HRCP Distressed At Political Polarisation, Democratic Backsliding In Pakistan

HRCP Distressed At Political Polarisation, Democratic Backsliding In Pakistan
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is concerned that the country's escalating political divisions have undermined parliamentary supremacy.

The commission expressed grave worry following the conclusion of its biennial Governing Council meeting regarding the country's dismal economic position, the claimed rise in child employment and exploitative practices, and instances of suicide reportedly brought on by poverty.

The HRCP emphasized once again the necessity of swift land reforms to lessen economic inequality.

It noted the "alarming" expansion of high-income housing societies in light of the resulting loss of agricultural land and the risk of increasing food insecurity that this entails.

The HRCP highlighted its worry about the ongoing census and demanded that the claims of undercounting be addressed while keeping in mind the implications for the enlargement of electoral districts.

In order to safeguard citizens' rights, it also stated that local governments ought to be made considerably more effective across all provinces.

The commission also called for increased transparency and accountability in the appointment of judges.

It stated that the unusually heavy rainfall and the rising likelihood of flooding in Sindh and Balochistan were alarming.

The HRCP demanded that those who had been displaced by previous floods be relocated to regions that were less susceptible to future natural catastrophes.

The commission was also worried by reports of a rise in militant activity in Gilgit-Baltistan and Kohistan, as well as the law and order situation in northern Sindh and southern Punjab, which included an increase in kidnappings and robberies.

It requested that the government work cooperatively to defend the rights of marginalized communities, such as Afghan refugees living in improvised camps in Islamabad.

It further stated that the ongoing demand for compensation for those who were displaced as a result of the Kargil war and the 2010 Attabad tragedy must be satisfied.

Additionally, it urged the state to use all available means to free the Pakistani fishermen detained in Indian prisons.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2018 continues to face judicial challenges, which has alarmed the HRCP.

The condition of religious minorities, who continue to experience violence and prejudice, concerns the commission in particular.

It went on to say that the Sindh government should swiftly pass a bill that would make forced conversions illegal.

A fast implementation of the Sindh Students Union Act was also sought.

The commission demanded a halt to the ongoing harassment of journalists, political dissidents, and human rights advocates in G-B using Schedule IV of the Anti-Terrorism Act, of 1997.

It further stated that the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2021's media staff safety commission, which was established, must be made functional.

In light of the fact that those responsible for these crimes are still not being brought to justice, the HRCP underlined its absolute disgust with the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, it demanded openness on the resources that were meant to have been distributed to the newly combined tribal districts. It also stated that a concerted effort was needed to clear the K-P of landmines.