=> LAHORE, Jan 22: The Human Rights Commission of Pak -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

=> LAHORE, Jan 22: The Human Rights Commission of Pak

LAHORE, Jan 22: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the NWFP government to desist from carrying out its ‘ill-conceived’ plans of changing the justice system in Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) of Swat, Dir and Chitral in the interest of people.

In a statement, HRCP Secretary-General Iqbal Haider expressed concern over the NWFP government’s designs to promulgate the draft regulation for law enforcement in Pata through Qazi courts, and said the draft envisaged replacement of judicial officers with Qazis and enforcement of religious laws.

Unfortunately, the proposed measure suffered from many flaws and might make the belief of the people even more controversial than efforts of misguided zealots had already made it.

He pointed out that the step compared unfavourably with the 1999 Regulation introduced in Malakand as it replaced the high court with the Federal Shariat Court as appellate forum. Such a radical change could not be made by an executive order, he added.

The Qazis would lean on scholars who would be inducted into positions of authority by a committee in which the executive would have strong representation. The measure carried the defect for which the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) was denounced because it would give rise to discrimination.

He said promulgation of the draft Regulation would give rise to a parallel judicial system at a time when the unification of the judicial order was need of the hour. It would not help overcome militants either. On the contrary, it would embolden them to seek fresh conquests in territories beyond the area of their recent operations, Haider added.

The HRCP secretary-general said the subject was far complicated and sensitive too to be arbitrarily dealt with by a caretaker regime that had no right to introduce legislation of a fundamental nature. The NWFP government must give up the ill-conceived plan in the all too clear interest of the people, he added.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/23/2008