Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for steps to undo brutalisation of society
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern over a steep rise in incidents and manifestations of violence across the country and called for concerted efforts to undo the damage done to the social fabric by brutalisation of society.
In a statement on Friday, the commission said: “The HRCP notes with great alarm the rise in grisly incidents of violence all over Pakistan.”
The press release mentions horrible incidents which include the abduction in Peshawar and cold-blooded murder of 21 Levies personnel, the killing of seven aid workers in Swabi, the murder of polio vaccinators in Karachi and Peshawar, the FC operation in Awaran, and now young doctors beating their senior colleagues in Gujranwala. Hardly a week goes by when violence of ever more disturbing nature does not make the headlines.
“And yet it does not evoke the sort of soul searching that one expects from compassionate human societies. A recent example is the outrage and the widespread agitation in India following the gang-rape of a young woman in New Delhi. The increasing inclination to take violence in our stride is as worrying as the pervasive violence itself.
“It is important to remember that this malaise has not arrived out of the blue. The state must take the largest share of the blame for demonstrating that violence to any degree was justified, even welcome, if it was in the pursuit of ‘national interest’ or any other similarly opaque ambition.
“The state also has shown through enthusiastically relying on coercive measures at its disposal that resort to use of force is acceptable; militant elements have also justified bloodshed in the name of pursuit of their agenda and the people have also absorbed the same tendencies.
“In a deeply brutalised society, violence today has become the standard response to every challenge, or perceived affront.
What we see unfold everyday across Pakistan is violence begetting violence, plain and simple. The state and civil society have their hands full of challenges already but this one simply must take precedence over all else.
“This is neither a matter of legislation, nor of law and order. The manifestations of violence demonstrate that the way people think has changed. Short of challenging and exposing that thinking, brutalization of society and the appetite for violence cannot be addressed.”