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Category — Human Rights

With ‘little progress on earlier recommendations’, Pakistan set to face third UPR today

by Ailia Zehra in Daily Times, November 13th 2017.
Lahore: Pakistan’s third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is scheduled to take place on Monday (today).

International and national rights watchdogs have urged the government to ‘meaningfully engage with the process to improve the human rights situation in the country’.

In its statement released on the occasion, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has noted that the seven recommendations rejected by Pakistan in 2012 were related to some of the most serious violations of human rights.

The UPR was introduced by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 and it involves a periodic review of human rights records of all UN member states. The process lets states quantify steps needed for improvement in human rights situation.

In 2008, Pakistan received 51 recommendations, of which it accepted 43 and rejected eight. These eight pertained to decriminalisation of defamation and non-marital sexual relations; end to abuse of blasphemy laws; legal reforms to ensure punishments in ‘honour’ killings and abolition of death penalty.

At its second UPR in 2012, Pakistan received 167 recommendations, out of which it accepted 126, ‘noted’ 34 and rejected seven.

The recommendations rejected by Pakistan included proposals for repeal of laws related to blasphemy and criminalising non-marital sexual relations, abolition of the death penalty, and bringing an end to the ongoing military operation in Balochistan.

Among those accepted by the country, 26 were about various domestic and international human rights laws and institutions; 20 about women and children rights; 21 about various forms of discrimination; social protections; 23 about MDGs and socio-economic development; six about religious minorities; five each about rights defenders and journalists, and religious hatred and violence; four each about enforced disappearances and domestic and sexual violence; three about freedom of expression; two each about early marriages, administrative reforms, and interfaith dialogue; and one each about terrorism and bonded labour.

Of the 34 kept pending, 15 were about ratification of various international conventions; five about blasphemy laws; four each about UN HR bodies and gender-based and other forms of discrimination; two about children protection; and one each about rights defenders, Internet access, gender-based violence and IDPs -1.

Recommendations on women’s rights and status

In the second cycle of the UPR, Pakistan was issued 34 recommendations pertaining to the rights of women. Out of 34, Pakistan accepted 26, ‘noted’ seven, and rejected one that asked for decriminalisation of non-marital sexual relations.

The recommendations accepted by the country primarily concerned addressing various forms of violence against women, such as domestic violence and trafficking; fulfillment of women’s right including access to education and healthcare; strengthening of national human rights mechanisms responsible for the advancement of women; and increasing gender sensitive training for law enforcement personnel.

In 2015, the Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) issued an assessment report noting that incidents of violence against women had continued at the same rate as that before 2012. In 2014 alone, for example, the HRCP recorded 923 cases where women were killed in the name of ‘honour’; 82 cases relating to ‘honour’ killings; and over 100 cases where girls and women were killed in acid attacks.

The HRCP report further noted that even though legislation criminalising various forms of violence against women had been enacted – like the Domestic Violence Acts in Sindh (2013) and Balochistan (2014), and the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act of 2013 – there remained a lack of will to implement these laws and to raise awareness amongst the public, law enforcement agencies and even the judiciary.

The report noted that Pakistan had also consistently failed to provide victims of violence sufficient support mechanisms and rehabilitation services. Furthermore, the lack of awareness regarding standard operating procedures (SOPs) for gender-related crimes and the lack of gender sensitive training for judges and police had led to under-reporting of cases and widespread impunity for the perpetrators.

Other related recommendations

There has been no progress on recommendations asking for the adoption of a national plan on women’s rights. On the issue of violence against women, the recommendation about reporting and investigation of cases of violence against women, effective awareness campaign against violence and consolidation of measures to address sexual abuses and exploitation of children was not implemented.

Other recommendations have only seen partial implementation. These include efforts to end trafficking of children and violence against women; setting up mechanisms for protection and support to victims of sexual violence and enactment of provincial legislation on domestic violence; and necessary measures sought to end harmful traditional practices against women, particularly those related to sexual harassment in public and work places.https://dailytimes.com.pk/138713/little-progress-earlier-recommendations-pakistan-set-face-third-upr-today/

November 13, 2017   No Comments

UPR: an opportunity or just an event?:

By Peter Jacob in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2017.
The UN Human Rights Council will review Pakistan’s human rights situation on 13th November 2017 under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which involves the assessment of each member country on a regular basis in Geneva. In Pakistan’s case, it will be a test of the UN system’s effectiveness in persuading the country to comply with its rights obligations. Conversely, the outcome of UPR will be an indication of the country’s flexibility to use the international oversight on the compliance of human rights as a means to tackle domestic challenges.

All UN member countries can participate in the deliberations and make recommendations while 47 member countries will determine the substance of the recommendations in a working group session in November 2017. The troika of Latvia, Egypt and Iraq will facilitate the process entailing the adoption of the final recommendations next spring.

Combining the influence in international politics and practices in diplomacy, Pakistan has been able to resist or refuse to accept the recommendations of the UN bodies. During the first UPR review in 2008, when the PPP was in power, the delegation chose to keep silent about rights violations that Gen Pervez Musharraf’s regime could be held accountable for. Pakistan’s delegation comprising members of parliament and our mission to the UN dismissed all major concerns about rights abuses against women and religious minorities. In sum, the delegation received a margin of appreciation at the UN Human Rights Council in the assessment only because it represented a democratically-elected government.

In the next review in 2012, it was hard to defend allegations of enforced disappearances, abuse of women’s rights, attacks on journalists, lawyers and religious minorities. The assassinations of Governor Salman Taseer and Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in 2011 on account of defending blasphemy law victims weakened the case. However, Pakistan dispatched an empowered delegation to Geneva, including the eloquent Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Dr Paul Bhatti. The conclusion of the UPR was trivialised as Pakistan refused to accept most of the substantial recommendations.

Out of 167 recommendations finalised by the working group of the Human Rights Council in March 2013, Pakistan accepted 126 recommendations, noted 34 and rejected seven dealing with enforced disappearances, reforms in justice and education systems and the blasphemy laws. A mid-term assessment carried out by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 2015-2016 noted that out of 67 recommendations accepted by Pakistan, 38 or 57 per cent had not been complied with.

Our foreign service has developed a capacity to defend whatever situation prevails at home. Tactics such as denying facts on the ground, defying procedures for a meaningful review and deflecting attention from the genuine issues were used to avoid a substantial outcome of international review.

Unfortunately, the people of Pakistan, who happen to be the primary stakeholders, will have no say in the proceedings and will probably remain uninformed of the discussions and the outcomes. The NGOs representing peoples’ interest in enforcement of rights have made 20 written submissions to the UPR yet it is only the government functionaries who will ultimately decide whether and which recommendations, will be accepted. Hence, the outcome of the whole exercise will depend entirely on the sweet will of a few.

In order to construct a social and political road map for reforms, Pakistan needs exactly the opposite to happen. Therefore, an optimal use of the UPR should be made to realise the dream of dignified living, freedoms and human rights for Pakistanis. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif should advise his ministry to consult rights-based groups regarding adoption of the recommendations as well. We need to accept more meaningful and result-oriented recommendations to enhance respect and protection for human rights.

November 13, 2017   No Comments

PPP senator warns govt against falsifying rights situation in Pakistan at UN moot

by Amir Wasim in Dawn, November 12th, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar has warned the government against any attempt to “falsify” human rights situation in Pakistan at the United Nations review meeting beginning in Geneva (Switzerland) on Monday.

Talking to Dawn here on Saturday, Mr Babar said that Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was heading a 14-member delegation at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting of the UN where he was due “to present and defend” the national report on the human rights situation in the country.

At the UPR meeting, member states will present national reports of human rights situation in their countries and also explain the measures taken to implement the promises made at previous review meetings.

Mr Babar said that at the previous review some five years ago, held during the PPP government’s tenure, Pakistan had agreed to criminalise enforced disappearances but the report was silent on this issue.

“It will be best to make a categorical announcement at the review moot that enforced disappearances will be criminalised before the end of the year,” he suggested.

Similarly, Mr Babar said, the claim that blasphemy laws were non-discriminatory and that no one had been punished under it was “patently false”. “It will be honest to admit that the fair and just implementation of blasphemy laws presents challenges that the state is trying to address,” he added.

Calling upon the government to present the true picture of the human rights situation in Pakistan at the UN review meeting, the PPP senator said this year for the first time the newly-constituted National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) and independent bodies would be present at the review conference.

Therefore, he said, any falsification would be far more difficult than in the past. “It should also be borne in mind that our international trade particularly with the European Union (EU) also hinges on our human rights record,” he said.

Earlier, in a statement issued from the PPP Media Centre, Mr Babar said that on the eve of review by the UN of the human rights situation in Pakistan “it is a grim thought that citizens’ rights have been dangerously abridged by both state and non-state actors in the country”.

Warning against falsifying human rights situation in the country, he said the international community would be sympathetic towards any shortcomings in view of the challenges “we face but it will never condone if we tell downright lies at the review”.https://www.dawn.com/news/1369989/ppp-senator-warns-govt-against-falsifying-rights-situation-in-pakistan-at-un-moot

November 12, 2017   No Comments

Mosque construction issue on gurdwara premises reaches court

by Aamir Yasin in Dawn, November 12th, 2017
Islamabad: The matter of a mosque constructed on the premises of a pre-partition gurdwara, which currently houses a school, has reached the Rawalpindi district and sessions court.

The Singh Saba Gurdwara has become the subject of a dispute between the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the administration of the Government Ziaul Uloom High School for Boys, under whose use the gurdwara has been since 1969.

Last month, a portion of the gurdwara was pulled down for reconstruction, after the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation declared the building dangerous and the school received Rs15 million to rebuild.

Construction was halted after the ETPB obtained a stay order from the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal, and the court fixed the hearing on Nov 13.

According to ETPB Rawalpindi region Deputy Director Asif Khan, the law does not permit changes to the status of non-Muslims’ places of worship, making the construction of a mosque on the premises of the gurdwara illegal. In addition, he said, the school administration had broken the law by pulling down the building without the board’s permission.
Classes are being held in the main hall of the gurdwara which was supposed to be sealed.

However, Mr Khan said that it would be problematic for the ETPB to take action against the mosque after it has been established. “We will not raze the mosque, but we have decided to hand it over to the Muslim Auqaf to run its affairs,” he said.

He added that the building, which is in Raja Bazaar, was the ETPB’s property, and it was illegal for the school administration to demolish the building and build the mosque.

“The [school] principal constructed a mosque in the building without permission, and became its khateeb for life. Under the law, gurdwaras and temples cannot be converted into a mosque, and a tenant will not make any changes to a building without the board’s permission,” he said.

Mr Khan said the ETPB had been asked to take action against the school administration by Hindu and Sikh residents of the area.

He explained that the ETPB had given old temples and gurdwaras to schools after sealing the main portions of religious rooms to protect them.
The building department demolished 10 rooms in the gurdwara for reconstruction work. — Photos by Mohammad Asim

Mr Khan said the board had reached out to the education authority, which issued notices to the school administration but did not receive a response. The ETPB then had no choice but to take the matter to the Rawalpindi division commissioner, he said.

“It is the duty of the ETPB to repair the building and make changes to it in consultation with local Hindu and Sikh residents,” he said.

School principal Sheikh Tariq Hussain, however, argued that the construction of a mosque on the gurdwara’s premises had not changed the status of the place of worship because the mosque was built in the residential quarters and was not part of the main building.

He told Dawn: “The mosque is constructed on vacant land. There is no change of the building’s status, and the main prayer room of the gurdwara is still safe.” Mr Hussain added that a small temple in the playground was also in its original form.

He added that the possession dispute between the ETPB and the school was decided by the Lahore High Court in 2008, which had asked the secretaries of the education department and the ETPB to settle the matter. However, the matter has still not been resolved.

Mr Hussain also claimed that the ETPB wanted to construct a multi-storey shopping centre on the site, and had offered the school the third floor of said building if the matter is settled.

He said he refused the offer, adding: “If the ETPB razes the building for the construction of a shopping mall with the help of local traders, it will be awful.”

November 12, 2017   No Comments

Int’l jurists body for improving rights situation:

Report in Dawn, November 12th, 2017
LAHORE: As Pakistan is set to undergo its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Nov 13, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has urged the authorities to meaningfully engage with the process to improve human rights situation in the country.

“Pakistan’s past engagement with the UPR has been characterised by denial and defensive posturing,” says ICJ’s Asia Director Frederick Rawski in a press release issued on Saturday.

He said as a recently-elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, it was more important than ever for Pakistan to show it took its human rights obligations seriously by engaging with the upcoming UPR in its true spirit.

During its second UPR in 2012, Pakistan received 167 recommendations, of which it rejected seven, noted 34, and accepted 126.

The seven recommendations rejected by Pakistan include those to adopt an official moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing capital punishment in law and practice, repeal blasphemy laws, and decriminalise adultery and non-marital consensual sex.

Even accepted recommendations have been largely ignored in the four years since the previous UPR, the ICJ notes.

It says the enforced disappearances are still not recognised as a distinct, autonomous crime, perpetrators of gross human rights violations continue to escape justice, there has been complete inaction to prevent abuse of so-called blasphemy laws, and freedom of expression is often restricted on vague grounds such as “national security” and “immorality”.

“Pakistan’s human rights situation has in many ways deteriorated since 2012,” Mr Rawski added.

As reflected by Pakistan’s national report for the upcoming UPR, the authorities apparently remained in a state of denial about dire human rights implications of these new measures, he said.

He urged the country to end dangerous downward spiral on rights by ending repression, respecting fundamental freedoms, and holding perpetrators of violations responsible.

November 2, 2017   No Comments

Rights groups to present charter for police reforms to Sindh IGP

Report in Daily Times, Oct 21st 2017
KARACHI: Civil society and rights groups, at a press conference, released a “Citizens’ Charter for Police Reforms” demanding various reforms in the police department. The charter would be presented to Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) A. D. Khawaja. The Citizens’ Charter is divided into two sets of demands, one for the common citizens and the other for the police personnel. The charter was made drafted after a lengthy process of consultations as a result of the landmark decision of Sindh High Court (SHC) regarding police reforms, under which the IGP had been asked to make necessary changes in police department according to the relevant law, Police Act 1861.

Para 102 of the SHC decision stated: “We would also like to emphasize that in this judgment we have touched upon only some aspects of the very many problems relating to policing, the police force and the law and order situation. The reform of the police force, the revival of proper and effective policing, the regaining and restoration of law and order, and the enforcement of fundamental rights in the fullest sense is an on-going exercise and a work-in-progress. The problems and issues are many, and may need to be treated again in fresh petitions and other proceedings. However, even if this judgment proves to be but one link in that chain, it is hopefully a step in the right direction (if we may mix metaphors a bit)”.

The charter demanded that a Provincial Public Safety Commission/Ombudsman should be established. The Human Rights Cell (established under Standing Order 235/2009) should be activated in each district, it should issue monthly reports (with special focus on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances), and citizens (minimum 5 citizens) be made members of the cell.

Another demand from the citizens included e-filing for launching of complaints be allowed and a reference number issued to the complainants.

All investigations should be conducted in a transparent and efficient manner and all funds allocated should be made available to IOs, who should be made accountable, the charter said.

Foot patrolling and women and minorities should be inducted in the police force at all levels, as per the 5 % quota allocated to them under the law, the charter said. Every citizen arrested has a right to dignity and privacy under the constitution, it said. Conditions of lockups including sanitary services should be improved, the charter recommended.

Assets of police officers and inquiries and their results against police officers should be posted on the police website, the charter stated. A special unit should be created to monitor the progress in all cases relating to complaints of violence against women, children and minorities, the charter said.

The charter recommended that security should be provided to the minorities’ places of worship by police officers belonging to the same minority, according to the Supreme Court Judgment of Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, regarding the safety of the minorities’ places of worship, (PLD 2014 SC 699).

Issues regarding the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) should be addressed, as police officers take little or no interest in writing the ACRs of their subordinates, the charter said.

Retired police personnel and the families of martyred police should be paid compensation on time, it said. Living conditions of police personnel should be at par with other government service departments. Working conditions of police personnel should be brought in conformity with Pakistan’s law and international standards, it said.

Dignity of police personnel and their families should be established i.e. access to education, healthcare for their families and decent living and all police personnel injured should have access to the best healthcare as available to armed forces. All police personnel should undergo regular medical checkups.

The charter also asked to promote the concept of community policing at police station level. Performance of the community policing will be part of ACRs of SHO, it said.

Besides this a ‘bridge’ demand was also made which asked for holding an annual public recognition of outstanding police personnel at an annual police-citizens function, which should become an important date/event in the social calendar of Sindh, the charter said.

The press conference was addressed by Citizens Trust Against Crimes’ Nazim F. Haji, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research’s (PILER) Karamat Ali, Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment’s Khateeb Ahmed, National Labour Council’s Liaqat Sahi, Tahrik Niswan’s Sheema Kermani and Sindh Commission on Status of Women Chairperson Nuzhat Shireen among others. https://dailytimes.com.pk/128384/rights-groups-present-charter-police-reforms-sindh-igp/

October 22, 2017   No Comments

HRCP highlights Pakistan’s dismal progress on global laws

Report in Dawn, October 21st, 2017
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) held a media briefing on Friday where they talked about various international treaty monitoring bodies that were monitoring Pakistan’s progress under international laws and treaties.

Pakistan ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) in June 2010. An initial report on the implementation of the treaty was due in June 2011, but Pakistan submitted its report four years late. In May this year, the CAT committee published a set of findings and recommendations on Pakistan’s implementation of the provisions.

Pakistan also ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Politics Rights (ICCPR) in June 2010, a report on which was due in 2011, but again Pakistan submitted it four years late. The HR committee reviewed the human rights record under the Covenant, and issued concluding observations along with recommendations in July.

In October this year, the UN General Assembly elected Pakistan as member of the UN Human Rights Council till December 2020. However speakers at the media briefing said Pakistan was far from fulfilling its pledge to protect human rights in all aspects as well as the international commitments it had signed and ratified, but not fully implemented.

Reema Omer, from the International Commission of Jurists, said the Universal Periodic Review was to be held in November, and although it did not carry authority in the same way as the UN General Assembly and GSP Plus, it still saw how a country was performing in different areas.

“Pakistan cannot reject any of the recommendations,” she said. “A country can either accept them or not accept them, but Pakistan has gone on to state them as ‘rejected’.”

Veteran rights activist I.A. Rehman spoke at length about the UNCAT and said that most of the recommendations were not being implemented in Pakistan. The fact that there was no definition or criminalisation of torture, and missing persons, led to the fact that Pakistan was indeed in a precarious place internationally.

“We have military courts whose proceedings are opaque, and at the same time, our state officials have so much impunity,” he said. “Meanwhile positive aspects included adoption of the National Action Plan, the anti-honour killing law and anti-rape laws as well as formation of the National Commission of Human Rights (NCHR).”

However the implementation of these laws and the independent power of the NCHR remained to be seen.

At the same time there were several concerns and recommendations that have been given to Pakistan in the report, including widespread use of torture by police in lock-ups and prisons, inadequate investigation of complaints of torture, impunity for acts of torture by military and paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies, definition and criminalisation of torture, enforced disappearances, monitoring of places of detention, violence against women, trafficking and forced (bonded) labour, diligence to prevent violence by non-state actors, etc.https://www.dawn.com/news/1365230/hrcp-highlights-pakistans-dismal-progress-on-global-laws

October 22, 2017   No Comments

Pak: Mr President, how can you hang a man who cannot even stand?

by Musarrat Nausheen in Dawn, Oct 6, 2017
Abdul Basit, a former administrator at a medical college, was sentenced to death in 2009. On 1 August, 2010 whilst in Central Jail, Faisalabad, Basit contracted tubercular meningitis which, due to lack of action on behalf of the jail authorities, has left him paralysed from the waist down.

As a result of his paralysed condition, jail authorities have determined that there is no way to carry out the execution in accordance with Pakistan Prison Rules. His execution has been stayed pending further instructions. This is the testimony of his wife, Musarrat Nausheen.

I married Abdul Basit in 2002. He was an administrative assistant at a local medical college, handsome, and promised me a good future. He liked to wear good clothes, and loved cologne. We had two sons. Today, they are 13 and nine.

My eldest son has known his father for only the first four years of his life. The younger one was barely a year old when Basit left us.

His arrest was sudden, to say the least. He has always maintained his innocence for the murder that saw him sentenced to death in 2009. A gun was fired in the middle of an altercation, with the family of a woman he knew.

We don’t know who shot it. Basit insists that it was not him. I believe, in my heart, that he is right. He had no reason to kill that man. We were stable, we were happy and Basit was neither angry nor violent.

But a man did die, and Basit was arrested for it. When he went to jail, we had no idea what hit us. It was only me and Basit’s mother, facing a judicial system we did not understand, and a lawyer who was only interested in money.

And everything cost far more than we could afford. Getting to the courthouse – which was four hours away in Okara District, would cost us a few thousand rupees just in travel costs. Then there were the lawyer’s fees and the demands of the policemen themselves.

There were days when I did not have money to buy milk for my infant son and I would dissolve sugar in water, and feed him through a bottle. He would cry. But eventually he would sleep, even if I would not be able to.

We were two women with little understanding of our rights, and unsure about whom to turn to for help. To make matters worse, we were harassed and abused by our opponents, every time we appeared at the court.

They would warn us to not show up at the next hearing, following us all the way to the bus stop. They would tell me that they would kidnap my sons if I did not heed their warnings.

We were alone, poor, female and so, easy targets.

I thought that was it. That his death sentence was a death sentence for all of us.

But Basit was not done being punished. He had spent the first 18 months of his detention in Sahiwal Jail, before being transferred to Central Jail, Faisalabad in 2010.

In August, I received a phone call from the jail hospital. Basit was in a coma, and we were told that in all likelihood, he would not wake up again. Perhaps we should come say goodbye.

How had this happened? Riots had broken out in the prison, to protest the use of use of torture by the jail authorities. Basit, and many other inmates were confined to a “punishment wing,” a small room in filthy conditions. He became ill, collapsed and received medical attention too late.

When we got to the hospital, we were told that he had tubercular meningitis. He would never walk again as a result.

He lies like a corpse in his bed, directly as a result of jail negligence.

And if that wasn’t humiliation enough, the Government of Pakistan has issued two execution warrants for him. The only reason Basit is alive today (if even barely) is simply because prison authorities do not know how to hang a man who is unable to stand. What they hope to gain from hanging a cripple is beyond me.

Each time I visit him in prison I see how he is deteriorating, but there is nothing I can do for him. When we meet, when he speaks, he makes little sense and barely recognises me. He is also in considerable pain, and of course, the conditions of the prison only make matters worse.

I feel tired. The burdens have increased – the rent, the children’s school fees, their private tuition costs, and the general cost of living is making things harder. I have two jobs now just to keep things going, keep my head above the ground.

I worry about the boys – not having a father has adversely affected them. They are reserved and silent. People talk, and I know the children hear.

So a healthy, fully able man walked into a jail – and today, he requires a catheter, and prison authorities to regularly turn him to prevent bed sores. To the guards, for all intents and purposes, Basit is nothing more than a heap of inconvenient flesh.

If this isn’t grounds for mercy, I’m not sure what else is. https://www.dawn.com/news/1361924/mr-president-how-can-you-hang-a-man-who-cannot-even-stand

October 6, 2017   No Comments

Policeman kills three for ‘honour’: Report in Dawn, Sept 24, 2017

TIMERGARA: A police official allegedly killed three people, including his sister-in-law, in the name of honour at Ado village in the jurisdiction of Khall police station here on Saturday.

Sources said that Hidayatullah, a police official, killed his sister-in-law along two men identified as Asghar Khan and his nephew Shah Zeb, residents of Shinkat, on suspicion of their having illicit relation with his sister-in-law. Hidayat later surrendered to the Khall police, saying he could not tolerate any scar on his family’s honour.

Meanwhile, Badshah Umar Khan, brother of Asghar Khan, told the police that Hidayat had called both Asghar Khan and Shah Zeb to his house where he killed them along with a woman and pretended they had illicit relations.

The Khall police registered the case and have started investigations.

In another such case, a youth identified as son of Gul Shah allegedly killed his sister at Banrgi village in the jurisdiction of Talash police station here the other day. The police have registered the case.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359689/policeman-kills-three-for-honour

September 24, 2017   No Comments

Indian High Commission seeks prisoner’s release by Pakistan

Report in Dawn, September 21st, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The Indian High Commission has sought release of an Indian convict who has served his five-year sentence.

A petition filed by the commission was taken up by Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq on Wednesday. However, the IHC bench withdrew the petition after objections raised by the registrar office that the power of attorney was not properly signed and relevant parties were not nominated as respondents.

Advocate Malik Shahna­waz Noon, the petitioner’s counsel, said he would re-file the petition after making necessary changes.

The Indian national, Rafiq Jutt, was apprehended by Pakistan Army in 2008. He was sentenced to five-year imprisonment in 2012 after a trial.

Advocate Noon maintained that the convict was Muslim and belonged to the Indian state of Gujarat. He visited Pakistan on a valid visa in 2008 when Pakistan Army apprehended him. Mr Jutt was tried under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act.

During his imprisonment, the Indian national has been kept in different jails. Presently, he is confined in Karachi’s central jail.

He was awarded sentence on March 8, 2012 which expired on March 7 this year.

Advocate Noon said that since Mr Jutt had completed his sentence and now the authorities had no concern with him, he might be released.

The advocate said that as Mr Jutt was an Indian citizen, the matter directly came under the interior ministry which had the authority to arrange his release by ordering the Sindh home secretary.

Among other grounds, Mr Jutt had an ailing mother back home and there was no person to look after her as his wife was compelled to work at a farm as a labourer due to his imprisonment, the advocate said, adding that Mr Jutt has a nine-year-old son.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359073/indian-high-commission-seeks-prisoners-release-by-pakistan

September 21, 2017   No Comments