ISLAMABAD: The chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) on Thursday called on the police not to delay the registration of FIRs in cases of enforced disappearances.
Speaking at ‘Seminar on Human Rights Sensitive Policing’, held at the Central Police Office auditorium, Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan said the registration of a case was the constitutional right of every citizen, which should not be denied.
Although police have no hand in the disappearance of missing persons, they should facilitate the families of the victims in the registration of an FIR. He recalled an incident where a journalist was attacked by military personnel, but police did not register an FIR. “We approached the police officer concerned and requested him to register a case,” he said.
Newly-appointed Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sultan Azam Temuri, who was also present on the occasion, said that it was the responsibility of the state to provide, protect and preserve its citizen’s human rights.
“We are the servants of the state, not the government,” the IGP told the officers in attendance, adding that a special cell had been established in Islamabad to deal with violations of minority, gender and child rights. He asked NCHR to appoint a representative for the cell, and called for the measure to be replicated in each district.
Justice Chohan reminded the audience that Pakistan was signatory to some significant treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adding that the country should play a mature role by implementing its commitments to the international community.
“The government was offended when we raised the issue of the death penalty, torture and minority rights at the United Nations,” Justice Chohan said, referring to Pakistan’s recently-concluded Universal Periodic Review.
He also called on police officers to investigate blasphemy cases very seriously and sensitively. Past experience tells us that many people lodge fake cases when it comes to blasphemy, in order to settle personal scores and warned law enforcers to guard against such occurrences.
Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2017