The human rights situation in Pakistan remains alarming, according to the annual Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), as the country struggles to address issues such as rising crime levels, honor killings and discrimination against religious minorities.
#Pakistan’s failure to address its human rights situation in 2020 led to spiralling cases of child abuse, enforced disappearances, targeted killings and attack against journalists, stated the HRCP report titled “State of Human Rights in 2020.”
The glaring isssue is also evidently visible in the way it treats its own Human Rights institutions, the report suggested.
The National Commission of Human Rights has been dysfunctional for the year 2020, continuing to work for a long time without even having a boss.
The post of chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women has not been filled regularly while the National Commission on the Rights of the Child also faces severe issues.
The #HRCP report accused the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan of deliberately ignoring these issues.
The report warned that fear of reprisals by authorities is keeping victims in many cases to come forward.
Militant attacks still continue unchecked in almost all provinces, the report added.
It also highlighted social malaises ranging from religious intolerance to violence against women. This is particularly true as the country ranks 151 out of 153 in the Global Gender Gap Index of World Economic Forum.
On religious freedom, HRCP has pointed out at least 31 forced conversions last year, with six of them involving minors. Police data quoted by HRCP of 586 cases of blasphemy in 2020, information it noted should be read with caution due to possible underreporting.
The number of pending cases also rose to 2.1 million in 2020, showcasing the difficulties of those seeking reprieve from the justice system. Journalists continue to face the brunt of government highhandedness, with multiple cases of murder, abductions and torture reported in 2020.
Also last year, some 430 cases of #honor_killing were reported in 2020. At least 2960 cases child abuse cases were documented across the country, with over 57 per cent being reported from Punjab, including infants as young as a year old and the crimes ranging from abduction to rape to gang-rape and murder.
Continuing violence against women, children and religious minorities and creating climate of fear for general population are worrying signals for any government.
This is while the country’s limping healthcare system meant that many of its citizens never stood a chance to get decent healthcare during the covid-19 pandemic, according to the report.