Situation of human rights in Pakistan

(Kiran Javed Hussain, Karachi)

Human rights are the set of privileges, which are believed to belong to every person. All the human rights institutions across the world such as UNESCO, UN human rights association and Amnesty International are working their heart out to protect and safeguard human rights. Unfortunately, the situation of human rights in Pakistan is upsetting as compared to other countries. Moreover, the situation has been worsening day by day at an incredible speed.

In Pakistan, human rights are violated by the state or by the agents of the state or by people who are commissioned by the agents to work for them. One of the greatest violations of human rights in Pakistan is the rejection of the rights of the citizens of the country in terms of food, education, housing, and health services. Pakistan also lacks to perform when it comes to the right of minorities in the country, women’s rights, children’s rights (child labor), and freedom of speech and judiciary.

As a responsible citizen of the state, we should accept the fact that the modern age is the age of human rights. Every year since 1950, World Human Rights Day is observed on December 10 in order to promote awareness about all the birthrights of human beings, i.e. social, political, economic, civil, and cultural rights. This concept has its roots laid back in the 18th century in U.S. and Europe, followed by the last sermon of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), which was the first ever announcement of human rights in the world.

Human rights violation has reached its lowest point and this is the most irrefutable and saddening truth. Since a long time, a great number of incidents of sexual abuse have been taking place, especially with small children; child marriages, forced marriages, honor killings, and killings of minorities are very common. It seems as if there is no one to ask or report these issues. Only a few have been reported just because of social pressures and cultural taboos.

A statistical survey which was done by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights revealed that from January 2012 to September 2015, as many as 8648 incidents of human rights violation have been reported in Pakistan. These include incidents of acid burning, burning incidents, honor killings, domestic violence, minority killings, kidnapping incidents, gang rapes, cases of missing persons/children, police related cases, violations related to prison, target killings, sexual harassment, child abuse, and violence against women.

Unfortunately, a massive difference exists between the western societies and our Pakistani society in terms of the social and moral norms and values. At present, citizens of the civilized western societies demand autonomy and women empowerment via gender equality, equal opportunities in employment, education, leadership, politics, and decision-making. On the other hand, in Pakistan, it is a huge matter of concern because there is a lot of gender discrimination and women are treated as nothing but mere commodities. Our society has completely failed to even protect and safeguard the life and honor of women.

We need to establish a society that is purely based on freedom, peace, and justice. For having this kind of society our citizens must enjoy the freedom of speech, honor, property, and lives. There is a dire need of a change in the mindsets and attitudes of people. Only then, our society would be able to respect human rights.

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