Human Rights Violations in Pakistan
A comprehensively visionless and incapable leadership makes the nation depressed and frustrated. This situation leads to large scale and wide spread violations and abuses of human rights. Pakistan is no exception to that. The real human rights abuse in Pakistan is the generalized ignorance of the people about human rights and their observance. This further deteriorates the situation.
In Pakistan, we observe the following major human rights violations:
- Incapable Leadership:
Though it seems strange but to me it is the biggest human rights violation in Pakistan that the nation has been since decades forced to follow leaders who are incapable and visionless. Time and again its leaders have been blamed for corruption whether financial or moral. This holds true for the political as well as religious leadership since the demise of its founder.
- Child Abuse:
When a child early in the morning goes to work and not to school, is such an abuse of the human rights which ruins generations. Imagine if thousands of such children share the same fate, the society will surely be crippled for generations. The situation results in a vicious circle of human rights violations and social evils.[i]
- Violation in Education System:
When students are taught by biased teachers and when even the text books contains such material which creates hatred against certain religious or political entities, the result will be violations of human rights though this phenomenon itself is a violation of human rights.
- Gender based Violations:
Frequently if not always, the women in Pakistan seem to have no human rights. Though there is a gradual visible improvement but generally women are still lagging far behind men in this regard. This violation may further be classified as:
- Domestic Violence
- Honor Killings
- Sexual harassment
- Discrimination in jobs
- Religious intolerance against minorities:
Though the extremist elements have always been a part of every human society. This phenomenon is found in Pakistan in its worst form. This is wide spread and multi faceted violation as:
- A Constitutional Violation:
As per constitution of Pakistan no individual belonging to religious minorities can hold prime portfolios, however talented he might be. A clear example is the exile of its greatest genius………….Dr. Abduls Salam.
- To adopt a forced life style:
Certain religious minorities like Ahmadi Muslims are forced to live and to pray in a style that they do not like or love. Instead they are asked to live their lives according to the directions of some mentally distorted and emotionally disturbed narrow minded groups of people.
- Refusal the right to vote:
Ahmadi Muslims are forced to cast their votes as non-Muslims which is actually a refusal to the right to vote…………a very basic human right. The separate electoral for other minorities is also discriminating.
- Controversial Blasphemy Law:
Amnesty International on July 28, 1994 urged Benazir Bhutto, the then PM to change the law because it was used to terrorize religious minorities. She could not though she made some amendments to make it more moderate. Unfortunately, Mr. Naas Sharif being the next PM reversed the changes. (Wik)
This law specially targets Christians and Ahmadies though it has been used against Muslims as well but by the official Muslims.
- Discrimination against Hindus:
Pakistan did not provide legal system for the registration of marriages of certain minorities like Hindus. This denial of recognition of Hindu marriages is often used to intimidate and harass Hindus. It also makes it difficult for Hindus to obtain CNIC.
- Ahmadies are routinely discriminated against. They are refused jobs, loans, housing and have had their postal service stopped. Their mosques are regularly attacked. 86 Ahmadis were martyred in such an incident 2010.
- Restricted or No Freedom of Expression:
- Laws are made to force religious minorities especially Ahmadies, not to express their believes.
- The religious extremist groups are so influential that they were able to openly shot dead the governor of Punjab belonging to the ruling party, late Salman Taseer, as he had a difference of opinion on blasphemy law.
This is just an overview. Details are too alarming. Our society was not intolerant to such an extent in 1947. What happened is a tale of sorrows. Some of the major contributing factors are as under:
- Incapable leadership
- Narrow-mindedness and misleading interpretation of the religion by the so-called religious elite.
- Military take-overs
- Generalized ignorance and illiteracy
- Feudal system
- Large scale depression and frustration prevailing in the society
- Increasing lack of tolerance
- Absence of rule of law
- Foreign influence whether direct or indirect.
The situation cannot surely be improved over nightly. But steps have to be taken at various levels of society to eradicate the violations of human rights. Otherwise our future as a nation might become dark, God forbid. Should we see a silver lining?
- Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
- Amnesty International