Government has improved Human Rights situation a lot: Sharjeel
KARACHI: The Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said on Monday that human rights situation in the country was not exemplary, however, the democratic government of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had improved it a lot during its over four years period.
“The government is committed to ensure all human rights of the citizens and manifestation of its commitment is the establishment of a separate and dedicated ministry of human rights in Sindh, which has published a toll free number in newspapers so that people could register their complaints about human rights violations,” he said while addressing a seminar on ‘Water as Corporate Social Responsibly: Access to Clean Drinking Water as Most Violated Human Right’, organised by the Human Rights Group of Pakistan (HRGP) on Monday at a local hotel. He called for joint efforts by the government, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to improve human rights situation.
He criticised the western media for depicting and portraying bleak picture of human rights situation. He said that as followers of Islam, we are committed to basic human rights. He lauded the efforts of HRGP for protecting, promoting and ensuring human rights, rule of law, democracy and environment in the country.
Coordinator to Chief Minister Sindh Nadia Gabol congratulated the HRGP for organising such as great event on the International Human Right Day. To mark the International Human Rights Day.
Addressing the seminar as guest of honour, Senior Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said that the present democratic government led by President Asif Ali Zardari was making all out efforts to ensure, protect and promote the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other declarations and charters of UN.
“As water is basic necessity of life and a human right, the government under the visionary leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari has taken a number of measures and concrete step to provide safe and clean drinking water to every citizen of the country, especially those living in far-flung rural areas of Sindh,” he asserted.
He said that earlier the villages of the remote areas were forced to drink contaminated drinking water but the present government had installed filtration plants, ultra filtration plants and reverse osmosis plants in these areas to ensure provision of safe and clean drinking water to the masses.
He lauded the HRGP and its chairman for holding the seminar on such as vital issue which will not only help create awareness about the importance of access to clean drinking water but also help in conserving and efficient use of water.
Underlining the need of creating awareness about the issue, he said he had already asked the chairmen of the tax book boards and others to include chapters in educational curriculum about the importance of water, its conservation and efficient use. He announced that he would also asked the official to check whether the chapters included in the curriculum were sufficient or there was a need to include more.
In his opening speech HRGP Chairman Dr Sheir Ali Rizvi said, “Today is very important and significant as it is observed as International Human Rights Day to commemorate adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Right by the UN General Assembly in 1948.” He said that in 2010, the UN General Assembly also declared access to clean drinking water and sanitation a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights. In Pakistan lack of access to clean and safe drinking water causes million of people’s death every year, as nearly 1.2 million people die each year due to water-borne diseases. Amongst these, 250,000 children are under the age of five who succumb to diarrhoea, mainly caused by the use of untreated water. The water-borne illnesses account for nearly 60 percent child deaths in Pakistan with approximately 630 children dying daily from diarrhoea.
On the occasion, the HRGP also announced its annual awards. The national award for Human Rights and Democracy was conferred on President Asif Ali Zardari for his efforts for ensuring access to clean drinking water. Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Memon received the award on behalf of the president. While Excellence Award was given to Pak Oasis Industries (Pvt) and Best Performance Award for Water Management to KWSB. Renowned social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, Dr Adeebul Hassan Rizvi of Sindh Institute for Urology and Transplantation and famous journalist Syed Talat Hussan were also selected for the HRGP’s awards for their outstanding services in their respective fields.