Human rights in Pakistan

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Pakistan’s human rights record has dramatically improved since the reforms that took place after the tenure of President Zia-ul-Haq in 1988. The situation of human

Unlike Iran. No Pakistani Government has ever come up with a detailed conclusion on what he exactly meant by this. most of which were inherited from the United Kingdom's colonial rule of modern-day Pakistan before 1947. Pakistan is not a theocracy.Contents [hide] 1 Political abuse of human rights 1. which include freedom of speech. outside intervention. Islamic republic as well as an Islamic democracy with a mixture of both Islamic and colonial secular laws. and deep case backlogs that lead to long trial delays and lengthy pretrial detentions. Clauses also provide for separation of executive and judiciary.1 Enforced disappearances (missing persons) 2 Humanitarian response to conflict 2. Pakistan's status as an Islamic Republic should not be confused or compared with other Islamic Republics in the region. Most of Pakistan's laws are secular in nature.rights in Pakistan is a complex one. earning it the designation of partly free. The founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a moderate secular state blended with some Islamic values and principles. national security. there has been increasing pressure on Pakistan to amend or replace some of its outdated laws made during the time of the British Empire. freedom of religion.2 "Friends of Pakistan" . its status as a developing country and a sovereign. freedom of the press and the right to bear arms. Furthermore. The Constitution of Pakistan provides for fundamental rights. an independent judiciary and freedom of movement within the country and abroad. and domestic tranquility and less with the protection of individual rights. Nevertheless. These clauses are generally respected in practice. such as the Islamic Republic of Iran. courts suffer from lack of funds.1 Internally displaced people 2. Although the government has enacted measures to counter any problems. Many observers inside and outside Pakistan contend that Pakistan’s legal code is largely concerned with crime. as a result of the country's diversity. abuses remain. In recent times. The 2009 Freedom in the World report by Freedom House gave Pakistan a political rights rating of 4 (1 representing free and 7 representing not free). but rather an Islamic democracy where elections regularly takes place on time and are mostly free and fair. and a civil liberties rating of 5. large population.

1 Controversial blasphemy laws 4 Discrimination against Hindus 5 Sectarian tensions and riots between ethnic Muslims 6 See also 7 References 8 External links [edit] Political abuse of human rights Life in Pakistan Cinema Climate Communication Cuisine Culture Demographics Economy Education Geography History Holidays Human rights Languages Law Literature .3 Religious intolerance against Pakistani Christians by Islamists 3.

the press publishes freely. and subsequent anti-terrorist legislation. Violence by drug lords and sectarian militias claims numerous innocent lives. In spite of these difficulties. Journalists also have been victims of violence and intimidation by various groups and individuals. has arisen concerns about protection of fundamental rights.Media Military Music Nationalism Politics Religion Sport Tourism Transport v·d·e Provincial and local governments have arrested journalists and closed newspapers that report on matters perceived as socially offensive or critical of the government. and government institutions and some Muslim groups have persecuted non-Muslims and . and debt slavery and bonded labor persist. which established Anti Terrorism Court. The government often ignores abuses against children and religious minorities. discrimination and violence against women are widespread. The 1997 Anti-Terrorism Act. but those elections were criticized as deeply flawed by domestic and international observers. although journalists often exercise self-restraint in their writing. In 2002 citizens participated in general elections. Societal actors also are responsible for human rights abuses. human trafficking is problematic.

for example. The Blasphemy Law. . Many human-right activist in Pakistan have protested against force disappearances and kidnappings. They also arrested student activist and teachers who were protesting against the exploitation of Pakistan government. Many view this practice as indicative of a feudal mentality and falsely anathema to Islam. but legislation was passed in October 2004 to eliminate misuse of the law. One prominent example is honor killings (“karo kari”).000 deaths from 1998 to 2003[citation needed]. and egregious violations of religious freedom. ongoing. [2] [edit] Humanitarian response to conflict Violence in Pakistan and the Taliban conflict with the government have heightened humanitarian problems in Pakistan. which are believed to have accounted for more than 4.used some laws as the legal basis for doing so. Pakistan was recommended by the U.[1] [edit] Enforced disappearances (missing persons) Main article: Missing persons (Pakistan) This section requires expansion. the social acceptance of many these problems hinders their eradication. allows life imprisonment or the death penalty for contravening Islamic principles.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in May to be designated as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) by the Department of State because of its government’s engagement or toleration of systematic.[3] Political and military interests have been prioritised over humanitarian considerations in their offensives against the Taliban. but others defend the practice as a means of punishing violators of cultural norms and view attempts to stop it to as an assault on cultural heritage. Furthermore. In Baluchistan ISI and police use to arrest or kidnap political leader demanding for more autonomy or freedom from Pakistan.

4 million from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in May 2009.[3] A principled approach limits their ability to operate when the government emphasises political and security considerations.and issues likely to get worse as people are encouraged back home prematurely and face once again being victims of the insurgents.[3] By mid-July 2009. access difficulties due to .[3] Many of those who have been taken in are looked after by political and religious groups providing assistance in return for membership or support. friends and even strangers . little preparation is made for the predictable increase in displaced peoples in order to avoid attracting the attention of opposing forces.[3] Displacement is a key problem and humanitarian organisations are failing to address the basic needs of people outside displacement camps. as in the case of a $300 family cash grant. but only a small minority live in approximately 30 official camps.Pashtun communities in particular have displayed great efforts in assisting the displaced despite their own high levels of poverty. mainly in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. official support consists only of some food and non-food items and government cash grants.[3] The government has been struggling to provide support to an area traditionally marginalised and remote and is also keen to downplay the scale of the crisis. as this does not always produce the desired results and can conflict with their aim of promoting stability and maintaining a principled approach. and a further 1. mainly from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan.[3] Still others use schools. nor are they able to address issues such as the conduct of hostilities and the politicisation of the emergency response.[3] The international community's assistance is marginal in comparison to local efforts due to the rate and scale of displacement.[3] There is little support for those living outside of camps. while unofficial figures are as high as 3. Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) put the total of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) at just over 2m.000 people displaced in 2008.[3] [edit] Internally displaced people There were over 500.5m. the scattering of displaced populations among host families and in spontaneous settlements. [3] Most of those displaced (up to 80%) were taken in by relatives.[3] There are also suggestions that help given to IDPs is informed by cultural and political expediency.[3] Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute argue that aid agencies face dilemmas with engaging with the government.[3] Before military operations are undertaken.

such as OFDA and DfID.[3] The UK equally sees an opportunity to counter instability and militancy through a combined military and 'hearts and minds' approach. in an effort to force refugees back to the areas the have fled (in order to create a sense of normalcy). leaving a UN unable to function properly. The UNDP/WFP takes a similar line.[3] [edit] "Friends of Pakistan" Many donors see the conflict as an opportunity for more comprehensive engagement in an effort to promote stability in the region. development aid and support with counter-insurgency work.[3] .[3] This strategy seeks engagement with the government and the military intelligence communities. develop civilian and democratic governance.[3] International humanitarian organizations have focused on camp-based populations and this limited interaction has hampered their attempts to analyse the full complexity of the situation. but also for weakening the position of the UN though the ‘One UN Approach’ in Pakistan. which includes the US. and increasing assistance including direct budget support. through judicial. The US has adopted a joint ‘Af-Pak’ (Afghanistan and Pakistan) strategy in order to suppress the insurgency and defend its national security interests. operational agencies also indicated that donors have also been slow to challenge government policy due to their overall support to the Pakistani counter-insurgency effort. for instance through the provision of services and support in ‘cleared areas’ in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[3] However. the context.[3] The cluster method often used for the coordination and funding of humanitarian responses to IDPs have been criticised many agencies have bypassed the UN cluster. governance and security sector reform. to promote a legitimate government and curtail transnational threats.[3] Furthermore. its different actors and their interests – all of which are key to ensuring that the humanitarian imperative is achieved in this complex operating environment.insecurity and the role of the military in the relief effort. the UK and the UN. the government has cut off power and water supply to the IDP camps.[3] The government has come under criticism also for downplaying the crisis.[3] The ‘Friends of Pakistan’ group. is key in the international community's drive to promote stability. as well as lack of influence.

[5] . author of The Satanic Verses. a Pakistani Christian named Shahid Masih was arrested and jailed for allegedly violating Islamic "blasphemy laws" in Pakistan. but was unsuccessful. Ayub Masih. Her changes were reversed by the Nawaz Sharif administration which was backed by Religious/Political parties. Lower appeals courts upheld the conviction. Benazir Bhutto to change the law because it was being used to terrorize religious minorities.[3] Many humanitarian organisations thus avoid being too visible and do not mark their aid with their logos. He was accused by a neighbor of stating that he supported British writer. ‘you bomb our villages and then build hospitals’. On July 28. Masih has been released. [3] Many civilians see little distinction between aid agencies.5% of the population are Christian. was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 1998.[3] USAID takes into account political as well as humanitarian dimensions in its decision making process. [edit] Religious intolerance against Pakistani Christians by Islamists [edit] Controversial blasphemy laws In Pakistan. Pakistani law mandates that any "blasphemies" of the Quran are to be met with punishment.[4] On September 22. his lawyer was able to prove that the accuser had used the conviction to force Mashi's family off their land and then acquired control of the property. Salman Rushdie. Amnesty International urged Pakistan's Prime Minister.[3] friends of Pakistan must come forward to assist in her committment. 2006. He is presently held in confinement and has expressed fear of reprisals by Islamic Fundamentalists. the military operations and "western interests". before the Pakistan Supreme Court. as both the government and society at large are not welcoming of foreign interference. she modified the laws to make them more moderate. a Christian. 1994. However. She tried.Yet the success of this approach is by no means clear. 1. However.

and that the Pakistani government did not inform the Christian community that a judicial inquiry was underway by a local judge. leaving two elderly women injured and many homes and properties destroyed. Pakistan. All of the victims were Pakistani Christians. Three Christians were seriously injured and one missing after some 35 Muslims burned buildings. He continued to say that Muslim clerics "make hateful speeches about Christians" and "continue insulting Christians and our faith". a parish priest in Sangla Hill. unidentified gunmen shot dead seven people at a Christian charity in Karachi's central business district.[10] Based. churches and Christian schools were targeted in protests over the publications of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons in Denmark.[7] However. They entered the third-floor offices of the Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) and shot their victims in the head. and then executed eight Christians by shooting them in the head. The attacks were widely condemned by some political parties in Pakistan. 3.[8] In February 2006. a church and Christian homes were attacked in a village outside of Lahore.000 militant Islamists attacked Christians in Sangla Hill in Pakistan and destroyed Roman Catholic. Pakistani Christians have alleged that they have "become increasingly victimised since the launch of the US-led international war on terror. 2001 in Lahore. Pakistani Christians have expressed disappointment that they have not received justice. has said that the police have not committed to trial any of the people who were arrested for committing the assaults. 2002 two terrorists entered the "Peace and Justice Institute". On September 25. 2002. Pakistan in a land dispute.[9] In August 2006. Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said the victims had their hands tied and their mouths had been covered with tape. in part. on such incidents.[citation needed] On September 25."[6] In November 2005.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in May 2006 to be . The attack was over allegations of violation of blasphemy laws by a Pakistani Christian named Yousaf Masih. Some of the mobs were stopped by police. Samson Dilawar. Salvation Army and United Presbyterian churches. Karachi. where they separated Muslims from the Christians.On October 28. desecrated Bibles and attacked Christians. Pakistan was recommended by the U. Islamic militants killed 15 Christians at a church.

Several human rights groups have highlighted the increased phenomenon of Hindu girls. came into news recently for manhandling Qari Gul Rehman. Kidnapping charges were pending against a Muslim man who abducted a fifteenyear-old Christian. something repeatedly ignored by the Pakistani government. a Hindu member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Forced and coerced conversions of religious minorities to Islam occurred at the hands of societal actors. Religious minorities claimed that government actions to stem the problem were inadequate. .[12] Hindu women have been known to be victims of kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam.designated as a "Country of Particular Concern" (CPC) by the Department of State. and forced her to convert in August 2004. Samina Izhaq. It documents numerous reports of millions of Hindus being held as "bonded laborers" in slavery-like conditions in rural Pakistan.[citation needed]The increasing Islamization has caused many Hindus to leave Hinduism and seek emancipation by converting to other faiths such as Buddhism and Christianity. The report condemns Pakistan for systematic statesponsored religious discrimination against Hindus through bigoted "anti-blasphemy" laws.[14] Hindus in what is now Pakistan have declined from 23 % of the total population in 1947 to less than 2% today. being kidnapped from their families and forced to convert to Islam. [10] [edit] Discrimination against Hindus There have been severe persecution of Hindus by Muslims in Pakistan since its formation in 1947. Such Islamization include the blasphemy laws. which make it dangerous for religious minorities to express themselves freely and engage freely in religious and cultural activities [11] Minority members of the Pakistan National Assembly have alleged that Hindus were being hounded and humiliated to force them to leave Pakistan.[13] Krishan Bheel. particularly in Karachi.

2005. Minority status was an innovation. in that. Following an October 24. the couple discovered that their daughters had been taken to a local madrassah. Abbas remained in police custody. Bhutto found it politically advantageous in 1974 to have Ahmadis declared a non-Muslim minority. 2005. Karachi. 2005.[18] This was done after another countrywide violent anti-Ahmadiyya agitation conceived and engineered by the government and carried out by mullas. [17] Many years later. Mr. 2005. and it considers it heretic.[15] On October 18. Ghulam Abbas and Mohammad Kashif reportedly drugged and kidnapped Riqba Masih. raping her repeatedly. Sindh returned home to find that their three teenage daughters had disappeared. a Hindu couple residing in the Punjab Colony. Later that day.[16] Plus. and took her to Lahore.On September 2. the kidnappers took Masih to Faisalabad and abandoned her at a bus stop from where she made her way to her parents' home. On September 3. the ethnic Balochi have allegedly been severely discriminated against. Police arrested Ghulam Abbas and Mohammad Kashif and charged them with kidnapping and rape. a Christian woman.[citation needed] The human rights violation of the Ahmadiyya have been systematic and statesponsored. A high level judicial inquiry subsequently found and declared that political considerations and exigency were the main cause of the spread of the Anti-Ahmadiyya violence.[citation needed] The religious establishment in Pakistan does not approve of the reformatory nature of the Ahmadiyya Movement. The first countrywide violence erupted in 1953. Sanno Amra and Champa. Politicians have often found it politically attractive to support the mulla in his anti-Ahmadiyya agitation. and police are attempting to find Kashif. After inquiries to the local police. Kashif escaped from the courtroom and remained at large at the end of the reporting period. from the village of Chak. and were denied unsupervised contact with their parents. 2005. had been converted to Islam. another unidentified accomplice took Masih into custody and detained her until September 6. The kidnappers repeatedly raped Masih and threatened to kill her and her family if she did not convert to Islam but Masih refused. leading them to start a secessionist movement under Nawab Akbar Bugti called the balochistan Liberation Army. hearing in which a Faisalabad court denied bail.[15] [edit] Sectarian tensions and riots between ethnic Muslims Several minority Muslim communities. such as the Mojahir and the Ahmadiyya have been attacked in pogroms in Pakistan over the years. . Punjab.

General Zia.[20] . The ordinance provides a ready and convenient tool in the hands of fundamentalists and the government to incriminate Ahmadis on flimsy grounds and petty excuses. The ordinance was a green signal for anti-Ahmadiyya elements to open the floodgates of tyranny with the help of the State. An Ahmadi can be easily charged for profession of his faith or for ‘posing’ as a Muslim. the military dictator of Pakistan.while other groups were a religious minority by their own profession. Ahmadis were deprived of most of their basic human rights and their freedom of faith. when to gain the support of Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan. an Ahmadi could be given rigorous imprisonment of 3 years and fined any amount. went many steps further in 1984. he promulgated the notorious anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX that added Sections 298-B and 298-C in Pakistan Criminal Code.[19] Through this Ordinance. Ahmadis were forcibly declared a minority through legislation. Under the provisions of this ordinance.

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