Islamabad [Pakistan]: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern over the prevailing situation in the country, saying that enforced disappearances and crackdowns against political activists have increased in the country, Voice of America (VOA) reported.
According to the HRCP, incidents of violence against religious minorities and transgenders, blasphemy cases and incitement have also increased. The HRCP released these details in a report on the human rights situation in Pakistan in 2022 released on Wednesday. According to the report, 2022 was a year of political instability and unrest in Pakistan as the country’s legislature and administration struggled to restore their credibility.
According to the HRCP, the matter of resolving the constitutional and political crisis facing the country through the court made the situation worse. Since the success of the no-confidence motion against former Prime Minister Imran Khan last year, Pakistan is suffering from instability, VOA reported.
Former premier and PTI chief Imran Khan has been insisting on early elections while the ruling coalition is not in favour of early elections. After dissolving the assemblies of two major provinces of the country, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the issue of elections there is under hearing in the Supreme Court.
Along with the political instability in the country, the catastrophic floods caused by climate change in Pakistan last year have severely affected the common people. It should be recalled that last year in Pakistan due to the floods caused by abnormal rains, 30.3 million people were affected across the country while more than 1700 people were killed, VOA reported.
According to the HRCP report, cases of enforced disappearances continued last year. The relatives of the missing persons were allegedly intimidated even during efforts to recover their loved ones.
According to the figures of the Government Commission for the Recovery of Enforced Disappearances, 2,210 cases of disappearances are still pending. The HRCP says that after a suicide attack in Karachi last year, there has been an increase in cases of enforced disappearances from Balochistan and other areas, VOA reported.
Many Baloch citizens reportedly went missing, some of them have been recovered, but many are still missing. Or it can be said that after the suicide attack on Chinese teachers by a Baloch woman Shari Baloch at Karachi University in April 2022, incidents of enforced disappearance and harassment of some Baloch students came to light.
The report states that there have been incidents of blasphemy, mob violence, desecration of places of worship of the Ahmadi community and discrimination against other religious communities. Incidents of honour killings against women and domestic violence and acid attacks have increased.
HRCP says that the law passed in 2018 for the protection of transgenders was not only challenged in the court but a proposed amendment to it was presented in the parliament.
Human rights activists say that despite the commitment to provide protection to transgenders, transgenders face discrimination in society.
On the other hand, according to police records, 35 cases of blasphemy were registered in the country last year, while according to a non-governmental organization, Center for Social Justice, 171 people were charged with blasphemy and most of them happened in Punjab, VOA reported.
Last year, an increase in terrorist incidents was recorded in Pakistan, which was the highest number of incidents that occurred in different parts of the country during the last five years. In 2022, 533 people were killed while 832 were injured in 376 terrorist attacks across the country.
Among them, the deadliest attack was the suicide attack on Jama Masjid in Peshawar in which 63 people were killed.
Last year in Pakistan, 98 people were sentenced to death by the courts for various crimes, while the number was 129 in 2021. The report mentions the situation of prisoners in the prisons of Pakistan and stated that the number of prisoners in different prisons in Pakistan is 88, 687 which is much more than the capacity of the jails.
The report also expressed concern over alleged ill-treatment of prisoners.
The HRCP also flagged concerns over the audio and video leaks of conversations between some political and non-political individuals that have come to light in Pakistan since last year, calling it a violation of the rights of privacy and dignity.
No government official has yet responded to the HRCP report, but the government has maintained that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the human and fundamental rights of all citizens in the country.