Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pakistani Foreign minister accused of downplaying human rights abuses in Balochistan

Hina Khar accused of downplaying human rights abuses in Balochistan
Lahore, Nov. 14 (ANI): Civil society representatives in Pakistan have accused Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and her delegation of trying to downplay the grave human rights situation in Balochistan during her presentation on October 30 to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan. Sharing their critique of Pakistan's submissions to UN in Geneva before the Working Group of Human Rights Council, they said people continue to protest against the many people missing in Balochistan while arrests and human rights abuses continue. "The Supreme Court has held military and the Frontier Corps answerable for extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances. Since July 2010, more than 400 bodies of missing persons have been found in Balochistan," they said. Nationalist groups claim that more than 100 children are being illegally detained by the military. Cabinet members from the province all live in Islamabad and visit the province only on rare occasions, they said. The government has constituted two commissions to investigate the causes behind the extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances in Balochistan. One of the commissions asked to complete its report within three months has still not been presented it, they claimed. "The other commission has also taken well over a year but failed to present its conclusions," they said. "The report presented by Pakistan was disappointing. Member states have recommended that military operations should be halted in Balochistan and government should ensure that those responsible for torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances are prosecuted," they said."The impunity offered to the offenders should be withdrawn immediately. Amongst other recommendations was that adequate resources must be provided to the National Commission on Human Rights to enable it to perform its duties," they added.The press conference was attended by IA Rehman from Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Mohammad Zubair from South Asia Partnership (SAP-PK), Fauzia Viqar from Shirkat Gah, Nasreen Zehra from Aurat Foundation, Sajjad Cheema from SPARC and Peter Jacob from National Commission for Justice and Peace. (ANI) 

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