PM gives green signal to appointment of human rights’ defenders

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has accepted in principle a proposal made by the Ministry of Human Rights to appoint human right defenders in the ministry.

The PM made the decision during a presentation by the Ministry of Human Rights on its working and performance at the Prime Minister’s House on Monday.Raja welcomed a proposal made by the ministry for including human rights as a subject in educational institutions and directed the ministry to present a detailed working paper for the consideration of the cabinet. He directed Adviser to the Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar to strengthen his ministry so that the government could effectively implement its international and constitutional obligations in letter and spirit.

The prime minister said that Islam lays great emphasis on human rights.Human Rights Secretary Shaigan Shareef informed the prime minister that Pakistan had been an elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for three years and secured 171 votes.The prime minister said that the election of Pakistan to the UN Human Rights Council was a testimony of international recognition of the country’s commitment to human rights as well as its role in international relations.

He said that the Ministry of Human Rights was established during the PPP government’s rule in 1995, which spoke volumes about the commitment of the party to the cause of human rights.Khokhar said that due to the efforts of the ministry, the government ratified an international treaty on Committee Against Torture (CAT) and got International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognised. It sent a clear message to the nternational community that Pakistan was serious and committed to upholding human rights, he added.

The PM was also informed that the government had ratified seven international treaties and the ministry was actively working on necessary legislative and administrative measures to implement the obligations that accrued as a result of Pakistan’s treaty obligations. He was also informed during the briefing that the ministry this year had so far received 1,886 cases of rights’ violation. – Dailytimes