Expressing concern: SCBA wants autonomy for rights commission

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: The head of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) S Ali Zafar has expressed concern over the federal government’s indifference to the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR), a statutory organisation purpose-built for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

In a written statement, the president has recommended that the rights body should be granted administrative autonomy and allowed its intended capacity independently with the full support of the federal government.

He lamented that there is a huge gap between the words and deeds of the government.

The SCBA president stated that no human rights can be effectively enforced, unless measures are taken to change the mindset of the law enforcement agencies through law enforcement training programmes.

Zafar said that the federation’s proposal for the action plan for the protection and promotion of human rights is a welcome initiative. He, however, regretted that the SCBA, which is the premier body consisting of top lawyers of the country and are at the forefront of protecting human rights, has unfortunately not been consulted nor has it been made aware of the initiatives which create serious doubts in his mind about the federation’s seriousness in implementing the action plan.

For any human rights initiative to be effective in the circumstances prevailing in Pakistan, there is a need to prioritise and concentrate first and foremost on the right to education, because it is only through education that human rights can be embedded within the minds of the younger generation and increase awareness of other fundamental rights amongst the people.

Express Tribune