Rights body calls for end to bonded labour -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Rights body calls for end to bonded labour

HYDERABAD, March 30: An NGO has urged the new government to ensure release of peasants who were kept as bonded labours in private jails of feudal lords.

It has asked the government to ensure that foreign funds received for the rehabilitation of freed bonded peasants’ should be utilised for the same purpose.Peace and Human Rights Trust Chairman Mukhtar Rana said this while addressing a press conference here on Sunday.

He said people had pinned hopes on the present government because they believe that it would come up to their expectations by completing the mission of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

He said that Bhutto’s mission envisaged that landless peasants should be provided land and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had worked on that during his tenure. He said the new government should take this mission to its logical end.

Mr Rana hailed the government’s decision of lifting ban on trade and students’ unions and said that peasants should be allowed to form unions.

He said that budget for armed forces should be cut back and diverted to welfare of masses and unnecessary expenditures in all government departments should end.

He called for provincial autonomy and judicious distribution of water among provinces.

He said that for the restoration fundamental human rights the steps taken by the president on Nov 3, 2007, should be done away with and the Constitution should be restored to its original form.

He said the deposed chief justice of Supreme Court and other superior courts’ judges should be reinstated for an independent judiciary which was necessary for a society based on justice.

He also demanded recovery of family members of Manu Bheel, for which he said, competent police officers should be appointed in Sanghar district to resolve this long standing case.

Manu Bheel, a peasant whose entire family was ‘disappeared’ after being kidnapped by henchmen of a landlord ten years ago, was present in the press conference.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/31/2008