PPP slams govt for human rights ‘violations’

Islamabad: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Dr Nafisa Shah on Sunday censured the government for alleged gross human rights violations.

In a statement, she said the PPP was extremely concerned at the arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings and curbs on civil rights, and on freedom of expression and association.

“Far from police reforms, Naya (new) Pakistan is fast turning Pakistan into a police state. Sahiwal incident is a glaring example where police kills and captures with impunity,” she said.

She alleged the random arrests of politicians including the leader of opposition, and placing of 172 persons on the Exit Control List in Sindh, arresting hundreds of officers in Sindh and Punjab by the National Accountability Bureau, disallowing former Prime Minister Yousof Raza Gilani from travelling all indicate that the government was either helpless or unwilling or collusive in turning Pakistan into a state where a campaign of witch-hunting has been unleashed on citizens.

“This coupled with gags on the media has made us into a veritable Orwellian society. The continued persecution of activists of sub-national movements like the Pushtoon Tahafuz Movement, the Jiye Sindh and Baloch Movements, the mysterious killings and disappearances of activists and supporters of these organisations show that democracy is being replaced by an unstated autocratic rule aka ‘Niazi rule’,” she added.

The arrests of social activists like Gulalai Ismail and academics Amaar Jan for mere protests are glaring examples of this Rule, she said.

“The Human Rights Ministry led by an otherwise vocal Minister Shireen Mazari has become a farce and has been unable or has been part of the system that allows ECLs, arrests, extralegal acts to carry on with impunity. In this creepy Naya Pakistan, voices like Asma Jehangir are missed,” she said.

Nafisa Shah said the PPP “calls upon the Parliament in Pakistan to play it’s role in fighting against the authoritarian Niazicracy in Pakistan that has forced a dark rule where open and free expression and association are curbed. The PPP also expects that the judiciary will step in to protect the fundamental rights of citizens as enshrined in the constitution.”