The government announced on Thursday a 16-point comprehensive action plan to promote and protect human rights in the country and allocated Rs100 million for its effective implementation.
Minister for Human Rights Zahid Hamid announced the plan, flanked by Minister of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Human Rights Barrister Zafarullah at a news conference here.
Zahid Hamid said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had approved the action plan which would focus on 60 specific areas such as development of national policy on human rights, provision of free legal aid to human rights victims, effective measures to curb gender-based violence, establishment of women protection centers, setting up of national commission for minorities and persons with disabilities, launching of media awareness campaign, jail reforms, access to speedy justice, implementation of international treaties and conventions.
The minister said that free legal aid would be provided to vulnerable persons by devising a comprehensive mechanism to facilitate the masses at their doorstep. He apprised reporters that under the plan strategies at provincial and regional level for protection of human rights would be formulated after approval by provincial governments.
Zahid said a dedicated joint committee would be constituted comprising federal and provincial governments to review discriminatory legislation to bring legislative reforms.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid said that the ministry would soon finalise a summary for the constitution of 8th Wage Board Award.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2016.