Pakistan’s civil, political rights record reviewed
ISLAMABAD: The International Human Rights Committee on Thursday concluded its deliberations of the initial report submitted by Pakistan of its implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
According to a press release, the report was successfully presented by the Pakistani delegation which is being led by Federal Minister for Human Rights Senator Kamran Michael. The delegation consists of representatives from Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Law and Justice, National Assembly, National Commission for Human Rights, and Pakistan’s permanent mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva.
Michael, while presenting the report to the Human Rights Committee, stressed on Pakistan’s commitment to the protection of civil and political rights preceded its ratification of the Covenant.
The minister said after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, including civil society, Pakistan had launched the historic national action plan on Human Rights in February 2016. He added that the government also established the national commission on human rights in May 2015.
Michael said the rights of transgender and intersex persons were also recognised in Pakistan. “Pakistan is committed to preventing torture or ill-treatment committed by state functionaries. Despite ongoing challenges, it is also committed to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of expression”, he added.
In the discussion, the experts lauded Pakistan for the positive measures taken by the country to promote civil and political rights, such as the adoption of the national plan on human rights, and the establishment of the National Commission on Human Rights. They also welcomed a number of measures and laws adopted to address violence against women.
Earlier while addressing the conference, Michael said Pakistan faced multiple challenges, which were complicated by terrorism and natural disasters. He further added that in spite of all these challenges, the government is implementing its international human rights obligations with commitment. He added that the government was working to introduce women friendly laws and to strengthen their economic and political empowerment.
The minister underlined that there was no organised discrimination of ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan, noting that their rights were guaranteed by the Constitution. He said Pakistan’s counter-terrorism activities were in line with international and national laws added that Pakistan was committed to duly investigating all cases of torture and ill-treatment perpetrated by state functionaries.
Meanwhile, Vice-Chairperson of the International Human Rights Committee Margo Waterwal thanked the delegation and reminded that the committee’s observations would be outlined in the concluding remarks.