Human Rights, Missing Persons And The Elected Government

Justice Javed Iqbal in his statement few days ago rightly pointed out to the fact that cases like missing persons pose real threat to democracy not the verdicts of Independent judiciary.  In his statements he further criticized the performance of the government institutions. He said no government institution is working properly and the system is on the verge of disaster. He further said someone had to intervene to save the system and huge cry was raised every time when court does it.

The issue of missing persons is considered as the main reason behind the attempted removal of CJP Iftikhar Chaudhary twice by Musharraf’s government. According to HRCP estimates there are 198 reported missing persons since 2007 out of which 66 are from the deprived province of Baluchistan. The estimated figure of unreported cases is much higher. In a talk show recently Asma Jehangir, Chairperson of  HRCP told that in 2009 there were 30 new cases of missing persons came to their knowledge.

After the 18th February 2008 elections it was expected that the newly elected government would try to improve the human rights situation and give some relief to the victim families. But this proved to be another shattered dream of people blinded by their faith and hope which soon turned into disbelief on the system for many.

Not only that all the people missing are not recovered but this heinous crime of illegally abducting the people is going on and hurdles are being created to trace the already missing. In a recent television interview Dr. Fawzia Siddiqi , sister of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi said the real danger from the release of Dr. Aafia is felt by those who are part of this evil network which kidnaps people and sell them. It is amazing that in the time of elected government with new army chief and intelligence chiefs no actions were taken against those involved in these illegal and inhuman activities during the former dictators rule. Government is using delaying tactics in Dr. Aafia case and has showed it’s inability to take the case in International Court of Justice.

In war hit areas of NWFP the situation is probably worse than other areas as there is no free media access and also judicial authority is almost none in many areas due to military control. Not only young but old and aged are being picked up by the security institutions in the name of war against terror. In a case filed by Syed Iqbal Kazmi, representative in Pakistan of Human Right Commission South Asia (HRCSA), an eighty years old man Wazir was picked up by Mohmand Rifles on September 2, 2009.Mohmand Rifles personnel picked up Wazir alleging that his son was involved in terrorist activities. In another case police and intelligence agencies in a joint raid picked up Usman Ali on January 29, 2009 from his house on suspicion of having relations with Taliban. Baluchistan is also facing similar situation though 20 of missing persons were released on political pressure  But still there are many including people like Pasand Khan Mandai from Baluchistan Worker’s Party were picked up by agencies during 2009 and their cases are still pending.

The statement by Justice Javed Iqbal clearly reflects the growing sentiments in Pakistani Society about the current democracy. Justice Javed Iqball said,” What type of democracy do we have wherein fundamental rights of the people could not be ensured?” The remarks were given while he was heading a three-member bench of the apex court, hearing petitions of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and others.

It seems that current so called democratic government has completely failed to protect the rights of our people. The situation demands real seriousness and sincerity, it is already too late. People are already fed up with inflation, corruption, load shedding and same old deceptions and lies. Government needs to take some real measures to rectify it’s mistakes and the mistakes committed during the time of the former dictator Musharraf otherwise things will go to the point of no return.

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Imran warns of protests if Aafia convicted–>The Nation

Source :http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/10-Jan-2010/Imran-warns-of-protests-if-Aafia-convicted

By Khalid Aziz

ISLAMABAD – Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf Imran Khan Saturday warned of countrywide protest against the prospective conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui in USA.
Khan while addressing a students’ seminar said that the US court was going to deliver an ex-party sentence against Dr Afia who was not pleading her case for having no hope of justice from American courts. PTI’s Women Wing had organised the seminar at party’s central office.
He regretted that our own agencies handed over a daughter of nation to foreign powers for the sake of dollars, adding that rulers were keeping mum over her possible conviction. He, however, warned that PTI workers would come on streets in each and every corner of the country if Dr Aafia were convicted by US court.
Recalling his youth days before the students, PTI chief said by then Pakistan was a fast progressing country and the nation was proud and confident. Later, it became slave of foreign powers due to the misdeeds of its rulers. He said that rulers were worshipping the dollar, who, he said, had sold out the nation for minting dollars from USA.
He said that PPP should ask Zardari to explain from which source or business he earned the millions of dollars kept in foreign banks.
Khan also condemned military operations in FATA and other parts of the country and called for withdrawal from the foreign war. He said operations were not a solution to the problem but produced more militants and suicide bombers. Once again he offered mediation between the Taliban and government with guaranteed success provided Pakistan withdrew from the so-called war on terror.

He also denounced US drones’ attacks inside Pakistani territory, saying that 42 drone attacks carried out during the last year killed only eight terrorists and 708 innocent Pakistanis. PTI Chief said people were not paying taxes due to lack of trust in government, adding that rulers were spending taxpayers’ money on their lavish foreign trips having no benefit for the country. “Zardari is once again out on begging trip,” he said.
Responding to a question regarding government response to his earlier mediation offer, Khan said that rulers had not yet obtained NOC from USA. He asked why government was not establishing its writ in Karachi and why judicial inquiry of the May 12, 2007 carnage in Karachi was not being carried out.
Imran Khan also regretted that at times when rest of the world was asking US for withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, Pakistan Foreign Minister was requesting them for staying in Afghanistan for at least five more years. He said government was shedding the blood of its own people for the sake of dollars.