Govt report links rights violations to poverty -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Govt report links rights violations to poverty

ISLAMABAD: Reporting more than 16,000 cases during 2011, the government has linked economic crisis, poverty and widening gap between the elite and common citizens to increase in number of human rights violations and said the deteriorating situation would require “strong revolutionary steps” for improvement.

“The gap between the elite, ultra rich, prosperous business class and the middle and lower middle classes along with the large majority living below the poverty line is so wide that it cannot be filled by ordinary measures. It requires very strong revolutionary steps to address the situation for a better and cordial social environment,” said the ministry of human rights in a testimony to parliament.

This is the first official report that has highlighted the impact of existing economic policies on social tendencies and behavioural attitudes and lives of the people.

Analysing causes of the deterioration in human rights situation, the ministry said the war on terror had contributed a lot to the crisis because people have been displaced and badly disturbed. They have lost homes, fertile fields and confidence due to frequent suicide attacks, bombings and drone attacks in a specific region.

“The situation is on the rise and this frustration is responsible for creating chaotic situation in the country as the suicide bombers have taken charge of all the four provinces for their attacks.”

Moreover, the economic situation has been adding to the state of crisis. “The country is facing a serious economic crunch, where the essential commodities and necessities of everyday life have gone beyond the reach of common man and at times are hardly accessible to the middle class.”

Poverty is a major cause as a large percentage of population lives below the poverty line and the rising numbers of suicides reported in newspapers are proof that most of these cases occur because of severe deprivation and economic insufficiency, according to the report.

On top of that, unemployment has “caused a high degree of frustration amongst the youth”.

The report said the opportunities of employment were not in accordance with the population of youths in the country who after higher studies expected some engagement at state level for respectable living.

Surveys show the situation is highly explosive as in some quarters the rising crime rate has been linked to social frustration and tension.

The ministry said a total of 16,634 cases of human rights violation were reported in Pakistan in 2011. Of these the highest number, 14,181, was reported in Punjab, followed by 1,213 cases in Sindh, 485 in Islamabad, 371 in Balochistan and 275 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

During the period, 7,767 persons were kidnapped while 2,754 of the cases involved violence against women.

A total of 1,903 cases pertained to rape, 824 to violence against children and 818 to domestic violence. The number of karo-kari cases reported was 483 and of sexual assault 312.

There were 164 cases of missing persons. The number of sectarian incidents was put at 161.

Source: Dawn