Tag Archives: Rights

ASIA: Wide-ranging restrictions on freedoms of expression must be addressed

This statement by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), shows that we are not the only one keen to curb freedom of expression (Raza Rumi)

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) wishes to highlight a number of restrictions to the freedom of expression ongoing in several countries in the Asian region. There are a number of situations in the region that are cause for concern with regard to this important right, affecting a range of countries with different levels of development, democracy and records concerning human rights.

At one extreme, in Myanmar, the absence of opportunities for free speech is nullifying the prospect for any notion of free and fair elections. The media have been prohibited from analysing the new laws and rules for the planned elections, or from saying anything about parties already registering for the ballot. The ALRC has submitted a separate written submission concerning the issue of the elections in Myanmar to this session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). Continue reading

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PAKISTAN: The law is prohibited in Balochistan province

Posted by Raza Rumi


An Article by the Asian Human Rights Commission
that asserts “conflict over Balochistan will undoubtedly have profound negative effects on the entire region” – Here is a  paper by Baseer Naveed on three-day international conference on “Balochistan Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Meeting the Challenges” by Baloch Voice Foundation from February 22-24, 2010 at Bangkok, Thailand

The situation of human rights in Balochistan province is deteriorating day by day due to the heavy-handed policies adopted by the government and the Pakistan military towards the people. Not a single day passes without enforced disappearances, abductions, arrests, torture in military or Frontier Corp’s camps and the murder of opponents. It looks as if the law is prohibited in the province.

The killing of a renowned politician, Sardar Akbar Khan Bugti, former governor and chief minister of the province and some 37 of his supporters in a mountain hideout by the Pakistan military on August 26, 2006, has thrown the country headlong towards a catastrophe that can only be averted by intense international and national efforts. In January 2005, when an army officer was alleged to have raped a doctor working in Sibi, the president-cum-army commander used his influence to save the accused by bombarding the area, killing several people and forcing evacuations. And on other occasions, as now, the air force has been used to bomb the people of Balochistan into submission. Continue reading

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Pakistan: Military Undermines Government on Human Rights

Battling Taliban No Excuse for Complicity in Abusive Counter-terrorism Practices

(New York, January 21, 2010) – Pakistan’s military actively undermined the civilian government’s human rights agenda in 2009, Human Rights Watch said today in its new World Report 2010.

The 612-page report, the organization’s 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarizes major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide.

The report says that Pakistan’s military publicly and privately resisted the government’s reconciliation efforts in the troubled province of Balochistan and attempts to locate people “disappeared” there during General Pervez Musharraf’s military rule. The military also opposed the international community’s attempts to end military intervention in the political and judicial processes through aid conditions.

“The Pakistani military continues to subvert the political and judicial systems in Pakistan,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “After eight years of disastrous military rule and in spite of the election of a civilian government, the army appears determined to continue calling the shots in order to ensure that it can continue to perpetrate abuses with impunity.” Continue reading

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Filed under Al Qaeda, Army, baluchistan, human rights, Kerry Lugar Bill, Obama, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, war, War On Terror

What is there to celebrate?

Raza Rumi

Today was a usual day despite the platitudes churned out by the media and the struggle to ‘celebrate’ something. Naeem Sadiq’s email was instructive as it said many things that I wanted to write today:

I decided not to celebrate the 14th August this year, to record my personal grief, shame and solidarity with the innocent citizens of Gojra, who were killed , wounded and burnt, for belonging to the same God, but a different religion. In my room I will fly the Pakistan flag at half mast, I will put my TV off, have none of those “milli naghmey” and sing no national anthem. I am sad, ashamed and distressed. I will call up all my Christian friends to say I am deeply sorry and I apologise.

I do not wish to celebrate the birthdays of a land where the Mullahs spread hate from the minarets of their mosques. Where 20,000 Muslims unite to kill a few hundred Christian men, women and children. Where the administration provides bullet proof vehicles and multi layer protection to its leaders but will do nothing to protect the life and property of its ordinary citizens. I am ashamed that not one person, the CM, the PM, the Governor or the President resigned from his job as an admission of failure to perform their primary duty.

There are plenty of flags, parades, speeches and ceremonies, but no real sense of guilt, remorse, or reform. The Dawn newspaper alone has 24 ‘ad’ nauseam ads, sponsored by the government departments, with the tax payers’ money, most carrying the pictures of four members of the same family. All under the garb of a “Happy Birthday to you, dear Pakistan”. The theft and plunder of peoples’ money does not pause for rest, even on the 14th day of August. Should not a state, at a minimum, protect the life and property of all its citizens, to deserve ‘a happy birthday’.

I love my country, this is the only one I have. It is our identity and our future but being a Pakistani is a painful compromise with so much that is not in our grain. In one year, we have treated millions in the northwest like cattle, burnt non-Muslims and our state has withdrawn behind high fences and barriers leaving the citizens to deal with the menace that is not of their making. The Baloch Pakistanis are alienated and the Sindhis are fearful of the coming storms. The leader of urban Sindh calls Partition the biggest mistake and the poor ..well they are just toiling despite sixty two years of Independence. The recent success of the military operation is a glimmer of hope.

Let us pray that next year things are not as grim as they are today.

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Introducing Amankaar Tehrik (peace movement) in Pakistan

Courtesy Fouzia Saeed

DISSPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT TALIBAN

Myth: The root cause of Terrorism is extreme poverty and lack of education
Reality: This is not true. There are many countries in the world that suffer from extreme poverty but do not have terrorist groups.  Within Pakistan many areas are more poor than Swat, but have not become violent. On the other hand people who have become terrorists are not doing anything to eradicate poverty or provide education. Terrorists merely use the resentment of the marginalized and those resentful of other state actions in the initial phase of their ideological campaign. Once in control, they tax the poor, destroy school buildings and stop girls from going to schools. Most of those who have been killed due to militant attacks are women, peasants and the poor. Continue reading

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Filed under Activism, Citizens, movements, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism

Pakistan: Swat Deal Grave Threat to Rights

Ordinance Should Be Reversed and Abusive Taliban Leaders Held Accountable says Human Rights Watch

(New York, April 15, 2009) – The Pakistani government should swiftly reverse its decision to cede de-facto administrative control of the Swat valley in Pakistan’s tribal areas to the Taliban and affiliated groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The move presents a grave threat to the rights of women and other basic rights in the troubled region, Human Rights Watch said. Continue reading

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Ifti Nasim: Muslim and Gay?

By Bradistan Calling

Ifti Nasim also known as Iftikhar Nasim is a pioneering Pakistani gay poet who now lives in the U.S. He has written many books of poetry in Urdu and English languages. He has also written prose in both languages. Continue reading

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