Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


PTI launches campaign to protect human rights

July 31, 2004


ISLAMABAD, July 30: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) on Friday launched a campaign to defend the fundamental rights of all Pakistanis inside and outside the country.

The PTI chief, Imran Khan, made this announcement at a press conference at the Parliament Lodges.

Mr Khan said under the "Defence of Fundamental Rights Campaign, we will move courts for the release of all citizens including the military officials and also demand compensation from both the governments of Pakistan and the United States in cases where people have allegedly been killed by the army in the name of war on terrorism.

He was also accompanied by the family members of the six military officers who had been picked up by the army for investigation on unknown charges. It is a pity that the National Assembly is passing resolutions for Pakistanis being abducted in Iraq and elsewhere but not bothering about the citizens being humiliated in the country, he said.

The PTI chief said the persistent violation of fundamental human rights by the government had forced him to launch this campaign, which he pledged to continue at any cost. He also highlighted a few cases of gross human rights violations in which the rights of Pakistanis and foreigners residing in the country were being violated under the pretext of the so-called US-led war on terror.

In this regard, he listed the cases of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Saifullah Paracha, Sajeel Shahid, Fazlur Rehman Khalil and scores of military personnel who had been abducted and kept at secret locations without recourse to justice.

He said when the government did not feel obliged to protect the rights of its citizens why should the foreign governments care about the fundamental rights of the Pakistanis abroad.

The PTI chief said: "The targeted killings of tribals by the army reminds us of the extra-judicial killings of Palestinians by the Israeli army. Innocent blood is being spilled just to serve foreign interests."

Imran Khan also stated that the PTI would set up legal defence committees to provide free legal assistance to those who were victim of state abuse. Cases would be filed against the government servants who violated the fundamental rights of Pakistanis.

Cases would also be filed against foreign governments who violated the rights of Pakistanis and compensations would be sought for the victims and Ms Zainab, a Palestinian Canadian whose father was killed in Wana operations, speaking on the occasion said the Supreme Court of Pakistan had refused to accept her case.

"We are living in Wana since 1985 and running an NGO there. But only after 9/11 we have become terrorists," she said with a heavy heart. The family members of the detained army officers one by one pleaded for the release their dear ones.