A report released by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, (HRCP) portrays worsening conditions of human rights in Pakistan. The human rights watchdog has pointed fingers at the human rights record, maintaining that the country has failed to improve the rights condition.
HRCP’s new report released on April 16, Monday covers a period of last twelve months. Human rights abuses including disappearances, gender based abuses, insecurity of religious minorities etc have not been solved, instead the conditions worsened.
The 296- page report criticized that the notorious blasphemy law was frequently misused. There were cases when deadly mob violence erupted based upon mere accusations of blasphemy, the report explained. The report further criticized prevailing religious intolerance in the country. Government was censured for not taking a stance against religious extremists. Conservative religious organizations continue to defy laws and regulations aimed to protect women in the society.
HRCP spokesman I.A. Rehman said: “Freedom of expression and freedom of association is under attack, except for those who carry the religious banner.” The report accuses the authorities of turning a blind eye to “intolerance and extremism.”
The report maintained that extremists continued to target religious minorities in Pakistan, referring to attacks on Christians, Shiites, Ahmadis etc. “In a year when freedom of thought, conscience and religion continued to be stifled, incitement to hatred and bigotry increased, and tolerance receded even further,” said the report.
Matter of disappearances of people was also highlighted by the HRCP report. In 2017, a commission on enforced disappearances received 868 cases, which is double the number of last two years. HRCP maintained that: “Journalists and bloggers continue to sustain threats, attacks and abductions and blasphemy law serves to coerce people into silence”.