PESHAWAR: The representatives of various civil society organisations have demanded appointment of new chairman and members of National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) without any further delay.

The demand was made at a joint press conference here on Thursday.

The representatives of the organisations said that National Commission for Human Rights Act, 2012 stipulated a broad and overarching mandate for promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights.

NGOs show concern over lack of mechanism to check human rights issues

As an impartial state body, they said, NCHR worked independently and was directly accountable to the parliament.

Qamar Naseem, a right activist, expressed concerns over delay in the appointments and said because of completion of four-year term of the commission on May 30, there was no independent institutional mechanism to address the human rights issues in the country.

He alleged that the government failed to keep functional the legally mandated commission, which was reflecting non-seriousness of the government in its commitment to protect the human rights.

“Pakistan has long faced a crisis of impunity, with perpetrators of the gravest human rights violations, questionable political will, lack of legal aid and a judicial system fraught with delays are some reasons why victims have little chance of getting justice and therefore we must have an independent, active and functional national institution to look after the interests and fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution,” said Mr Naseem.

Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network coordinator Taimur Kamal said that till appointment of the new chairperson and members, the term of the existing members of the commission should be extended through a resolution or legislation.

Imran Takkar, a child rights activist, working with Group Develop Pakistan, said that NCHR’s mandate covered both the protection of human rights as well as their promotion.

“Without having its body in place and functional, it means there is no independent national mechanism in place which has the mandate to investigate and prevent human rights violations,” he said.

Fida Jan, co-chairperson of End Violence Against Women and Girls Alliance (EVAW/G) said that NCHR had quasi-judicial competence and ability to investigate allegations of human rights abuse and state negligence.

Farzana Jan, the president of TransAction Alliance, said that NCHR had always taken notice of violence against transgender community.

“The transgender community requests the federal government to make functional NCHR without any delay,” she added.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2019

Opinion

Between boom and bust
Updated 24 Jun 2021

Between boom and bust

Ultimately the budget, and its aim to pump growth, will be left standing on two legs only — free oil and free dollars from abroad.
Judging without law
Updated 24 Jun 2021

Judging without law

The Supreme Court has yet to formulate a detailed procedure to conduct cases having far-reaching impacts on people’s lives.
Cold war II
23 Jun 2021

Cold war II

China and the West must find a better way.

Editorial

PM on Afghanistan
Updated 24 Jun 2021

PM on Afghanistan

Points raised by PM need to be pondered by all sides — specifically Afghan govt and Taliban — if a civil war is to be avoided.
24 Jun 2021

Third-party interest

WHAT should be done when third-party interest has been created where construction has been done illegally? It is an...
24 Jun 2021

Electricity policy

THE Council of Common Interests has unanimously approved the National Electricity Policy 2021 that will focus on...
PM’s views on rape
Updated 23 Jun 2021

PM’s views on rape

Rape is a crime primarily of power rather than lust, rooted in a contempt for others’ bodily integrity.
23 Jun 2021

Gas concerns

CONSUMERS face the prospect of ominous blackouts next month owing to the closure of two gas fields in Sindh, the ...
23 Jun 2021

New Iranian president

SAYYID Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s new president, is taking over at a time of great geopolitical flux, while the Islamic...