Gilgit-Baltistan:HRCP demands that the government pay immediate attention to early warning signs of serious problems and unrest in Gilgit Baltistan

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Lahore (INP):—The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has voiced alarm over the continued deterioration in the state of human rights across the country and emphasized the need for all actors and institutions to urgently address pressing concerns as well as respect and strengthen the political process.

A statement approved by the HRCP annual general meeting said on Sunday, the country is passing through a critical phase where the democratic experiment is on trial and it is imperative that the political process is respected and reinforced.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan considers it important that the process of improving the constitution continues until all accretions of dictatorship are thrown out and the chapter on fundamental rights is further reinforced.

In HRCP’s view a four-year term for parliament may also be considered so as to enable the people to exercise their democratic rights more frequently and to hold the government accountable. It will also create space for the emergence of fresh leadership.

Now is the time to improve vigilance in guarding against any form of extra-democratic intervention in the forthcoming general elections, by the military, by extremists, or through any special judicial process. The people’s anxieties on that count must be given due weight and urgently addressed.

HRCP is acutely concerned over escalations in religious and sectarian violence and demands that the government launch and sustain a robust effort by civilian and military authorities to adequately respond to the growing menace, especially the oppression of the Ahmedis, the killing of the Shias, and the kidnapping for ransom and forced conversion of the Hindus. At least part of the focus must be on stemming intolerance in society.It is hard to find a silver lining in Balochistan where victims of enforced disappearance remain missing or their dead bodies are increasingly discovered. At least 173 bodies were found in 2011. Unless political means are used to address an essentially political problem, things are bound to get worse. Impunity for the security agencies must be ended, law and order improved and the explosion in the incidents of kidnapping for ransom brought under control. In the final analysis the people of Balochistan must have a decisive say in their affairs.

HRCP demands that the government pay immediate attention to early warning signs of serious problems and unrest in Gilgit Baltistan and urges action to address people’s political and socio-economic concerns and put an end to sectarian violence.

There has been no improvement in the situation in Karachi and nothing has been done to prevent the regular cycles of violence.

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