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HRCP demands end to growing killings, impunity 

10 Oktober 2011 08:26:52

HRCP demands end to growing killings, impunity

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave concern over mounting threats to the right to life across Pakistan as well as widespread impunity for killings and demanded more robust and meaningful efforts to protect human rights, particularly the right to life.

A statement issued at the conclusion of the HRCP Council meeting said:

“The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan takes serious note of the litany of threats to the right to life in Pakistan. It expresses serious concern that all manner of killings remain pervasive in Balochistan, including horrific bloodshed as a result of targeting of the Hazaras, and victims of enforced disappearance continue to be recovered as dead bodies. There is large-scale killing in the tribal areas and no effort has been made to get to the truth despite months passing since reports emerged of a mass grave in Mohmand Agency.

Killings of citizens in Karachi violence are now seen as the norm. The open season on journalists continues and the climate of impunity for journalists’ killers is such that it amounts to virtual immunity for murder. Violence against women is taking an ever-increasing toll.

It is a reflection of the scale of the killings that bloodshed that should shake the conscience of the nation at times does not even sufficiently register.

The primary responsibility for restoring law and order and respect for right to life lies with the government, and HRCP calls upon it to pull its act together. However, the challenges it faces are so grave that the government alone would find it difficult to overcome them.

It must persuade all political parties to achieve a consensus on tackling these mammoth challenges. The government must also expand meaningful interaction with the civil society.

Furthermore, all threats to the right to life do not arise out of law and order issues; convoluted notions of honour have also played a big part in that. In the face of such varied threats to the right to life, HRCP calls upon the government to mount a multi-faceted response, in collaboration with the larger civil society, to reassert the writ of the state, restore law and order, bring perpetrators of all acts of violence to justice and initiate more robust efforts to end the prevailing climate of impunity for murder. There must also be increased focus on social emancipation and protection of rights of those at increased risk.”