HRCP seeks end to militarization -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

HRCP seeks end to militarization

ISLAMABAD – The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Sunday observed that lack of transparency in governance and the consequent crisis of information on matters of immense national importance were issues of grave concern.

The HRCP in its two-day meeting, which concluded here, expressed grave concern over the situation in South Waziristan and continued lack of a democratic dispensation in the country.

The meeting observed that the people had been denied the knowledge of events unfolding as a result of the military operation in South Waziristan agency. “The situation indicates the secret nature of the state. Even journalists, who live in South Waziristan, have been denied access to the areas of conflict. In some cases agencies offering medical aid have been prevented from reaching these areas,” the HRCP Council observed.

It was also observed that the spokesperson for the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) had declined to divulge figures about killing of troops in South Waziristan.

The meeting also took up the issue of registration of cases under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and expressed grave concern over putting children as young as two years of age in jails.

“The women and children held under the law must be released immediately and visits to jails at Haripur and Dera Ismail Khan by the lawyers, activists and journalists to meet those held under the FCR must be permitted,” the meeting demanded.

It was also observed that for sustainable democracy withdrawal of military from politics and other walks of life was necessary and that the issue should not be narrowed down to that of uniform alone.

The meeting also voiced concern over the alleged army action in Balochistan, which they said, would only add to the many difficulties being faced by the people in the province.

Taking up the issue of increasing incidents of sectarian violence, the meeting said the government must accept responsibility for the ongoing sect-based killings in the country.

“Blaming specific groups for the bombings and killings being reported almost daily is insufficient,” the HRCP Council observed. About country’s foreign policy, it was observed that there had been no disclosure of the agreements reached or decisions made in talks with the heads of states or foreign ministers of various countries who had met with the state leaders.
Source: Dawn
Date:10/11/2004