquiring housing. While the public-sector House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC) expanded schemes intended to meet the needs of lower income groups in urban areas, many still faced acute problems in acquiring housing. The greatest difficulties arose for the urban poor. In July 2006, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) began investigations into a
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land scam involving the Overseas Pakistani Foundation (OPF) housing scheme in Islamabad. There were similar reports of fraudulent schemes in Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Okara and other towns. An increase in the price of cement early in the year held back building activity. In July, the Lahore High Court accepted the appeal of 18 cement factories, setting aside the decision of the Monopoly Control Authority (MCA) to break the cartel and lower the price of cement by Rs 60 per bag. The court ruled the MCA could not exercise control over pricing. Reports of adulterated cement being sold in the market added to the problems faced by constructers. 400 bags of adulterated cement were seized in Lahore in July. Issues of illegal construction, involving high-rise and commercial buildings in residential areas and violations of by-laws in the building of plazas cropped up through the year. [See also Chapter on Environment].

Recommendations
1. Provision of housing is the duty of the government, and the proliferation of katchi-abadis and shelterless persons shows an abdication of this basic duty. Widespread evictions being carried out must be modified on the basis of this realization and the countrys commitments to international treaties on protection of the poor honoured. 2. It must be realized that the problem of housing in Pakistan is by and large a problem of the poor. Consequently, innovative measures (like the NGO Saibans Khudaki-Basti programme) must be implemented to provide affordable land to the poorest of the poor, especially in urban areas. 3. Urban land must not be treated as a commodity, thus taking its price beyond the paying capacity of the people who need it most. Policies must be developed to treat it as a social asset. 4. Implementation of building laws, especially those that protect the environment and ensure seismic stability of structures, has to be improved. 5. Creative means of housing finance must be promoted to ensure access of the poor to housing.

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Environment
All human beings have the fundamental right to an environment adequate for their health and well-being. States shall conserve and use the environment and natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. States shall establish adequate environmental protection standards and monitor changes in and publish relevant data on environmental quality and resource use. Proposed Legal Principles for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Article 1,2,4

An earthquake that killed thousands and left at least 2.8 million homeless hit northern parts of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir on October 8, 2005. The natural disaster, one of the worst in the countrys history, dominated national and international attention through the final months of 2005 and the early half of 2006, as a massive rescue, relief and rehabilitation effort got underway. The increased scarcity of safe water became an increasingly acute problem for most citizens in the country while concern in major cities grew over the rapid loss of trees and open spaces.

October 8 earthquake
The quake, measured at 7.6 on the Richter scale, devastated towns, villages and hamlets across Azad Kashmir and parts of the NWFP within minutes after it occurred on the morning of October 8, 2005. The epicentre of the quake lay just outside Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir. Initial information regarding the scale of the quake was slow to come in, with
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most media focus concentrating on the collapse of the multi-storey Margalla Towers residential complex in Islamabad. However, it became apparent over the 48 hours or so that followed that the quake was one of the worst-ever natural calamities in the region and that the extent of the destruction had been immense. Five weeks after the quake, the Pakistan government put the death toll at 73,000. Unofficial estimates from civil sector organizations engaged in the rescue and relief efforts and from survivors suggested it could run much higher. Another 80,000 people were reported to be badly injured. Many were disabled for life. The areas worst-hit were the Muzaffarabad district and Bagh districts in Azad Kashmir and the Mansehra and Battagram districts in the NWFP, with towns and villages reduced to heaps of rubble. Other areas affected by the quake included Poonch district (Rawalakot) in Azad Kashmir and the Shangla, Kohistan and Abbotabad districts of the NWFP. Even where the loss of human life was not large, damage to buildings meant tens of thousands lost a safe place of shelter. The loss of livestock, agricultural lands and damage to shops also affected the means of livelihood available to people.

Quake survivors with no say in their own future.

An Asian Development Bank and World Bank joint assessment report, released in mid-November 2005, said the earthquake destroyed more than 200,000 housing units and damaged nearly 200,000 others. In excess of 2.8 million people were left homeless. HRCP remained engaged in monitoring and needs assessment in terms of protection issues since the days immediately after the quake. Within the first two weeks of the disaster, HRCP office-holders, staff and members had visited Muzaffarabad, Mansehra, Shinkiari, Balakot, Battal, Battagram and other affected areas to assess the situation. Relief goods were distributed on a modest scale from October 12 October to 15 by a
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joint HRCP and AGHS team which visited Battal, Shinkiari and Battagram. A fact-finding mission, comprising of four HRCP teams, visited affected areas from October 18 to October 20 to draw up a plan for HRCPs future advocacy and to assess the needs of people, within HRCPs mandate, in the worst-hit areas. The teams, which visited Muzaffarabad, Mansehra, Bagh, Rawalakot, Battagram, Kohistan and Shangla districts, among its recommendations called for transparency in the distribution of aid and compensation and sought a mechanism to be put in place to track aid. The involvement of affected communities in the process of decision-making and a review of the policy regarding the grant of compensation, which many victims of the quake uniformly saw as deeply flawed, were also strongly recommended. In August 2006, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was reported to have uncovered discrepancies in the distribution of at least 50 percent of the funds allocated for quake relief and compensation. (The News, August 20, 2006) HRCP released a report, titled Quake: Many miles to go detailing its findings in the quake affected areas. Other publications put out by HRCP as part of its efforts to contribute to the massive national and international relief and rehabilitation effort after the quake included a booklet on guidelines to protect rights during relief work and a report on the findings of a survey on how far international standards were met while organizing camps set up for victims across affected areas. HRCP, on behalf of SAHR (South Asians for Human Rights) was also able to arrange the donation of medicines worth Rs 2,500,000 for quake victims from the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association. HRCP continued its monitoring efforts in 2006, focussing primarily on protecting the fundamental needs of vulnerable groups including women, children, the disabled and the elderly. In November 2005 HRCP set up offices at base camps in Mansehra and Muzaffarabad from where teams carried out surveys of relief efforts with the objective of providing people access to the right to make complaints in the absence of local human rights groups. HRCP remained engaged in its activities in quake affected areas through 2006, with teams re-visiting affected areas. Representatives of HRCP regularly attended cluster meetings organized by the UNs Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) in Islamabad from October 200 to January 2006. As an outcome of its involvement in AJK, accelerated in the post-quake scenario, HRCP also monitored polls in Kashmir in July 2006 [See Chapter on Political Participation] The human crisis continued through 2006, with delays and loopholes in the process of distributing the compensation amount of Rs 200,000 decided on by the Pakistan government creating acute difficulties for many victims. There were also many problems
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for tenants who lived in rented property. The failure to offer them assistance meant many remained shelterless. The slow process under which compensation was granted meant many people were unable to rebuild their homes even by August 2006, when torrential monsoon rains disrupted reconstruction efforts. At least 30 deaths were reported in quake-hit areas in July and August as landslides and hill torrents swept away shelters and buried roads. HRCP received complaints of the forcible eviction of people from their homes in 2005, as the military attempted to move them down to camps at lower altitudes. In March 2006, victims complained of pressure to move back to villages, even though adequate arrangements for food supply, rebuilding and livelihood did not exist in some of these areas. The IUCN, WWF and UN agencies working in quake affected areas since October 2005, continued to call for environmental-friendly relief efforts. They pointed to the pollution of drinking water supplies in Muzaffarabad and other towns as a major issue, while also stating that the loss of tree cover had made many mountain slopes more susceptible to landslides and rockfalls. As the first snows of winter fell in November 2006, many affectees braced for another winter without adequate shelter. Protests regarding the distribution of compensation and building plans took place through 2006.

Dangerous waters
The growing scarcity of water and the fact that safe drinking water was not available to most people in the country became an increasingly pressing issue. The Pakistan government, in the Economic Survey for 2005-2006, stated that preserving the quality and availability of fresh water resources was becoming the most pressing environmental challenge for Pakistan. The report also stated that research conducted by the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Water, water everywhere, but fewer drops to drink. Resources (PCRWR),
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started in 2001 under the National Water Quality Monitoring Program, had concluded that water found in many major cities was of poor quality with regard to bacterial contamination. Per capita water availability in the country, which stood at 1200 cubic metres in 2001, was reported by the Economic Survey for 2005-2006 to have shrunk to 1105 cubic metres, just above the scarcity level of 1000 cubic metres. Low rainfall and rapid rates of sedimentation were cited as the key factors responsible for the problem. Experts at various forums meanwhile called for better management of the countrys water resources and also for more holistic policies with regard to the environment and the preservation of natural recharge areas for water. In July, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took suo motu notice of the deaths of 12 people in the Faisalabad area in the Punjab, due to the supply of polluted water. The Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) had ordered the construction of waste water treatment plants at spinning and dying factories in the city in March. (Dawn, March 24, 2006). There were also reports of deaths caused by contaminated water from Sindh and Balochistan during July 2006, and of mass outbreaks of gastroenteritis and other waterrelated diseases in Multan, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Zhob, Lahore and other cities. The worst affected were children, with hundreds hospitalized across the country. Five deaths due to contaminated water were reported from Sindh in the last two weeks of June 2006. (HRCP Newsletter, July, 2006) At least six deaths due to the consumption of contaminated water were reported from the Lasbela district in Balochistan in October. Hundreds of people had been hospitalized with gastroenteritis. Press reports detailed pollution of water bodies including Manchar Lake in the Dadu district of Sindh, the River Ravi in Lahore, the Rawal Dam in Rawalpindi and the Lahore canal because of the indiscriminate dumping of factory wastes, effluents and sewage in them. The Punjab Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in July 2005 released a study that ten cities in the province, including Lahore, faced environmental disaster due to the lack of wastewater management and the discharge of sewage into waterways (Dawn, 13, July, 2006). A report from Multan in June stated that the dumping of factory wastes into canals was contaminating waterways and land across the area. It was noted that the EPD remained ineffective in tackling the issue due to bureaucratic procedures and its lack of sufficient powers. (The News, 6, June, 2006) The ILO, in a report published in May (Dawn, 15 May, 2006), stated the leather
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tanneries in the Kasur area, the heavy pollution of water and other forms of environmental contamination in the district were a source of multiple health issues. In July 2006, HRCP organized a rally outside the Lahore Press Club against the supply of contaminated water. Participants carried bottles full of filthy water collected from city taps.

Disputes over water


Issues between the provinces regarding the equitable distribution of water by IRSA (Indus River System Authority) and the federal governments policies regarding the construction of controversial, large dams compounded issues linked to water availability. Through much of late 2005 and early 2006, Balochistan continued to demand a bigger share of water distributed to the provinces as per a fixed quota. The province alleged that Sindh, by releasing a greater volume of water into rivers to combat sea incursion and meet its own needs, was depriving Balochistan of water it needed to meet agricultural demand. In August 2006, as the water availability in the country improved, a meeting was held between IRSA representatives from Sindh and Balochistan and the federal minister for water and power, in Islamabad, to seek a resolution to the situation. At the meeting, Balochistan was reported to have sought a permanent remedy to the water availability situation and complained that the province had suffered a shortfall of 0.3 MAF since April, 1 2006, which had ruined its agriculture. (The News, August 5, 2006) IRSA, in July 2006, had announced provinces would be provided water as per their demand, following an improvement in stored levels after rains. In July, President Pervez Musharraf reconstituted the Council of Common Interests (CCI), as sought by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a ruling delivered a few weeks previously, setting aside the privatization of the Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation. [See also Chapter on Labour]. The apex court had pointed out the CCI was a constitutional retirement. The issue of water distribution between provinces was one of the matters on the CCI agenda. However, in Hyderabad, in July, the anti-greater Thal and Kalabagh Dam action committee rejected the formation of the CCI, holding it served little purpose now that a decision to build the Kalabagh Dam had already been taken. President Pervez Musharraf, early in 2006, had stated work on the Kalabagh Dam project would begin in 2016. The dam was opposed by all provinces except the Punjab on the basis that it would cause the flooding of lands in the NWFP and further restrict water flow downstream to Sindh. Protests against the Kalabagh Dam, other dams on the Indus and the Greater Thal
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Canal continued across Sindh, the NWFP and the northern areas of Pakistan through 2006. In December 2005, progressive parties in Lahore united for a large rally against the dam, and called for the protection of the rights of Sindhis. Protests, joined in by all mainstream opposition parties in the country, were also held in Islamabad after President Musharrafs announcement regarding the construction of the dam.. In January 2006, President Musharraf had announced the Bhasha Dam project, in Diamir district south of Gilgit, would be built immediately. The project was inaugurated in April. In February 2006, over 20,000 protesters blocked the Karakoram Highway for five hours in Diamer district against construction of the Bhasha dam, which they said would displace 30,000 people and inundate 31,580 acres of barren and 1,600 acres of arable land in Diamer district. Amid continuing protests across the region, HRCP received complaints in February that anti-dam Empty vessels: Water shortage in Karachi. protesters had been arrested by police in an attempt to stop rallies being staged. [See also Chapter on Freedom of Assembly] In August, a press report stated that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had not extended funds for the Bhasha Dam, due to a delay in seeking financing by the Pakistan government and political considerations. (Daily Times, August 7, 2006) In October 2006, 14 years after the country faced its worst man-made disaster, the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) admitted that its operational and engineering faults were behind the outburst of floodwater from the Mangla Dam
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Toxic deaths: Tragedy in Karachi


A child died in Karachi in May 2006 after falling into a quagmire of toxic waste dumped by factories on open ground The issue of toxic waste dumping in open spaces hit headlines after a tragic incident in Karachi, in which a child died after stumbling into toxic waste dumped in a vacant plot in the SITE area. On receiving reports about the death and of injuries to over 20 other people, an HRCP fact-finding team visited the place of the incident, and found that chemical waste was being dumped on an empty plot measuring about two acres. The children of the neighborhood had been using the empty plot as a playground for a long time. A short while previously, nearby factories started dumping their chemical waste there. As a result the soil on which the children played became toxic. The HRCP team found the waste was still dangerous and was not guarded. To cover up this tragic incident, factory workers had started dumping mud on the chemical waste and stopped further disposal at the site. After stumbling into the quagmire of toxic waste while chasing a stray cricket ball, Iftikhar, 8, expired while about 20 others, most of them children aged under-15 years, were injured. HRCP strongly condemned the tragedy, in which some victims were horribly burned and disabled for life. HRCP also demanded an independent investigation into the case. A petition, filed by NGOs seeking an inquiry into the matter, was being heard by the SHC. HRCP members were signatories to the petition. No arrests were made. Indiscriminate dumping meanwhile continued. In November, seven children were injured in Orangi in Karachi when chemicals dumped on open ground caught fire.

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that killed over 500 people, including dozens of army personnel

Atomic waste
In March 2006, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of a petition by four residents of the village of Baghalchur in the Dera Ghazi Khan district of the southern Punjab, alleging radioactive atomic waste was being dumped there by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). Uranium had been mined at Bagahlchur between 1978 and November 1999, when the mine was closed down as all reserves had been used up. Residents maintained that over the past few years, the PAEC had begun depositing waste in and around the old mine. They claimed this was having a negative impact on the health of local residents, as well as their cattle. The court set a time frame of 15 days for the PAEC to reply, while accepting its request that its report not be made public. However, little more was heard of the matter since that date. A brief flurry in the national and international media around the time that the apex court took up the matter died out in the weeks that followed. HRCP received complaints that media teams were being prevented from visiting the area by military personnel. Senator Jamal Leghari, a former Nazim from the Dera Ghazi Khan area, in May 2006 moved the matter before the Senate and sought that it be placed before the defence or environment committee of the house. Since then silence prevailed.

Loss of land
The effects of land degradation and desertification due to unsustainable land management policies and the pressures imposed on natural resources by a rapidly growing population, had an impact on the lives of people across the country, the majority of whom depended on agro-pastoral activities for their livelihoods. According to official figures, water logging and salinity as a result of poor irrigation practices affected 14 million hectares of land. Deforestation and over-grazing affected 11 and 24 million hectares respectively. Other factors causing a loss of fertile land were flash floods, the loss of biodiversity, sea-intrusion along coastal areas, soil erosion and the degradation of natural eco-systems. An interim report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on its Sindh Coastal and Inland Community Development Project, the findings of which were published in February 2006 (Dawn, 20, February, 2006), linked poverty in eight talukas of the Thatta and Badin coastal districts of Sindh with sea incursion and policies that favoured
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the powerful rather than the poor. The report pointed out that incursion by the sea had virtually wiped the coastal village of Shah Bandar off the map. The risks of land loss due to desertification in Pakistan were also highlighted by the World Conservation Union in a press release coinciding with World Environment Day, marked on June 5. (Daily Times, 3, June 2006).

Air pollution
A report by the ministry of environment found that urban air pollution in Pakistan caused around 22,700 deaths, including that of 700 children. (Dawn, 15, June, 2006). The report, titled Strategic Country Environmental Assessment: Rising to the Challenge, noted that fine particulates and lead suspended in the air caused some of the most acute health problems. The major source of fine particulate pollution was vehicles, followed by fossil fuel combustion in factories and emissions from power plants. A rapidly growing transport sector, the increased number of vehicles on roads, the use of low-quality fuel and the presence of industries within city limits all contributed to worsening air quality in urban centres. Air pollution in Pakistans main urban centres, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad/ Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta was increasing because of both mobile and industrial sources. The levels of air pollution in Karachi and Lahore were estimated to be 20 times higher than the WHO guidelines, and were rising. A study by the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) under the UNDP/ENERCON Fuel Efficiency in Road Transport Sector, conducted in 2003-2004 had found an extremely high concentration of pollutants in most cities. The Economic Survey for 2005-2006 noted that suspended particulate matter was the most serious air quality issue in the country and that the major source of emissions was motor vehicles. The number of vehicles jumped from 0.8 million 20 years ago to over 4.0 million, showing an overall increase of 400 per cent. The Punjab Environmental Tribunal, in April 2006, took note of the fact that the Punjab Transport Department had issued 40,000 rickshaw permits on December 30, 2004, a day before a Punjab government ban on such permits went into force. The provincial transport secretary told the tribunal an inquiry had been ordered into the matter. The Tribunal was hearing a petition by the NGO Eco-Watch seeking remedies against pollution in Lahore, which the petition said was also damaging historical buildings including the Lahore Fort (Daily Times, 26, April 2006). Two-stroke rickshaws were banned on Lahores Mall Road in April, amidst protests by owners and drivers of the
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vehicles. A drive against smoke-emitting and noise producing vehicles, initiated in Karachi in early 2006 by the City District Government (CDG) on the orders of the SHC, was reported to have remained largely unsuccessful. In June, the federal interior minister, in a written statement to the National Assembly in a question/answer booklet, stated that steel mills were polluting the capital and that the CDA was authorized to act against polluting units under the Environmental Protection ACT (EPA) of 1997. Other polluting industries continued to operate in all cities.

Solid waste
Only around 25 percent of the thousands of tonnes of solid waste produced by major cities was properly disposed off. Most of the waste landed up in waterways, the sea off the Karachi coast and other bodies of water, adding to the growing problem of water contamination. In June 2006, the Sindh Governor promulgated an ordinance against the sale, manufacture and use of black polythene bags in the province. Material used in the bags was a major source of environmental pollution. Press reports coming in through the year indicated the ban on black bags was poorly enforced across the country. In April, it was reported that the Lahore CDG lacked sufficient sites to dump waste and as a consequence, was depositing most of it in low-lying areas of the city. It Rich pickings? was also noted that the equipment used by the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) was old, and the department had the capacity to deal with only 3,000 tonnes of waste rather than the 7,000 generated daily in Lahore (The News, 3 April, 2006). In February, the Karachi CDG privatized its Solid Waste Management (SWM).
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However, reports through the year stated the measure had made little difference, mainly because of a failure to learn from similar experiments in the past and adopt wideranging measures to tackle the growing problem of waste disposal in a city that estimates indicated produced nearly 8,000 tonnes of waste daily (The News, 14 May, 2006). Reports of waste dumping in open areas across Karachi came in through the year, with dumps located in heavily populated areas like Saddar, Keamari Town and Lyari (Dawn, 8, June 2006). The failure to safely dispose of toxic or radioactive nuclear waste put citizens across the country at still greater risk. The results of a survey conducted by a news agency stated in April that out of 2,800 hospitals, dispensaries and clinics in the city of Karachi, only 130 were cooperating with the CDG in safely depositing waste. (Dawn, 6, April 2006) The Punjab Environmental Protection Tribunal, in March, sought undertakings from hospital administrations that waste would be safely disposed off. The administrators of several city hospitals, including the Ganga Ram, Jinnah and Childrens Hospital had been summoned before the tribunal for the hearing of a complaint against hospital waste disposal by the ECO-Watch Trust NGO. (Dawn, 3, March 2006). Notices were served to 70 hospitals and clinics in Multan, Jhang and Faislabad in April, 2006 by the EPD in the Punjab for violating the 1997 Environmental Protection Act (EPA) with respect to the safe disposal of hospital waste. Other reports of the unsafe disposal of blood bags, syringes and radioactive waste from hospitals, and the recycling of these items by hospital staff, also came in.

Noise pollution
It was reported in March that, according to a survey conducted by an Urdulanguage daily in the city of Lahore, vehicular noise and smoke were having an extremely negative impact on the health and welfare of residents. (Nawa-e-Waqt, 27, March 2006) The adverse effects of noise pollution on the health of earthquake victims recovering in Rawalpindi after the October 8, 2005 disaster were also documented at a seminar organized by the Islamabad-based Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) NGO. Noise levels exceeding the WHO safety standard of 65 decibels were recorded at busy intersections in all major cities, with the highest levels, nearing 90 decibels, noted in Karachi. Medical experts, speaking at seminars, and in papers published in journals, noted
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that noise pollution raised stress levels, leading to elevated blood pressure, apart from an extremely negative impact on hearing. While there was increased attention to the issue of noise pollution, there were limited official attempts to tackle the problem, with laws, such Cover your ears! as the requirement that rickshaws use silencers, widely ignored in all major cities.

Floods
Floods, after heavy monsoon rains beginning early in July 2006, had claimed at least 200 lives across the NWFP and the Punjab by the end of August 2006. Most victims died as a result of the collapse of houses or other structures. One of the worst incidents took place in Mardan early in August, when a bridge over the Kalpani Drain caved in, as heavy torrents of water flowed through the waterway. Around 100 people gathered on the bridge at the time of the incident fell into the raging waters. At least 44 died, many caught under the debris of the falling bridge. In Rawalpindi, through July and August, the Nullah Leh, running through the city, broke its banks, submerging houses and shops around it. At least six people died after falling into the rushing waters. Complaints about the drain had been made for years by local residents, but official claims that measures had been taken to prevent it flooding were proved untrue in February 2006, when winter rains filled it beyond its capacity. Villages and towns across the Mansehra, Mardan and Charsadda districts in the NWFP were flooded, with at least two dozen people losing their lives as houses collapsed or they fell into flooded waterways. The Pakistan Army was placed on high alert early in August. People living by the banks of the River Indus were evacuated from Besham and other locations. People from Nowshera, Mardan and other flood-hit locations were also shifted to temporary camps. As in previous years, flood warnings were inadequate and rescue efforts illEnvironment 303

coordinated. [See also Chapter on Housing].

Forests, natural habitats and wildlife


Forest cover in the country remained at below four percent, well under the international recommendation of at least 11 percent across the country. In a 2005 report, The State of the Worlds Forests in 2005 the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) showed that Pakistan lost around 40,000 hectares of forest between 2004 and 2005. While supporting, in July 2005, an announcement by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz that 40 million new saplings would be planted, the WWF said that it was doubtful about the campaigns success because of failed ventures in the past. The WWF also questioned figures regarding forest cover. According to its report, only 3.1 percent of Pakistans land was covered with forests. The WWF said discrepancies in figures should be removed because Pakistan, a signatory of the Millennium Development Goals, had to increase its forest cover to six percent by 2015. (Daily Times, 21, July, 2006) The English-language daily Dawn, on July 27, 2006, wrote that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had reportedly asked the Balochistan revenue department for 23,000 acres in the countrys largest nature reserve, the Hingol National Park in Balochistan, stretching over 600,000 hectares in the Lasbela, Gwadar and Awaran districts, and including parts of the Makran coast. SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission) was also said to have applied for land within the protected national park The WWF expressed deep concern over the report. The Hingol National Park, which includes the Hingol river estuary, is home to a number of species that are listed as threatened, vulnerable or rare. It was also reported the PAFs acquisition of land in the Maslakh wildlife sanctuary led to the elimination of the species which the reserve was set up to protect, specifically the chinkara and urial. A snow leopard cub, named Leo, was in August sent to the Bronx Zoo in New York, to join its breeding programme. The cub had been found abandoned by a shepherd in Gilgit in July 2005. In September 2005, the IUCN announced the launching of a multi-country, multiagency initiative, called Mangroves for the Future, aimed at protecting coastal ecosystems and forests. Pakistan, with the sixth-largest mangrove forests in the world, was included in the project. Concern over the depletion of the mangrove forests continued, with mangrove cover reported to have shrunk from 0.26 million hectares to 0.16 million hectares since 1991. (Dawn, 2, January, 2006). The mangrove swamps were identified by experts as a key source of bio-diversity,
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Citizens fight for right to trees, open spaces


With more and more trees hacked down and open spaces taken over in major cities for road construction, plazas or to accommodate billboards, citizens launched a valiant struggle in Lahore and other cities against such attempts to encroach on their rights The new determination of citizens to fight back against attempts by developers and governments to deprive them of their rights to parks, open spaces, trees and a part in decision-making on such issues, was seen in Lahore and other cities. In Lahore, residents of the Gulberg area took the Punjab government to court over the construction of a giant, entertainment plaza at the Doongi ground, located in a residential area. The Supreme Court, in August, stayed work on the plaza. In a petition before the LHC, filed by the NGO Shehri on behalf of citizens, it was argued the ground, marked as open space in the city plan for Lahore, had been illegally handed over for the building of a cinema complex. Residents argued this deprived children of a safe place to play and infringed on the privacy of people and their right to a noisefree residential environment. The building of the entertainment plaza, begun in 2005 by the Punjab Entertainment Company (PEC), a public sector venture, was stayed by an LHC single bench in February 2006, on a petition challenging the legality of the project and of a commercial company in the public sector. The stay order was vacated by an LHC division bench a few days later, but reinstated by a petition bench of the Supreme Court, pending a decision by an LHC full bench. Two columnists and the secretary-general of HRCP, were made a party to the case in July, on their request. The petition was dismissed by the LHC bench a few weeks later. However, hearings in the appeal and in a new petition against the construction of the entertainment complex filed in July by a Lahorebased lawyer continued, with the apex court ordering construction be stopped pending a decision. In June 2006, citizens of Lahore, campaigning under the slogan of Darkht Bachao, Lahore Bachao (Save Trees, Save Lahore) began an

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effort to save thousands of trees located along the citys canal road, which had been marked for felling by city authorities. The CDG argued the tree cutting was necessary to expand the road and improve traffic flow. Estimates as to the number of trees to be cut varied official departments cited a figure between 914 and 1,800 trees, while citizens feared eventually 9,000 trees would be felled. The mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) required by law before any such project had not been carried out. This was ordered after citizens organized rallies, holding that trees were a part of Lahores heritage, and began a media drive opposing the cutting and the failure to include people in decisions that affected their lives and their environment. The proposed felling of trees came in the wake of road development works in Lahore that had over the past several years already led to thousands of trees, some thought to be over a century old, chopped down. The problem was not unique to Lahore. In January 2006, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning and Development Works, constitutionally mandated to take up any development project and give its verdict in the public interest, ordered the Public Works Department (PWD) not to construct a proposed multi-storey building at the 15-years old childrens park at the Gulshan-i-Jinnah Complex in Islamabad. The plan to construct the apartment complex had led to children and parents staging angry protests. During the same month, the cutting of about 700 trees at two residential colonies near the Tarbela Dam was bitterly opposed by people who lived there. The Supreme Court, acting on a petition filed by a citizen, cancelled a lease that the CDA had granted to a Lahore-based businessman for building a mini-golf centre and club at an Islamabad Park. The apex court noted in its ruling that CDA rules laid down that public parks could never be converted into commercial activity. There were also protests over tree cutting in Karachi, Mianwali and other cities. In Gujrat, it was alleged hundreds of trees were being cut down and illegally auctioned. There were media allegations that district officials were involved in the scandal. (Dawn, 5, May, 2006).

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sustaining a variety of wildlife species. There was no resumption of work on the Punjab governments controversial New Murree project, which threatened 11,000 trees. The Supreme Court had in September 2005 sought a report from the Punjab government on the project and ordered all work to be halted. Reports concerning threats to species, including the Indus River Dolphin, due to the contamination of waters and to bird life due to the felling of trees, came in through the period under review.

Policies and international commitments


It was noted that the failure to implement laws on the environment, including the provisions of the 1997 Environmental Protection Act (EPA) were a major factor in the worsening situation. The fact that the Environmental Tribunal in the Punjab was able to order some checks to curb vehicular pollution and unsafe hospital waste came as evidence of the positive impact such courts could have. Unfortunately, tribunals were not operational in any of the three other provinces. In October 2006, the SHC directed the government to ensure the Sindh Environmental Protection Tribunal was set up. Pakistans commitments, included in a number of multilateral environmental agreements which it had ratified, also remained largely unfulfilled. These agreements included the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), ratified in 1997, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), ratified in 1994, the Ramsar Convention on wetlands ratified in 1992 and other conventions as well as non-legally binding actions, such as the Agenda-21 Rio Principles. The Economic Survey mentioned that though constrained by issues such as a lack of awareness and technical expertise, Pakistan had taken several steps to meet its international obligations. These included the finalization of a National Implementation Plan to eliminate persistent organic pollutants, finalizing the action plan for the UNCCD and implementing the biodiversity action plan. In its Living Planet Report, 2006, released in October, the WWF stated even in Pakistan, a poor country, consumption was twice its ecological resources. The situation was being exacerbated by luxury projects being set up across the country, especially along the Karachi sea-front, with the financing of developers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the highest consumers per capita of the worlds resources. It was reported in 2006 that Bandal and Buddo islands, off the Karachi coast, were being leased to a Dubai-based firm for development. The dislocation of hundreds of fishermen was repoirted to have began in December 2006. No environmental impact study had
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been carried out and it was reported the Sindh government had not been consulted.

Recommendations
1. More serious attention needs to be paid to quick rehabilitation work and distribution of compensation to affectees of the October 8 quake. Elimination of reported corruption in ERRA and related agencies must be a priority. 2. A widely publicized campaign for water conservation in all areas must be initiated to prevent Pakistan, a water-stressed country from developing into a waterdeficient (less than 1000 cubic metres per capita) country. Population growth, resource management, investment in infrastructure, watershed and river plain organization need to be critical parts of the programme. 3. Politically acceptable alternatives to big dams must be investigated and their benefits propagated. 4. In keeping with WWF recommendations, Pakistan needs to increase its biocapacity (ecological resources), while reducing the ecological footprint (consumption) of the more affluent sections of society. 5. The establishment and increase in access of the common man to Environmental Tribunals under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 is becoming critical. This will help address issues of waste management, improper land use and degradation, air and water pollution, noise, forests, parks, open spaces, illegal construction and many other environmental problems.

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Refugees
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1

Even as the number of refugees from Afghanistan in the country fell, the issue of internally displaced people grew, with little attention given to their plight.

Afghan refugees
The UNHCR reported in November 2006 that over 65,000 Afghans had returned to their country since the repatriation campaign for the year resumed in March, at the end of the Afghan winter. The UNHCR stated some 2.55 million Afghan refugees remained in Pakistan, while three million had returned since 2002. The Pakistan government continued to call through the year for a swift return of Afghan refugees. In April, it also reached an agreement with the UNHCR to issue special identity cards to Afghans still in the country as a means to regularize their status. The cards would also grant the Afghans permission to remain in Pakistan for three more years, beyond 2006. The US $6 million registration programme began in October 2006 under the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), and was set to continue till the end of December 2006. By the end of November, the UN reported over half a million Afghan refugees had been registered most of them from the NWFP and Balochistan. According to reports received by HRCP in December, it seemed apparent it would not be possible to complete the process of registering 2.5 million refugees within three
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months. The registration was carried out on the basis of the 2005 census of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Not all refugees were registered in that census as it was conducted in haste, ahead of the Afghan elections. This meant they would not be included in the new registration process.. There were also allegations of widespread corruption in the registration process, with registration being refused on the most minor pretexts including the misspelling of a name, unless a bribe was paid. Complaints that the system was badly organized abounded, facilities at registration centres were insufficient and police used violence against both male and female refugees gathered at registration centres. The requirement that a photograph be provided created difficulties with many refugees reluctant to provide photographs of women. The announcement at the end of 2006 by the government that there were no longer any A long wait to register. refugees in the tribal areas was found according to reports received by HRCP to be factually incorrect. After the announcement, refugees living in tribal areas went underground and were left totally unprotected, without recourse to any aid or protection mechanisms. Press reports stated the flow of refugees back to Afghanistan had slowed after the registration plan was announced in June. Talks between the governments in Islamabad, Kabul and the UNHCR on a new voluntary repatriation plan for Afghans beginning in 2007, originally scheduled for December 2006, were delayed till the following year. In March, as part of a policy apparently aimed at forcing Afghans out of the country, the Pakistani authorities announced the Katcha Garhi refugee camp in Peshawar, one of the oldest in the country, would close at the end of April 2006. The refugees at the camp, reported to number around 51,000 (Herald, June 2006), resisted seeking
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a stay of one more year. They pointed out during meetings with officials of the UNHCR, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) and representatives of the government of Pakistan that they had invested considerable time and money in setting up small businesses in and around the camp and could not afford to wind them up at such short notice. In June, at a meeting in Doha, representatives of the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UNHCR agreed that three camps in Pakistan, including the Katcha Garhi camp and two in southern Balochistan, would close by the end of July 2006. The closure of Jalozai Camp, proposed by Pakistan, was delayed till 2007. In April, as part of the same strategy, 78 schools for Afghans were closed down in the NWFP. According to press reports (The News, 2 April, 2006), this deprived 7.017 pupils and 614 teachers of their places at the schools. Harsh policing measures, which Pakistani authorities maintained were intended to cut crime, were also used against Afghans. Early in 2006, the NWFP government stated Afghan refugees would not be permitted out of the province. In May, the UNHCR reported that over 7,335 refugees based in Rawalpindi and Islamabad had been asked to return home or relocate to a camp near Mianwali. Press reports suggested the move had come as a result of pressure from Pakistani authorities.. In Peshawar, in May, hundreds of Afghan nationals were arrested during a drive against illegal residents of the city. Most of the arrested Afghans were released by courts after signing bonds promising good behaviour. A new round-up of Afghans by police, after a series of bomb blasts in the NWFP, led to at least 1,000 Afghan nationals being arrested in Peshawar in November. There were also allegations from some Afghans of serious security lapses and flaws in the UNHCR repatriation process. In May 2006, an Afghan father of two small children alleged his daughter and son had been kidnapped by a fellow Afghan, and taken across the border through a UNHCR repatriation centre as the kidnapper wished to collect the compensation amount handed out for each family member. The complainant had found his children at a resettlement camp near Kabul (Dawn, 18 May, 2006). The reports coming in from the refugee camps still remaining in Pakistan stated that conditions were worsening in terms of safety, food and water supply and other services. The Economic Affairs Division (EAD) of the Pakistan government told a Standing Committee of the National Assembly in June 2006 that it had received only US $2 billion from the international community since 1979 to support Afghan refugees (Daily Times, 2 June 2006). Meanwhile Afghans remaining in the country often cited poor economic conditions in Afghanistan and political uncertainty as a reason for their reluctance to return home. In April, it was reported that thousands of refugees repatriated in previous months
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by the UNHCR were returning to Pakistan, either due to poor economic conditions in Afghanistan or to exploit the system under which a grant of US $200 was given to each returning Afghan by the UNHCR. (Daily Times, 19 April 2006) [An announcement by the Pakistan government at the end of December 2006, that it planned to mine and fence areas along the Pak-afghan border as a means to combat cross-border militancy, presented an acute threat to people living on either side of the loosly demarcated frontier.]

Internally displaced people


No data was officially available about the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country, who were not recognized under law. As a result no government department or agency was responsible for keeping count of IDPs or gathering information about them. While the largest scale displacements took place due to the quake of October 8th, 2005 [See Chapter on Environment for details], there were also reports of massive displacements in Waziristan and Balochistan as a result of conflict in these areas. The Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council, confirmed in February 2006 that displacement was on the rise in Waziristan. In a report in June 2005, the IMDC had stated at least 50,000 persons had been displaced in Waziristan, but it was not clear how

Hattian Bala: People dispalced by the October 8th quake.

many remained displaced since that time. HRCP received reports that some displaced people from Waziristan had re-located themselves in areas such as Bannu and Peshawar. In January 2006, after a detailed fact-finding mission in Balochistan, HRCP stated
312 State of Human Rights in 2006

in a report based on its visits to Quetta, Sibi, Dera Bugti and Sui that up to 85 percent of the 22,000-26,000 inhabitants of the town of Dera Bugti had left their homes after shelling by paramilitary forces. [See also Chapter on Political Participation]. In April 2006, opposition leaders in the Balochistan assembly stated these persons were living in miserable conditions in Nasirabad and Jaffarabad. In July 2006 the President of Pakistan stated in an address to the nation that thousands of members of the Kalpar, Masoori and Rajiya sub-clans of the Bugti tribe, allegedly expelled from Dera Bugti by the tribal Chief , Nawab Akbar Bugti, had returned to these areas. Efforts to bring back the disgruntled sub-clans of the Bugti tribe had begun early in 2006, as government forces battled Bugti tribesmen. The IDMC reported that the number of Kashmiri refugees who had fled into Azad Jammu and Kashmir across the Line of Control (LoC) from Indian-held Kashmir as a result of fighting had fallen markedly since 2003, when a ceasefire was agreed on by Pakistan and India. There were threats of displacements due to planned mega-projects, including the Bhasha Dam. It was feared 20,000 to 30,000 people in Diamir district would be affected by the construction of the dam. [See also Chapter on Environment] The Gwadar Port Project threatened to displace 70,000. The 20,000 people, affected by the building of the Tarbela and Mangla dams over three decades ago continued to complain they had not received the compensation promised to them. There were reports in December 2006 that people living on two islands off the Karachi coast, Bundal and Buddo, being developed by a Dubai-based company, had begun being displaced as work began. [See also Chapter on Environment]

Biharis in Bangladesh
Representatives of the Washington-based NGO, Refugees International, in April visited Bangladesh to assess the situation of the persons living there who called themselves Biharis. These persons claimed Pakistani citizenship under the Citizenship Act, and maintained they were Pakistani nationals till Bangladesh emerged as a separate state in 1971. Refugees International stated that the estimated number of Biharis ranged from 240,000 to 500,000. It recommended that the government of Pakistan work with the government of Bangladesh and the UNHCR to find a way to offer resettlement and citizenship to Biharis who wished to live in Pakistan, especially those seeking family reunifications. It also urged the government of Bangladesh to grant citizenship to those Biharis who sought it and to integrate them in society. A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) continued hearings in an appeal
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seeking the repatriation of Biharis to Pakistan. Meanwhile, in Karachi, Bihari and Bengali speakers complained of discrimination in the grant of Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) by NADRA, with HRCP receiving several complaints, as had been the case in previous years.

Treatment of aliens
Foreigners in the country, especially Indians, continued to be jailed for overstaying visas or for not possessing valid documents. The issue was an especially serious one for some of the foreigners in jails, who continued to be held after completing their terms, as they lacked documentation regularising their stay in the country, while their missions declined to take responsibility for them. (See also Chapter on Jails, prisoners and disappearances).

Recommendations
1. Registration of refugees is necessary to provide identity documents to them. This will aid in decreasing police harassment and help the repatriation process. However the registration process, to achieve these objectives and to be free from allegations of bias and corruption, has to include all the Afghan refugees wherever they may be. Basing the registration on any previous census defeats these purposes. 2. Despite living in Pakistan for 25 years, refugees have no access to any form of governance structure, including the right to association, which means that there are no organizations where the refugees can air their concerns and grievances. Such associations should be encouraged. 3. Police harassment remains one of the main areas of concern for the refugees. The government needs to look into the problem and ensure that there are suitable changes in police practice and supervision to ensure security and dignity to the refugees. 4. Legislation is needed to set up a government body to collect data relating to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), whose numbers and situation is currently unknown. 5. The government needs to take steps to recognize and protect IDPs, particularly in the areas of health and education.

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Appendices

III

HRCP activities 315

316 State of Human Rights in 2006

Appendix - I

HRCP activities
Through activities which included fact-finding missions, workshops, seminars, rallies and surveys, HRCP continued its efforts to both monitor the current human rights situation and to raise awareness among ordinary people about fundamental rights. Two fact-finding missions, led by chairperson Asma Jahangir, to Balochistan in December 2005 and January 2006 enabled HRCP to gain first-hand information about the human rights situation in areas of the province hit by conflict. The findings were detailed in a report, Conflict in Balochistan, brought out in January 2006. HRCP also continued to bring out other publications. Its website was visited by media persons, researchers, students, activists and other persons both within and outside the country. The Complaints Cell at HRCP attempted to improve its process of receiving and documenting complaints. Letters were written to the government and other agencies, and some responses were received. A focus of HRCP activities during the year was the issue of enforced disappearances taking place in the country. As HRCP began the mammoth task of collecting, verifying and documenting details of such cases, it discovered at least 400 people were reported to be missing in the country, the largest number in Balochistan. 241 of these cases had been documented by the close of 2006, with the process continuing at the HRCP secretariat in Lahore and its chapter offices in all four provinces. To coincide with the International Human Rights Day on December 10th, HRCP
HRCP activities 317

marked a week of protests against enforced disappearances, which concluded with a demonstration in Islamabad on December 9th. HRCPs office bearers, council members and senior staff also acted as resource persons visiting government and private institutions to deliver lectures or participate in workshops, as well as providing information and comment to the media. The reference section at HRCP was visited by at least 300 people from September 1st 2005 to December 15th, 2006 the period under review in this report.

Fact-findings
The following is a list of some of the fact-findings conducted during the period under review: October 2, 2005, Multan: Murder of Mst. Shamim and Abdul Majid on pretext of honour. October 4, 2005, Multan: Chopping off of nose of Taj Bibi by her husband. October 5, 2005, Khanewal: Murder of Union Council Nazim Khizer Hayat Khan Toro, allegedly on the behest of a Federal Minister. October 8, 2005, Multan: Murder of 10-year-old M. Afzal in Madrassah Ammar Bin Yasir. October 26, 2005, Dera Murad Jamali: Rape of two sisters by police. October 28, Karachi: Conversion of three Hindu girls to Islam, who told the court later that they had converted willingly. October 18-20, 2005, AJK, NWFP: Fact-finding mission to quake-hit areas. HRCP teams, led by council members, visited affected districts across the NWFP and AJK. October 28, 2005, Multan: Murder of Sabir in police custody. November 9, 2005, Peshawar: Visit to village Achini Payan to monitor public meeting organized by Almi Majlis Tahafuzi Khatam-e-Nabuat to demand punishment for an Ahmadi boy who had converted to Islam. November 9, 2005, Umerkot: Murder of Hindu businessman, Seth Ram Lal Maheshwari. November 9, 2005, Haveli Chhore: Gang rape of Tara Bibi. November 11, 2005, Multan: Rape of four-year-old Zahra Bibi. November 15, 2006: Sangla Hill: Fact-finding into attack on church property and the homes of Christians after blasphemy charges. December 16, 2005, Multan: Rape of a domestic servant by the employers son, Waqas and ASI Abdul Hameed. December 2005, Karachi: Fact-finding to look into the problem of contaminated
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water in Landhi. December 26-28, 2005, Quetta and Sibi: A team of HRCP office-bearers, led by chairperson Asma Jahangir and including Mr Afrasiab Khattak and Dr Mubashir Hasan visited troubled areas around Kohlu to assess the situation January 8-10, 2006, Dera Bugti and Sui: Ms Jahangir, Mr Khattak, Balochistan vice-chairperson Mr Zahoor Ahmed Shawani and Mr Zainuddin visited Dera Bugti and nearby areas in the wake of intensified conflict and accelerated human rights abuses. January 2, 2006, Multan: Burning to death of Razia Bibi by her husband. January 2, 2006, Karachi: Extra-judicial murder of Muhammad Hussain Gichki, cousin of Sardar Akhtar Mengal, chief of Balochistan National Party. January 21, 2006, Muzaffargarh: Abdul Sattar booked in blasphemy case as a result of a dispute on toll tax. January 25, 2006, Multan: Murder of a child, Sajad Hussain, aged 11. January 23-27, 2006: Visit to Panjgur, Gawader, Turbet, Pasni, and Ormara. January 23, 2006, Badin: Burning of 36 houses of haris by a landlord. February 5, 2006, Kolpur: Death of 13 passengers in a bomb explosion. February 17, 2006, Hyderabad: Arrest of a girl in a robbery case. March 30, 2006, Lodhran: Alleged rape and selling of Kaniz Mai. April 2, 2006, FATA: Law and order situation in Bara Khyber Agency. April 6, 2006, Hyderabad: Torture and mutilation of Haseena by her husband. April 10, 2006, Hyderabad: Suicide by 25-year old Saleem Hussain by setting himself ablaze. April 11, 2006, Tando Adam: Two young persons disabled by torture by Tando Adam Police. April 14, 2006, Wadh: Siege of the house of Sardar Akthtar Mengal, President Balochistan National Party (BNP), and illegal arrest of innocent people. April 15, 2006, Multan: Murder of Farah by her father. April 15, 2006, Karachi: Siege of Mengals House by Law Enforcement Agencies. April 16, 2006, Multan: Shamim Mai left her house in Shujabad along with Rafiq after she was denied the right to marry by choice. Shamims parents and other relatives attacked Rafiqs house. Those present at Rafiqs house hurled acid at the aggressors in retaliation and injured seventeen persons. April 17, 2006, Muzaffargarh: Abduction and rape of a girl, Nafees. It was alleged that local Naib Nazims son was also involved in the crime. April 30, 2006, Thatta: Juman Rind of village Saleh Muhammad Rind, tehsil
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Sujawal, district Thatta, killed his wife Mst. Hawwa with an axe, under the pretext of karo-kari. May 4, 2006, Hyderabad: Torture of political prisoners at Central Jail Hyderabad. May, 2006, Karachi: Death of a child and injuries to 20 others as a result of toxic waste dumped on an open ground. May 7, 2006, Hoosri: Suicide by a young girl, Mini, near Hoosri. May 7 2006, Matiari: Suicide by a young couple at village Dharo Khaskeli, district Matyari. May 10, 2006, Thatta: Murder of Muhammad Hanif by his wife Bachai in collaboration with Rajab Jutt in village Raj Malak in district Thatta. May 14, 2006, Thatta: Sodomy and murder of a child, Altaf Mallah, 8 by Muhammad Siddique in village Thaaryun, Thatta. May 18, 2006, Tando Muhammad Khan: A clash between Chaang and Kolhi clans claimed four lives in the jurisdiction of PS Tando Ghulam Haider in district Tando Muhammad Khan, on May 15, 2006. May 24, 2006, Hyderabad: Acid thrown on Irfan Ahmed Qureshi. June 4, 2006, Karachi: Death of Hafiz Naveed, resident of North Nazimaabad due to police torture. June 1, 2006, Jacobabad: Report on jirga-ordered Karo Kari. June 8, 2006, Hyderabad: Assault of a young prisoner, Ashfaq Bukhari, in jail. June 14, 2006, Jacobabad: In order to dispose off an old dispute over Karo Kari, a jirga was held in village Kamaal Magsi near Thull district Jacobabad. The jirga was headed by Sardar Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani MNA and Pir Abdul Khaliq of Bharchoodi Sharif and it was decided to impose heavy fines on both the rival groups and hand over four minor girls, aged between two and eight years, in marriage. June, 2006, NWFP: Misappropriation of relief goods by Pakistan Army in Earthquake affected areas. June 18, 2006, Bahawalpur: Murder of two persons including a retired teacher by a mob on the instigation of a particular sect due to suspicion that one religious leader had defiled the Holy Quran. June 29, 2006, Peshawar: Attack on Press Club, Peshawar. June 30, 2006, Khairpur: Death of an ASI by police torture. Raid and torture by police in Piryaloi. June 30, 2006, Muzaffargarh: Murder of a boy in post election violence. When Sibtul Hussan group lost the election of union council Damer wali Shumali, they attacked the houses of local voters belonging to the Bhatti family. During the violence, a boy, Waheedur Rehman was killed and twenty persons, including women, injured. 29 accused
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were arrested, but local landlords pressurized the complainant party for a compromise. July 6, 2006, Hyderabad: Extra-judicial murder of Rasool Bux Brohi. July 8, 2006, Hyderabad: Declaration of a woman as kari. July 8, 2006, Karachi: Torture of Mr. Yaqoob of Patail Para, Karachi July 11, 2006, Matairi: Muhammad Sehto shot his young wife, Gudi, and later shot himself dead. July 16, 2006, Muzaffargarh: Rape of 11-year-old Naseem. July 19, 2006, Umerkot: Abduction of Chetan Bajeer by agencies. July 20/22, 2006, Muzaffargargh: Obstruction of district council budget session by police allegedly on the behest of the local administration and the district naib nazim. July 25/26, 2006, Naseerabad/Jafarabad: Meetings with people forced out of Dera Bugti. July 31, 2006, Muzaffargarh: Forcible taking of Shahzia, 10, as vani after her brother allegedly raped a girl. August 8, 2006, Multan: Threats to Shagufta and her husband Tanveer Abbas, and Arosh and her husband Muhammad Saleem, who had married by choice. August 9, 2006, Karachi: Illegal detention of Mr. Nisar Baloch of Shehri. August, 2006, Karachi: Abduction and torture of 24 Shias by law enforcement agencies, on the pretext of targetting sectarian crime. August 9, 2006, Karachi: 35-year-old Nisar Ahmad s/o Mr. Anwar, resident of Orangi, died in the lock-up Mominabad police station. Departmental action was conducted and those involved were suspended. August 12, 2006, Karachi: Harassment of female student at Karachi University. August 17, 2006, Karachi: Zafar Hameed was shot dead by the police after snatching Rs. 6,300/-. August 21, 2006, Multan: Attempted rape of a girl. Police did not register an FIR. September 7, 2006, Multan: Press conference held by abduction victim Ghazala Shaheen, in which she narrated details of the kidnapping of her mother and herself by influential local people. The two women were also raped. September 15, 2006, Rajanpur: Rape and murder of 10-year-old Haleema, allegedly by Qari Khalil. September 23, 2006, Alipur: Rape of Naseem and her sister Shamim, allegedly by a local landlord and his accomplices. A case was registered but police exonerated the accused party. October 13, 2006, Karachi: Investigation into occupation of a compound on which a Hindu temple was situated and its use by butchers as a slaughter area. November 1, 2006, Khanewal: Komal, 8, given as vani.
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November 14, 2006, Naushehro Feroze: Gang rape of Mst. Shahzadi of village Yousuf Nagore.

Enforced disappearances
April 28, 2006, Karachi: Demonstration against disappearances. May 28, 2006, Quetta: Protest rally against the kidnapping/disappearances of citizens and political workers in Balochistan. September 8, 2006, Karachi: Hunger strike and demonstration against disappearances. September 30 and October 1, 2006, Islamabad: Two-day workshop on enforced disappearances with Amnesty International. December 4, 2006, Lahore: Meeting on enforced disappearances. December 6, 2006, Quetta: Meeting on enforced disappearances. December 6, 2006, Karachi: Press conference and rally on enforced disappearances. December 7, 2006, Peshawar: Meeting on enforced disappearances. December 9, 2006, Islamabad: Enforced disappearances.

Balochistan crisis
January 9, 2006, Multan: Rally to condemn the attack on the Chairperson Asma Jahangir in Dera Bugti. April 28, 2006, Lahore: Rally against enforced disappearances in Balochistan. August 30, 2006, Multan: Present political situation after the death of Bugti. Solidarity was shown through letters to the Sardars family & party. September 3, Lahore: Rally by Punjab Civil Society against military action in Balochistan. September 7, 2006, Quetta: Meeting with Nawab Bughti sons. September 7, 2006, Quetta: Meeting with Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal, President (BNP) on current situation of province. September 19, 2006, Quetta: Consultation with delegation of Joint Action Committee, political parties, NGO representatives, HRCP members and journalists about the current situation in the province.

Prisons
Jail visits 1. Karachi Central Jail 2. Karachi Malir District Jail
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3. Karachi Industrial Home for Youthful Offenders (Juvenile Jail) 4. Karachi Womens Jail/ Karachi Remand Home 5. Hyderabad Central Jail 6. Sukkur Jail I 7. Sukkur Jail II 8. District Jail Dadu 9. District Jail Khairpur 10. District Jail Jacobabad 11. District Jail Larkana 12. Women Jail Larkana 13. District Jail Shirkarpur 14. Hyderabad Nara Jail 15. District Jail Badin 16. District Jail Mirpurkhas 17. District Jail Nawabshah 18. District Jail Sanghar 19. Mach Central Jail May 4, 2006, Hyderabad Central Jail: Coordinator STFS and Coordinator Core Groups paid a visit to Central Jail Hyderabad to enquire about the condition of a political prisoner Asghar Ali Shah and others belonging to Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz who were reported to have been severely tortured after their arrest in Karachi. Asghar Ali Shah was brought before the team. Jail visits were also made to prisons in the NWFP and other provinces to collect data on women released from jail after July 2006, under a presidential ordinance that granted relief to women prisoners.

Rights of women
December 2005, Islamabad: Meeting on Discriminatory laws against women. February 12, 2006, Hyderabad: Pakistan Womens Day. February 28, 2006, Karachi: Consultation with parliamentarians on domestic violence. March 7, 2006, Mianwali: Meeting and rally against the unjust custom of Vani, attended by HRCP office-bearers and members. March 7, 2006, Layyah: Candle-lit procession to show solidarity with female victims of violence. March 8, 2006, Quetta/Hyderabad: Seminars and Street Exhibition at Press Club
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Hyderabad on International Womens Day and meeting in Quetta. May 4, 2006, Hyderabad: Visit to Darul Aman Hyderabad in connection with the case of two Hindu sisters including Shrimati Gudi, who converted to Islam and got married. May 18, 2006, Karachi: Abduction and rape of a lady doctor. July 25, 2006, Karachi: Demonstration against Hudood Ordinances. July 29, 2006, Karachi: Brainstorming Workshop on How to Prevent Violence Against Women. July, 2006, Karachi: Mr. Ayoob and Ms. Nadia w/o Ayoob, who married by their free will were abducted from Azad Kashmir on July 7, 2006. Both were recovered by HRCP from Azad Kashmir. August 26, 2006, Karachi: Consultative meeting to discuss the Proposed Womens Rights Bill 2006. September 2, 2006, Multan: Recovery of two abducted women, Ghazala and her mother Mumtaz. September 20, 2006, Islamabad: Rally against Hudood Ordinances. Apart from seminars, meetings and rallies, HRCP also conduced fact-findings into a variety of cases in which women were victimized or threatened and attended some court hearings of cases involving women.

Youth cell
March 14, 2006, Karachi: Students meeting July 11, 2006, Lahore: Consultation on problems of youth August 12, 2006, Karachi: Celebration of International Youth Day. November 12, 2006, Faisalabad: Conference on youth empowerment November 19, 2006, Peshawar: Role of education in promotion of peace with special emphasis on hate speeches November 26, 2006, Hyderabad: Youth empowerment and peace December 9, 2006, Multan: Role of youth in human rights

Primary education
Meetings with stake holders in education, including parents, teachers, education department officials and others were held throughout the year in Multan, Karachi, Hyderabad, Peshawar and other cities, under HRCPs Educational Budget Tracking Project. A national consultation on education was held in Lahore on October 6, 2006, and
324 State of Human Rights in 2006

was attended by HRCP coordinators, government officials and others involved in education. September 8, 2006, Karachi: Celebration of International Literacy Day. September 25, 2006, Karachi: Meeting with City Nazim on education surveys.

Torture
January 6, 2006, Multan: Meeting: Psychological impact of torture. June 26, 2006, Bahawalpur: Dialogue organized on the International Day against Torture. June 26, 2006, Karachi: Meeting: International Torture Day. June 26, 2006, Multan: A demonstration was held to show solidarity with victims of torture.

Child rights
December 23, 2005, Karachi: Consultation on corporal punishment. November 20, 2005, Quetta: Child rights day. January 24/25, 2006, Karachi: Workshop on Alternative care for children. June 4, 2006, Bahawalpur: Dialogue held on the occasion of International Day of innocent child victims of aggression.

Other activities
December 17, 2005, Karachi: Workshop on judicial reform. February 3, 2006, Peshawar: 12 days training workshop for training of master trainers for HRCP-CEF. February 3, 2006, Multan: Meeting: Introduction of HRCP and the responsibilities of human rights activists. March 24 & 25, 2006, Karachi: Spring Council Meeting. March 26, 2006, Karachi: Annual General Meeting. March 18, 2006, Karachi: International peace coalition rally for Iraq. April 29, 2006, Karachi: Judiciary reform workshop. June 2, 2006, Lahore: Demonstration against contaminated drinking water. June 29, 2006, Peshawar: Seminar on Freedom of Press in light of the Hayatullah Khan murder case. July 4, 2006, Multan: A protest was staged against Israels aggression on Lebanon. July 12, 2006, Larkana: Protest rally by traders.
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July 7, 2006, Multan: Present political situation and impact of poverty. July 11, 2006, Karachi: Monitoring of Kashmir Elections. 2006, Karachi: Rally to Express Solidarity with Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians. August 6, 2006, Dera Ghazi Khan: Meeting to protest against the preparation, storage, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. August 7, 2006, Multan: Monitoring of electoral roll preparation and working procedures at NADRA Multan. August 9, 2006, Karachi: Seminar, Remembering Nuclear Terrorism: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. August 10, 2006, Toba Tek Singh: HRCP team visited Toba Tek Singh where labourers of a power loom mill had held a strike against the owners of the mill to seek increment in pays, holidays and benefits of social security. August 19, 2006, Rahim Yar Khan: Training workshop on human rights situation in the district and core group activities. August 20, 2006, Bahawalpur: Training workshop on human rights situation in the district and core group activities. August 21, 2006, Peshawar: Meeting on current political situation and human rights. September 7, 2006, Quetta: Meeting with organizations of traders about losses suffered during recent riots. October 6, 2006, Multan: Citizens political rights and vote registration and the role of human rights activists in political mobilization of people. October 10, 2006, Multan: Current political situation. October 16, 2006, Lahore: Discussion on the state of freedom of information in Pakistan. October 17, 2006, Multan: Meeting to identify citizens rights and problems in Multan. October 31, 2006, Peshawar: Rally against Bajaur bombing.

Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Islamabad


The Centre for Democratic Development in Islamabad continued its monitoring of sessions of the parliament and its interaction with parliamentarians. It also organized seminars, meetings, consultations and other activities, some of which are listed below. December 5, 2005: Earthquake response - issues and concerns, by Mr. Harris Khalique, Executive Director Strengthening Participatory Organization. December 14, 2005: Discriminatory Laws against Women by Dr. Muhammad
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Khalid Masud, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology, Pakistan. December 27, 2005: Invisible Child Labour with Focus on Pakistan by Ms. Salma Majeed Jafar, Technical Director Child Rights & Protection, Save the Children, UK. January 3, 2006: Human Rights for Women by Ms. Saboohi, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Shariah & Law, International Islamic University. January 31, 2006: Workers Rights: Issues and Implications by Bashir A. Tahir, Trade Union Institute for Development Cooperation. January 22, 2006: Press conference and report launching of fact-finding mission on Balochistan. February 4, 2006: Launching ceremony of HRCPs annual report State of Human Rights in 2005. February 4, 2006: Dowry violence by Dr. Rukhshanda, Sachet. March 31, 2006: Discriminatory customs against women: Vani and Swara by Ms. Samar Minallah, an anthropologist and Executive Director of Ethnomedia. March: Meetings for a joint project on Death Penalty by HRCP and FIDH were held with the superintendent Mr. Malik Shaukat Feroz Khan, Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, police officials at superintendent of police office Islamabad, the Interior Secretary Mr. Kamal Shah, the Secretary of Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights Division and former judges at Supreme Court building. April 13, 2006: Working group discussion on Discrimination against Girl Child by Ms. Nasreen Azhar from Action Aid. . April 28, 2006: Addressing Violence against Women and achieving Millennium Development Goals by Dr. Farzana Bari, Director, Centre for Womens Studies, Quaidi-Azam University, Islamabad. May: Seminar on Peoples Agenda on Privatization in collaboration with Action Aid. May 17, 2006: Third consultative meeting on Electoral Reforms with parliamentarians, NGOs representatives and intellectuals. May 31, 2006: Discussion on World Bank Pakistans Country Gender Assessment Report by Dr. Saba Gull of SDPI and Dr. Rubina Saigal. June 2006: Briefing to human rights activists and students from Taangh Wasaib Organization for Human Rights and Development from Sargodha on CDDs working and human rights situation in the country. June 12, 2006: Facilitated the Roundtable on Budget Monitoring and Transparency.
HRCP activities 327

June 23, 2006: Discussion on Role of individual in a Society by Dr. Anwar Nasim, Adviser COMSTECH. July 11, 2006: Monitoring of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections. July 20, 2006: Mr. Kamran Akbar, Team Leader Reconstruction and Rehabilitation, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Islamabad gave a presentation on Reconstruction and Rehabilitation: A Task Ahead. July 30, 2006: National Conference on the Hudood Ordinances: Time for Repeal was organized in collaboration with Joint Action Committee Pakistan. September 11, 2006: Press Conference and Launching of Report on Northern areas of Pakistan. September 20, 2006: Launching of Human Rights Watch report Human Rights Violations in Azad Kashmir. September 21, 2006: Mr. Brad Adams (HRW) Consultation with Parliamentarians. September 29, 2006: Launching of Amnesty Internationals Report on Pakistan: Human Rights ignored in war on terror. October 1, 2006: Workshop on Enforced Disappearances. November 27, 2006: NGOs coordination meeting on Women Protection Bill. December 7, 2006: Talk on Autonomy within Federation by Dr. Tariq Rahman, Social Scientist and Professor, Quaid-i-Azam University, December 11, 2006: National Dialogue on Balochistan Conflict. The Ongoing Conflict and its Impact on People, The Question of Distribution and Control of Natural Resources, Provincial Autonomy and A Way Forward.

Special Task Force, Sindh


The Special Task Force, Sindh, based at Hyderabad, continued its efforts for the release of bonded labourers and compiled data through the year on their situation [See Chapter on Labour]. Some of its other activities were as follows: January 16, 2006, Hyderabad: Hari Munnu Bheel completed his 1,094th day of hunger strike. January 25, 2006, Lahore: Press conference by Munnu Bheel. October 17, 2006, Hyderabad: Attack on Sikandarabad hari camp by a gang of bandits. May 1, 2006, Quetta/Mulan: International Workers Day. May 26, 2006, Multan: Seminar on the issue of bonded labour and role of civil
328 State of Human Rights in 2006

society, Budhla Sanat village. May 2006: HRCP Karachi received a complaint that many haris, including women, were being kept as bonded labourers at Deh Rate, Lakra, District Lasbela. With the permission of the vice-chairperson Sindh, a team was sent to rescue these Haris during May and July 2006. 20 haris, including children and four women, were released through HRCPs efforts. July 21, 2006: Coordinator STFS and Coordinator Core Groups visited Nara Jail Hyderabad and met with haris Rano Bheel and Bhooro who were implicated in false cases. The reason of visit was to consider ways for their release. October 2, 2006, Hyderabad: Demonstration at Hyderabad Press Club demanding release of the family of one hari and other haris.

Special Task Force, Multan


The Special Task Force Multan continued its activities aimed at raising awareness on human rights and conducted various fact-findings, meetings and seminars through the year. Primary education, violence against women, police torture and bonded labour were some of the issues the Multan office focused on.

Surveys
January 2006, Peshawar: Need-based survey of 150 schools in district Peshawar by HRCP-CEF (Commonwealth Education Foundation) education project team. Karachi: Medico-legal survey jointly carried out by HRCP, Aahung and War Against Rape (WAR). The data collection survey and data compilation was completed. September 29, 2006, Pakpattan: Survey to ascertain the condition of brick kiln workers. September 9, 2006, Hyderabad: Survey after destruction and devastation caused by heavy rains in Hyderabad city.

Core groups
February 27, 2006, Peshawar: Meeting of NWFP Core-Group Coordinators. March 24 & 25, 2006, Karachi: Core Group Workshop. June 24, 2006, Tando Muhammad Khan: Meeting of core group June 25, 2006, Jamshoro: Meeting of core group July 8, 2006, Matrairi: Meeting of core group July 9, 2006, Mirpurkhas: Meeting of core group July 16, 2006, Shahdadkot: Meeting of core group
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July 2, 2006, Ghotki: Meeting to establish a core group July 30, 2006, Naushero Feroz: Meeting of Core Group Aug 6, 2006, Tando Allah Yar: Meeting of Core Group Tando Muhammad Khan: Meeting of Core Group in order to raise awareness of the basic rights among the masses. A variety of people attended the program. September 3, 2006, Thatta: A meeting of district core group Thatta. September 12, 2006, Hyderabad: Campaign to ensure entry of names of people belonging to the minority community in the voter lists. September 15, 2006, Hyderabad: District leaders of the Core Group collected information on general civic problems like education, health and hygiene.

Internship reports
HRCP facilitated interns from schools, colleges and universities within and outside the country during 2006. The head office hosted interns from Columbia University, McGill University, Fletcher School (Tufts University), Lahore University of Management Sciences, Kinnaird College for Women, the University of the Punjab, Lahore College for Women, Lahore Grammar School, Aitchison College and Berkeley Preparatory School. The interns undertook detailed studies and presented comprehensive reports: Some of these were as follows: May 15 August 18, 2006: Trying Terrorism, Protecting Rights: Counter terrorism and Human Rights in Pakistans Criminal Justice System Since 9/11. May 15 August 25, 2006: Juvenile justice in Pakistan. June 15 August 13, 2006: Status of Freedom of Press in Pakistan 2006. July 27 August 23, 2006: Hudood Ordinance Recent Developments and Discussions. June 12 July 15, 2006: Child/Youth Awareness Program Report. July 12 August 2, 2006: Water Contamination research/report. July 17 August 28, 2006: Report on Acid Burn Victims.

Complaint cell
HRCP continued its efforts to monitor the situation of human rights during the period under review, and in this regard received complaints from citizens. The largest number of complaints concerned bonded labour, the rights of women and excesses committed by police. Non-state actors did not lag behind in violating human rights. The growing awareness about basic rights was reflected in the increased number of
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complaints of rape and gang-rape that HRCP received. The number of responses received from authorities was higher than the previous year. Following is the record of complaints received between January 2006 and November 2006: Total number of complaints received 1178 Letters written to the authorities Responses Nature of complaints Bonded labour Police / administration excesses Excesses by influential individuals Violence against women Political victimization Complaints from abroad Misc. 180 127 94 94 14 26 643 480 143

Reference section
The reference section facilitated at least 304 persons including students, researchers, journalists and academicians from both within and outside the country from September 1, 2005 till December 15, 2006. It remained the most frequently visited section at the HRCP head office.

Publications
Regular publications HRCP Annual Report: State of Human Rights in 2005: English and Urdu HRCP Newsletter: Quarterly (4 issues) in English Jehd-e-Haq: Monthly (12 issues) in Urdu Jehd-e-Haq: Monthly (12 issues) in Sindhi Jehd-e-Haq: Monthly (12 issues) in Pushto Jehd-e-Haq: Monthly (12 issues) in Balochi/Brahui Special publications Operational guidelines on human rights protection in areas affected by the October 8 earthquake (October, 2005) Quake: Many miles to go (December, 2005) Human rights violations: Conflict in Balochistan (January, 2005)
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Budget-tracking for primary education: Manual in Urdu (February, 2006)

Pakistani Jailoon Kay Qawaid-o-Zawabat: (Urdu) (February 2006) A strong yearning for autonomy - report of an HRCP mission to Northern Areas of Pakistan (November, 2006) Leaflets Unaccompanied and separated children in the earthquake:zone: English and Urdu Posters Relief and rehabilitation of Quake Victims 10 basic principles: English and Urdu Zalzalay key maray bachay aur humari zamadari (Urdu)

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into the case without any influence or outside pressure. An HRCP fact-finding team found at least one child died and many others received grave injuries after stumbling into the area where waste had been disposed of. HRCP strongly demanded the immediate arrest of those responsible for the death and injuries..

Agony of war
July 31, 2006: The extent of the suffering of innocent people in Lebanon, particularly children and women, as a result of the unrelenting bombardment unleashed by Israel is truly unbearable. HRCP is appalled at the aggression directed against civilian targets, and the failure of the international community to bring it to an end. We reiterate our position that violence cannot resolve problems that exist between nations. This can be achieved only through dialogue, negotiation and a willingness to understand the problems of all parties engaged in any situation.

International treaties
December 11, 2006: The news that Pakistan has formally conveyed to the United Nations that it is working for the early ratification of three human rights treaties the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture must be welcomed to the extent declarations of intent are.However, HRCP reiterates its stance that the government must go beyond merely signing treaties. It is more necessary than anything else to ensure that they are fully implemented.

HRCP tributes
January 26, 2006: The chairperson of HRCP, the council members, general body members and the staff at the secretariat and all chapter offices, have expressed sorrow at the passing away of Khan Abdul Wali Khan. Wali Khans lifelong commitment to the cause of democracy and his struggle for the uplift of people will always be remembered. In this his ideals and his vision were the same as those of HRCP. We will also always appreciate the support extended by Khan Abdul Wali Khan at the time of the death of Samia Sarwar, shot dead in 1999 in the chambers of her lawyer, Hina Jilani. Wali Khan played an important role in raising a voice against the murder and the traditional practices that condone it. With his death, Pakistan has lost a brave champion of the rights of oppressed people.

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success of the religious parties alliance in all future elections.The bill has nothing to do with Islam. HRCP believes that it in fact amounts to a clever manoeuvre to create grassroots-level networks of mullahs and could as such have very serious repercussions on the future political scenario in the NWFP. November 14, 2005: The violence in Sangla Hill, after fresh accusations of blasphemy against a Christian citizen, and the failure of police to act in the matter proves the lack of official will to prevent the abuse of blasphemy laws. HRCP strongly condemns the setting ablaze on Sunday of three churches, a convent, a missionary school and a pastors home by a frenzied mob while police apparently stood by and watched.

Rights of workers and bonded labourers


January 2, 2006: The reports that the investigation into the long-standing case regarding the kidnapping of the family of Hari Munnu Bheel, allegedly by landlord Abdur Rehman Marri, has been speeded up is encouraging. HRCP reiterates its demand that justice be done to Bheel, and his abducted family members freed and reunited with him. The persons guilty of abducting the family members of Bheel must be penalized under the law. May 12, 2006: The Sindh Government and all other provincial authorities must be held responsible for the violent police action against women, children and workers who were peacefully protesting at loss of jobs in Sindhs sugar mills. According to the HRCPs fact finding, Dadu Sugar Mill in which more than 1100 workers was employed was illegally closed and all the workers were deprived of jobs. November 29, 2006: A largely attended meeting of human right workers, trade union leaders and social activists convened by HRCP in Karachi today called for united and concerted action for the realization of peoples economic, social and cultural rights. The meeting heard very forceful presentations from participants on the exploitation of fisherfolk, attempts to deprive indigenous population of their islands and their right to use the Karachi beach, the plight of workers in Shipyard, PIA, and the State Bank and the havoc caused by IRO 2002, the denial of womens right to mobility, work, and family choices, and unanimously expressed solidarity with all the affected people. The meeting expressed serious concern at the persistent neglect of the peoples economic, social and cultural rights and affirmed its belief that unless these rights are in practice available to citizens in all parts of the country, without any discrimination on the basis of belief, gender or social status, governments claim of respect for human rights will be no more than futile exercises in hypocrisy.

Toxic waste
May 11, 2006: HRCP strongly condemns the tragic incidents of death and injuries as a result of chemical waste dumped in SITE area. It demands independent investigation
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national events can only add to the tensions that are rising in all parts of the country and threaten in the future to create yet greater crisis.

The right to know


October 18, 2006: Amendments to the Freedom of Information Ordinance, repeal of the Official Secrets Act, and the obligation of the government to disseminate information proactively, were termed essential for empowering people, transparency and accountability, at a consultation on the right to know at HRCP. The discussion at the seminar highlighted the shortcomings of the FOI Ordinance 2002, the possibilities of learning from experiments in the region, and focused on future strategies for ensuring government accountability and transparency.

The rights of women


July 10, 2006: The new presidential ordinance, under which hundreds of women are to be released from jails offers great relief to the under-trial women detainees imprisoned across the country. HRCP as such welcomes the move and calls for the release of the women to take place as quickly as possible. However, we would like to point out that, as was the case with a similar relief measure for women prisoners introduced during former prime minister Benazir Bhuttos first tenure in office, the ordinance does nothing to address the systemic flaws in the countrys legal system. August 2, 2006: HRCP has strongly condemned the physical harassment and misconduct with a female candidate appearing in the LL.B. examination at Islamic Learning Department of Karachi University by University employees. It has demanded stern action against the offending employees for harassing a girl student. HRCP believes that the Karachi University should file an FIR immediately against the culprits to ensure justice for the aggrieved student. September 12, 2006: The latest compromise made by the government with respect to amendments in the Hudood laws is nothing more than a joke. HRCP expresses its acute disappointment that the rights of women have been dealt with in so cavalier a fashion. The so-called Womens Protection Bill is a farcical attempt at making Hudood Ordinances palatable. November 22, 2006: The freezing of the accounts of two granddaughters of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is only the latest in a series of outrageous actions aimed at victimizing women. HRCP demands that women must never be made to pay for anything the authorities may choose to accuse their male relatives of. We also demand that all women held in jails on the basis of relationships with men accused of involvement in any crime be freed without delay.

Hasba Bill
November 14, 2006: By passing the Hasba Bill, the MMA government in the NWFP has in effect put in place a powerful network that will play a crucial role in aiding the
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two minor girls, whose brother eloped with a young woman from the village, be handed over as vani to men from her family shows the brutal custom remains deeply entrenched. HRCP has already spoken out against the holding of tribal jirgas and the licence given to them to mete out punishments in which the vulnerable are most often made victims. We reiterate our stance that all such gatherings must be prevented, and always treated as illegal.

Threats to free expression


June 1, 2006: The tragic death of a young photographer, Munir Ahmed Sangi, working for the daily Kawish and the KTN TV Network in Larkana, during a gunbattle, gives further evidence of the growing dangers faced by working journalists from both official and non-official quarters. HRCP holds authorities responsible for the failure to protect life and welfare, and for promoting assaults on journalists through the police, secret agencies and other forces.. July 5, 2006: The reported abduction by the Thatta police of journalist Mehruddin Marri is a matter of acute concern, particularly since it comes soon after the brutal killing of another reporter, Hayatullah Khan, kidnapped late last year in Waziristan, the gunning down of photographer Munir Sangi while covering a feud between Sindhi clans only a few weeks ago, the illegal arrest of two television journalists in Jacobabad and many other complaints from journalists and other citizens of harassment by the States secret agencies. HRCP has documented at least 12 complaints of harassment made by journalists in 2005 alone. HRCP joins the journalists of Sindh in demanding the immediate release of Mehruddin Marri. September 18, 2006: The thrashing meted out to three journalists from the ARY television network by police and the subsequent action taken by the Punjab government to take the channel off air, are actions that can only be condemned in the strongest possible terms. HRCP is angered by the incident, and sees it as yet another blatant effort to curb free expression in the country and muzzle dissenting opinions. November 21, 2006: The disappearance of journalist Dilawar Wazir on Monday from Islamabad is not only an extremely alarming incident, it is also utterly condemnable. HRCP fears for the life and welfare of Dilawar Wazir. The authorities must take responsibility for his immediate and safe recovery and ensure he does not meet the same fate as that of Hayatullah Khan, the young journalist killed earlier this year. December 12, 2006: The draft bill to set up a Press and Publication Regulatory Authority (PAPRA) reportedly prepared by the federal government is clearly designed to take away from the Press what little freedom is at present allowed. HRCP shares the grave concern of media bodies that the proposed new law is aimed to control and regulate the print media and to curb press freedoms We call on the government to keep in mind that attempts to suppress dissent and present a single opinion regarding
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enforced disappearances, who had narrated an account of his ordeal at a workshop organized by HRCP and Amnesty International (AI) recently in Islamabad is distressing. HRCP has reason to believe Mr Zaidi was targetted as he had spoken about his illegal detention, torture and interrogation. He was picked up by dozens of personnel of law enforcement agencies from the house of his uncle in Islampura, Lahore. His uncle was taken away with him. October 9, 2006: The outrages being committed by State security forces against citizens have exceeded all previous limits. HRCP has received a complaint from the family of ten persons picked up on October 6, in the Harya Union Council area of Mandi Bahauddin. They include Harya Union Council Nazim Abdur Rauf Gondal and his brothers, Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal and Inyatullah Gondal. Nothing is known of their safety or whereabouts. Those picked up include a 14-year-old boy. December 3, 2006: HRCP is organizing a week of protests against enforced disappearances to highlight the situation of hundreds of people picked up across the country. HRCP has remained engaged in the process of collecting data on enforced disappearances over the past several months. The objective of the week of protests is to highlight the denial of fundamental freedoms and the due process of justice to hundreds of citizens as well as the unbearable agony suffered by families.

Police excesses
February 3, 2006: HRCP, Sindh Chapter, has strongly condemned the death of Hassan Gichki an under-trial prisoner of Central Jail and a cousin of Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Chief of Balochistan National Party. He reportedly died of heart attack. However, a fact-finding team of HRCP examined the dead body of Hassan Gichki at Edhi Center and discovered several signs and marks of brutal torture on the dead body. HRCP strongly demands unimpeded investigation into this tragic incident and urges the Government of Sindh to order a high level inquiry into the case and to take measures to prevent further such cases. October 10, 2006: HRCP is deeply concerned over the rising incidents of encounter killings in Sindh. The two most recent cases occurred in Karachi in September. On 16 September, Zafar Hameed was shot dead by the Ferozabad police, while only three days later, on 19 September, Asif and Shoaib, were shot dead by New Town police while going towards Aga Khan Hospital . HRCP has recorded several other cases of encounter killings and deaths in custody in the earlier part of the year. The Commission demands that the responsible police officials be held accountable and brought to justice. The tendency among the Sindh Police to be trigger-happy must be curbed.

Jirga justice and tribal feuds


April 17, 2006: The verdict of a jirga in village Bandyal, district Khushab, that
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critically injured eighteen others. It called on authorities to take immediate steps to tackle the law and order crisis in Balochistan.

Disappearances
March 9, 2006: The terrifying new trend of disappearances in the country, which has been increasing over the past two years or so, has inflicted terrible suffering on a growing number of families. HRCP reiterates its demand that all citizens be accorded justice as per lawful requirements. The cases in which persons have been picked up, detained illegally and subjected to torture are horrifying and deserve urgent attention from the government, so that the dangerous cycle of disappearances can be ended. April 24, 2006: HRCP expresses grave concern over the increasing number of citizens being disappeared by the law enforcement agencies and organized a consultative meeting presided over by Mr. Iqbal Haider, Secretary General HRCP, with the families of disappeared citizens and representatives of different political parties and labour organizations. The meeting was briefed about recent disappearances in Sindh. HRCP strongly condemns such unconstitutional, illegal and inhuman acts. May 22, 2006: Mr. Iqbal Haider, Secretary General of HRCP, has expressed grave concern over the rising number of citizens being kidnapped by the Law Enforcement Agencies. Mr. Haider stated that HRCP was compiling a list of all such kidnapped or illegally arrested citizens in all parts of Pakistan. He called upon the government to forthwith release all the persons who have been kidnapped by the Law Enforcement Agencies. June 22, 2006: While welcoming the appearance of journalist Mukesh Rupeta in a prison, HRCP said today that the journalists disappearance for three months amounted to a clear indictment of the government for playing with citizens fundamental rights. July 18, 2006: Two young men in Balochistan, Abdul Obaidullah, 26, and Samiullah Baloch, 24, have become the latest persons to disappear in the country. Credible eyewitnesses have reported that they were picked up by Military Intelligence (MI) personnel near Quetta airport, as they were on their way home. The fact that fire-arms were used has raised fears about their safety. HRCP is outraged that while news reports come in daily of people whisked away by State agencies, there has been no official word on this matter or action against those responsible. Bilal Bugti and Murtaza Bugti are among the victims in this latest campaign of harassment. September 13, 2006: The complaints of continued intimidation of citizens by intelligence agencies, despite the public outcry that has followed the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti, are deeply disturbing.HRCP has been distressed by the stories narrated in the accounts of disappearances it has continued to receive. It reiterates its warning that such intimidation by State agencies can only heighten the sense of fear and unease that has overtaken people living across the country. October 5, 2006: The picking up of Mr Abid Raza Zaidi, one of the victims of
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the strongest possible terms, and extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of all those so tragically killed in the incident. The anguish of the bereaved, suffered on one of the holiest days in the Muslim calendar, adds to the growing agony caused to thousands by terrorist attacks across the country. What the blast proves is that authorities are failing completely in their responsibility of safeguarding the lives of people and battling terrorism. HRCP reiterates its view that mere policing and reliance on the obviously inaccurate information often provided by intelligence agencies, can do nothing to combat militancy. July 12, 2006: A large number of human rights activists belonging to HRCP in towns and cities across Pakistan today condemned the loss of dozens of lives in bomb attacks in Mumbai and called for en end to such wanton violence. The activists stated they were shocked by the killing of over 160 people in the dastardly bomb attacks on railway passengers. The statement said that the actions were bound to poison the minds of people and cause a serious setback to the forces of sanity, tolerance and good neighbourliness. October 31, 2006: The Pakistan authorities, it seems, are determined to carry on with their violent policies against citizens of the State, not stopping short even of mass murder. The attack on a seminary school in the Bajaur Agency, in which at least 80 people, most of them teenaged boys, were killed is the latest manifestation of this evil intent. HRCP condemns the atrocity against so many young people and fears the latest action by those in charge of the country will only contribute to violent trends that have grown rapidly over recent years. November 9, 2006: The death of at least 42 soldiers, most of them young men, in the suicide bombing at Dargai in Malakand agency is tragic.HRCP offers its sincerest sympathies to the families of those killed in this latest act of militancy. The violence unleashed in Bajaur a short time ago and the extra-judicial killing of at least 82 persons there, has let loose a new cycle of reprisal and attack. HRCP fears still more lives will be lost as a consequence of these heedless actions and the increased callousness with which the lives of citizens are taken by State agencies.

Law and order


February 15, 2006: Once more, ordinary citizens have been the worst sufferers of wanton violence in the streets that erupted in several major cities on Tuesday, and again, on Wednesday during protests against blasphemous cartoons published in Denmark. HRCP holds the authorities responsible for allowing this descent into a state of chaos. That the people all over the country have been deeply shocked at the cartoons issue is understandable but what is not understandable is the administrations abdication of its duty to protect innocent citizens lives and property. May 11, 2006: HRCP strongly condemns the land mine blast in the firing range of Police Training College (PTC) Quetta that claimed the lives of six innocent recruits and
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(May 2) against the exploitation of bonded workers. August 22, 2006: HRCP strongly condemns police brutality on a peaceful demonstration of the teachers protesting against the ban on teachers associations. HRCP reiterates its demand to withdraw the illegal and unconstitutional ban on teachers associations. September 13, 2006: The electoral reforms group set up by HRCP has demanded deletion of the religious column and oath for Muslims from the form for voter registration on the ground that the entries are no longer required following the adoption of the joint electorate system. The group, meeting in Islamabad, also called on citizens to ignore these queries if they were not deleted.

Militancy, sectarianism and impact of US policies


February 10, 2006: The death of at least 30 people, as a result of blasts targetting a Shia gathering and consequent riots in the town of Hangu, show that despite official claims to the contrary, militancy is gaining strength across the country. HRCP condemns the killings in the strongest possible terms, and offers its deepest condolences to the families so tragically bereaved. Once more, it is citizens of Pakistan who have suffered most deeply due to rising terrorism and intolerance, and it seems there is as yet no sign of an end to their misery. March 2, 2006: While we fully understand the requirements of state to state relations, and of courtesy towards guests, HRCP cannot ignore the fact that President George W Bush has a great deal to answer for. Apart from the fact that the human rights situation within the US has continued to decline during the Bush presidency, of greater concern to HRCP is the treatment meted out to prisoners, including Pakistanis, held at Guantanamo Bay and other centres of detention. In this respect, HRCP would like to reiterate its staunch position against militancy of all kinds. However, we believe that Washingtons present policies are undermining the human rights and basic freedoms of large populations, especially in the Middle East and are in fact contributing to an upsurge in violence in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. April 10, 2006: There can be little doubt of official connivance for the spread of sectarianism and hatred in society, after the rally organized by the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) in Islamabad recently, apparently with full administrative support. HRCP has long stated that the authorities have played a direct role in the spread of intolerance and militancy. The latest SSP meeting, at which hate literature and provocative CDs were distributed, comes as proof of this. April 12, 2006: The horrific suicide-attack at a religious gathering in Karachi, in which at least 50 people were killed, demonstrates beyond dispute that militant violence remains an enormous threat to citizens of the country. HRCP condemns the attack in
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complaints from across the country, and is compiling details of the cases. It calls on the government to locate all the people reported by their families to have disappeared and to penalize those responsible for illegally detaining them. Ban on unions: The ban imposed on teachers unions or associations in Sindh is illegal. HRCP demands an end to all restrictions on unions, including those of students. January 10, 2006: An HRCP mission, headed by chairperson Ms Asma Jahangir and including former chairperson Mr Afrasiab Khattak and the vice chairperson of Balochistan Mr Zahoor Ahmed Shawani, has completed its visit to Dera Bugti. The mission has expressed serious alarm over the rapidly deteriorating situation in and around Dera Bugti and reiterated its demand that all armed conflict cease immediately and a process of negotiation be begun. HRCP would like to reiterate its warning that the attempt to seal off Balochistan and shut out anyone who wishes to see what is happening there will increase the existing bad blood between provinces and add to the dangerous frictions that exist at the present time in the country. July 21, 2006: The speech delivered by President Pervez Musharraf last night is deeply disturbing in its praise of the actions of the intelligence services in Balochistan. HRCP has credible evidence of the involvement of the intelligence services in the picking up of dozens of persons in Balochistan, most of them with no links to militant activities. HRCP and many of the major political parties in the country remain acutely distressed over the situation in Balochistan. A misrepresentation of facts can do nothing to alter the realities as they exist or eradicate the human rights violations being carried out by State agencies.

Denial of democratic rights


February 6, 2006: The arrest of at least nine political activists in Gilgit on February 4 proves the State has adopted increasingly fascist tendencies.
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HRCP condemns the arrests in the strongest possible terms and reiterates its warning that restricting peoples basic freedoms will only lead to a still graver social and political crisis, as frustrations and the sense of anger mount. April 24, 2006: HRCP, Balochistan Chapter, is gravely concerned over the firing by police on a peaceful rally of growers severely wounding ten farmers, the lodging of First Information Report (FIR) against several others and their arrest. It is the constitutional right of peasants to take out rallies and hold gatherings in order to demand their rights, but the government, instead of resolving their problems, guns them down. May 3, 2006: HRCP has strongly condemned police violence on a peaceful demonstration by sympathizers of bonded workers in Lahore on Tuesday. HRCP stated the Punjab Government must be ashamed of the wanton and brutal baton charge on women, children and old men who were peacefully protesting in Lahore on Tuesday
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issue can be tackled only by creating an environment of greater tolerance, and by putting in place strategies to weed out the malaise from its roots. War on terror: Recent terrorist attacks in Karachi and Dera Ismail Khan prove claims to have wiped out terrorism are not based on fact. A wider ranging set of policies are required, coupled with a willingness to end the damaging air of secrecy that currently surrounds operations being carried out against alleged terrorists. Media freedoms: The right to free expression is coming under severe check. This AGM believes this policy of repression is a part of the dangerous strategy of secrecy, aimed at deluding citizens and international audiences. Post-earthquake relief: The lack of transparency and allegations of corruption in the distribution of the substantial funds collected by the government for earthquake relief work have greatly damaged credibility in rehabilitation efforts. HRCP calls on all those engaged in relief and rehabilitation work in quake-hit areas to ensure survivors are involved in all decision-making. Continued occupation of Iraq: The occupation of Iraq by foreign forces, new attacks on targets within the country and the unjust US policies in the Middle East are contributing to growing extremism in Pakistan. September 4, 2006: The HRCP Council, the decision-making body of the organization, which met in Lahore on September 2nd and 3rd, discussed in detail the national situation arising from the military action in Balochistan. The secretary-general of HRCP, Mr Iqbal Haider, presented a comprehensive report to the Council assessing events in the country over the past six months. A summary of the report was included in a Press release issued by the HRCP secretariat: Balochistan crisis: The reckless actions of the Pakistan military in Balochistan and the targetted killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, have resulted in terrible consequences. In a display of massive anger, protests are continuing all over Balochistan. HRCP reiterates its stance that only a democratic government can resolve the crisis the nation today faces. Talibanisation: The reports of attacks on girls schools, video shops and barbershops in the NWFP are alarming. HRCP demands an end to the State patronage of extremist groups. Access to justice: Undue delays in the disposal of cases, shortages of judges and nepotism in courts continue to deny people justice. It is disturbing that the declaration issued at the end of the four day International Judicial Conference in Islamabad seeks promotion of alternative dispute resolution. In the context of Pakistan, this means tribal jirgas. Disappearances: The disappearance of dozens of people picked up by security agencies across the country is a disturbing new trend. HRCP has received many
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2005 shows the situation for non-Muslims citizens is worsening. In most cases, those responsible for the attacks have not been punished. Disappearences: The terrifying new trend of disappearances has over the past year gained pace in Balochistan and also other parts of the country. HRCP demands that the federal and provincial governments take steps to immediately ascertain the whereabouts of people reported to be missing, and to release them. If these persons are guilty of any crime, they should be charged and produced in court as per the due process of law. Parallel system of justice: The meeting of tribal jirgas, to determine the fate of individuals and to mete out punishments, has grown more frequent. HRCP urges the authorities to prevent jirgas from meting out punishment and to ensure court rulings to this effect are upheld. Growing impoverishment of people: The socio-economic plight of people has worsened over the past year, due to high levels of poverty, joblessness and inflation. Only a drastic revision of existing governmental priorities can provide people the relief from the lives of oppression and deprivation that they currently lead. Balochistan conflict: The tensions in Balochistan have continued to linger. This AGM holds that a lasting solution to the political problems of Balochistan must be found immediately, before further damage is caused to the federal integrity of the country. This can only happen by addressing the issue of provincial autonomy and the urgent development needs of people. Militarisation: The trend of appointing serving or retired military men to posts previously held by civilians is continuing. This AGM reiterates its warnings that the encroachment of the military into the civilian sector and its growing hold on society have created immense resentment and driven a wedge between the countrys armed forces and its people. Dams on the Indus: The decision to build a new reservoir on the Indus River has only contributed to inter-provincial friction and tensions over the issue of water resources. A national consensus needs to be built on the issue of the countrys water reserves and their distribution. Bars on assembly: Political groups and other citizens attempting to draw attention to their concerns have repeatedly faced police batons. Citizens and political activists must be permitted to draw attention to matters that concern them. Access to justice: Linked to the issue of jirgas is the fact that people are increasingly being denied access to justice. This can only be remedied by fully restoring judicial independence and authority, as well as improving the system of delivering justice to people. Sectarian violence: Attacks on Shias and Sunnis have continued. The sectarian
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HRCP stands
Throughout the period under review, HRCP continued to comment on events taking place within the country and issues affecting people. Excerpts from some of the stands taken follow:

The State in crisis


March 27, 2006: After detailed deliberations by HRCP members from across the country at the HRCP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Karachi, the following statement was issued: Law and order: The total breakdown of the law and order system across the country means that the life of no citizen is safe. There are reports from all four provinces and FATA of fake encounters, killings, robberies, cases of disappearance, non-registration of FIRs, lootings, worsening of economic conditions, increase in domestic violence, karo kari and worsening conditions in jails. The Balochistan conflict continues. This AGM emphasizes that the right to life is fundamental, and must be protected by the State. A failure to perform this most basic duty can only further erode the confidence of citizens, not only in the government but also in the institutions of State. Restoration of democratic governance: The earliest possible restoration of a fullfledged democratic process is essential. This must include preparations for a fair and free general election within the constitutionally mandated time-frame and guarantees of an independent election commission. The withdrawal of all restrictions on political leaders, an end to political detentions and guarantees of equal rights for women in terms of participation in elections and in balloting are essential. Attacks on minorities: The fact that there have been at least 13 attacks on members of minority communities and their places of worship since the last AGM in March
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