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PESHAWAR: National Commission for Human Rights chairman Justice (r) Ali Nawaz Chowhan on Wednesday called for the early repeal of the Frontier Crimes Regulation, 1901, saying the law violates the universal human rights, including rights protected in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“The Federally Administered Tribal Areas will be mainstreamed and brought on a par with other provinces through changes to the administrative and judicial system prevalent in the region,” he told reporters after completing a two-day visit to the provincial capital.

The NCHR chief said during a meeting, KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra had assured him that in future, the additional chief secretary of Fata would keep the commission informed about human rights issues in the tribal region.

He said the commission would be in a better position to look into human rights issues in Fata after military operations ended there.

Says regulation violates universal human rights

Justice (r) Chowhan said after the grant of GPS-Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union, human rights had assumed a lot of importance as they had been linked with different economic activities, including trade.

He said the government should review national legal framework to enforce the ICCPR in the country and amend all laws, which discriminated against the people on the basis of sex and religion.

The NCHR chairman said he visited the living quarters of transgender community in Faqirabad and Gulbahar areas and found living conditions there to be subhuman.

He called upon the social welfare department to set up shelter homes for transgender persons.

Justice (r) Chowhan said besides people, transgender persons had complains against public institutions, too, for failing to provide them with rights.

He called for the strengthening of the NCHR for complete administrative and financial autonomy.

Meanwhile, KP Governor told a NCHR delegation led by Justice (r) Chowhan that the government had been taking different steps for mainstreaming of Fata.

According to a handout issued here on Wednesday, the governor said after rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons, the government had been working for the development of infrastructure in Fata.

Meanwhile, TransAction president Farzana Jan told the NCHR chairman during a meeting that violence against transgender and intersex persons was underpinned by societal stigma, transphobia, intersex phobia and overshadowed by misunderstandings about their presumed sexual orientation.

She said gender identity and body diversity in Pakistan was still misunderstood even at the highest level.

The TransAction president thanked the NCHR chairman for expressing concerns about the plight of transgender community in the province.

TransAction Alliance general secretary Arzu Khan and Blue Veins programme coordinator and member of the chief minister special committee on rights of transgender persons Qamar Naseem also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2017