Balochistan: HR Situation Makes Progress
Below is an article published by : The Nation
Human Rights Watch, a prominent watchdog group, reported progress in human rights situation in Pakistan, including the return to civilian rule in the country after the end of the Pervez Musharraf presidency.
In its annual report for 2008, the group called the year a “tumultuous” one for Pakistan, during which PPP leader Benazir Bhutto Was assassinated. “The new civilian government inherited a dramatically worsening security situation and skyrocketing food and fuel prices, “the report said. “Musharraf was forced out in August 2008, but President Asif Ali Zardari inherited all the powers Musharraf had accrued.
“Since the civilian government came to power, civil and political rights protections have improved. Media restrictions have been revoked, opposition rallies and demonstrations have been allowed to proceed without government hindrance or violence, and military personnel have been withdrawn from civilian administrative and political positions. The government has emphasized dialogue to resolve the political dispute between the federal government and Balochistan province and to extend meaningful political rights to the troubled tribal areas bordering Afghanistan”, it said. “While the new government has been keen to promote civil liberties and human rights, its rhetoric has not always been matched by action. Ongoing structural concerns include lack of an independent judiciary and fair trials; mistreatment, torture, and unresolved enforced disappearance of terrorism suspects and opponents of the previous military government; military abuses in operations in the tribal areas; the failure to commute death sentences; and legal discrimination against and mistreatment of religious minorities and women”.