Senate body concerned over harassment of legislators, political workers

Published June 30, 2022
Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights Senator Walid Iqbal presides over a meeting at the Parliament House on Wednesday. — APP
Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights Senator Walid Iqbal presides over a meeting at the Parliament House on Wednesday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday met for a briefing on the harassment and brutal assault of parliamentarians and political workers in violation of the fundamental freedom guaranteed under the Constitution at the Parliament House.

Members of the committee noted that the same agenda was discussed previously in the Senate Committee for Interior and the stance on the matter by relevant departments was the same. However, the objective behind the matter to be taken up again involved a thorough discussion on violation of fundamental guaranteed rights on humanitarian grounds, abstained from politically-motivated agendas.

They were also of the view that no individual cases should be discussed and defended on political rationale, which would not fulfill the spirit of the human rights committee.

The committee chairman, Senator Walid Iqbal, reiterated that the matter was taken up to ensure that state organisations worked in line with constitutional guarantees.

IGP says public’s behaviour determines conduct of police personnel

The committee also reviewed the nature of protest and conducts of the marchers over the years specifically of the year 2014 and during tenures of various governments and analysed each. Participants of the meeting from National Commission for Human Rights maintained the view that fundamental freedom guaranteed under the Constitution should not infringe the right of an individual to freedom of movement and speech however it should be necessarily within the parameters of law.

Police personal are also citizens of Pakistan, who enjoy equal constitutional guarantees including the “inviolability of dignity of man”.

Inspector general of police (Islamabad) and additional inspector general (Operations) briefed the committee with regards to alleged brutality by the police to impede the Haqeeqi Azaadi March.

Members were informed that 100 police officials were injured, three were killed and six cars were damaged during the march. As many as 43 first information reports (FIRs) were registered and 11 people were nominated, 112 were arrested and 204 were granted bail.

IGP Akbar Nasir Khan said police only took preventive measures such as anti-riot methods and tear gas to safe guard and secure the life and property of residents of Islamabad and maintenance of public order, in the light of judgment and orders of the Supreme Court.

Discussing behaviour and conduct of police, the IGP said the onus was on the public and they should behave with police the way they want police to get engage with them.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2022

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