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Pakistan criticized for Human Rights violations

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    Pakistan criticized for Human Rights violations

    By Masood Haider

    NEW YORK, Oct 9: Accusing Pakistan's military led government of widespread abuses, in the name of political reforms, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked Chief Executive General Perez Musharraf to immediately return the country to the civilian rule.

    In a 20-page report, " Repression or Reform? Post-Coup Abuses in Pakistan", the Human Rights Watch however has mentioned two important steps taken by the Musharraf government for the protection of rights of children and women.

    The New York-based HRW says the Musharraf government had detained opponents and former officials without charge, removed independent judges from the higher courts, banned public rallies and demonstrations, and rendered political parties all but powerless.

    "Musharraf follows a long line of generals in Pakistan who have claimed that a period of military rule is the path to true democracy" said Sidney Jones, Asia director of HRW. "In fact, he is systematically destroying civil liberties in Pakistan."

    Human Rights Watch called on the Musharraf government to:

    -Immediately lift the state of emergency;

    -Set a clear and reasonable timetable for holding national and provincial elections;

    -To revoke the Provisional Constitution Order that suspends the constitution and undermines the independence of the judiciary;

    -To amend the November 1999 National Accountability Ordinance, ostensibly designed to punish corrupt officials, because it denies due process of law and invites politically motivated prosecutions;

    -To cease using the army to monitor civil institutions;

    -To hold judicial inquiries into allegations of custodial torture and prosecute those responsible.

    The report says though the government has repeatedly boasted of its commitment to a free press, a September 27 raid by armed military personnel on the offices of the Karachi-based English daily Dawn has raised grave concerns about freedom of press and speech in Pakistan. According to the Dawn, the raid was preceded by legal notices to the newspaper from the Ministry of Information to restrict its coverage of a draft Freedom of Information Act, and by complaints from government officials about an article in Dawn stating that the administration was preparing new curbs on press freedom.

    The HRW called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Pakistan to raise human rights concerns, and on Pakistan's donors and trading partners to use every available opportunity to press for implementation of the legal and administrative reforms recommended by HRW.

    The new report recalls the immediate aftermath of the coup on Oct 12, 1999 when Musharraf deposed Nawaz Sharif, and the policy objectives that Musharraf announced for his government.

    It notes that the Sharif administration had alienated much of the public with heavy handed and increasingly authoritarian policies, and that Musharraf took pains to portray, the coup as necessary to reestablish a basis for democratic rule.

    The report acknowledges that in two areas, Musharraf did take important steps to safeguard human rights.

    One of these was to promulgate a juvenile justice ordinance protecting children's rights, and the second was to establish a National Commission on the Status of Women.

    In other areas, the Human Rights Watch says, the human rights situation has noticeably deteriorated as the military has consolidated power.

    Political opponents and suspected wrongdoers have been subjected to prolonged detention without charge, custodial ill treatment, and even torture. The report documents a particularly chilling case of detention and torture involving Rana Sanaullah Khan, an MPA, who was arrested under the sedition law for criticizing the military government in November 1999. He was whipped, beaten, held incommunicado and interrogated for a week in police custody before being transferred to Lahore Central Prison. He was eventually released on bail on January 5.

    The report points out that two senior Sharif government officials who were detained on the day of the coup, namely Mushahid Hussain and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who continue to be held without charge.

    The report describes other arrests of political party activists and abuses under the National Accountability Ordinance. The ordinance confers sweeping powers of arrest, investigation, and prosecution in a single institution, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

    Malik73 & Co. finally I think you have got something to not talk off.


      Don't even start kid.
      We were discussing politics when you were in diapers.
      Tomorrow you get your answer.
      Then lets see what you have to say.
      Also to point out this human rights violations deal with politically corrupt croonies of the west.
      So that is why they are pissed.
      Plus HRW is more political.
      While true organizations like Amnesty care only about the humans and send politics to hell.
      And since when do americans no anything about what goes on in third world countries.
      Mussahraf has been better than NS and BB together in only a space of 1 year.

      You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!