In Pakistan: Human rights? or wrongs?

Published: April 5, 2013
HRCP report paints a gloomy picture of the state of human rights in the country.

HRCP report paints a gloomy picture of the state of human rights in the country.

HRCP report paints a gloomy picture of the state of human rights in the country. EDITING BY FARAHNAZ ZAHIDI

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) launched its annual report on Thursday. While the findings of the report painted a gloomy picture of the state of human rights in the country, the highlights of the report suggested that the unprecedented milestone of a democratically elected government completing its tenure offered hope that, given the chance, the people of Pakistan could extract themselves from the quagmire.

Freedom of expression


At least 14 journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2012.


According to Press Freedom Index, Pakistan was one of the deadliest countries for journalists for the second year running, with a ranking of 151 out of 179 countries.

Freedom of association


At least 356 political activists were killed in 2012 in Karachi alone on account of their party affiliation.



In the 2012-13 fiscal, the allocation of funds to the health sector further declined to a mere 0.2 percent (Rs. 7,845 million) of GNP.


There were around 9 million drug addicts in Pakistan and the number was on the rise. Two million of the addicts were aged between 15-25 years and the number of female addicts was around 200,000.


Pakistan ranked sixth among the 22 high-risk tuberculosis countries.


About 1.6 million cases of malaria occurred annually.


One out of every nine women in Pakistan faced the risk of breast cancer which resulted in 40,000 deaths every year, higher than in any other country in Asia.

Law and order


police encounters were reported from across the country in 2012 in which 403 suspects were killed.


drone attacks took place in FATA in 2012, compared to 74 in 2011. Estimates of casualties varied between 240 and 400.


terrorist attacks took place across Pakistan in 2012, claiming the lives of 2,050 people and causing injuries to another 3,822.


Shia Hazaras were killed in Balochistan alone.


people died in ethnic, sectarian and politically-linked violence in Karachi in 2012.

Jails, prisoners and disappearances


There were a total of 75,444 detainees in Pakistan’s prisons against the authorised capacity of 44,578.


There were 1,289 juvenile prisoners in jails across the country, and an overwhelming majority of them was under trial.

Freedom of thaought, conscience and religion


At least 72 dead bodies were recovered from Balochistan of individuals who had gone missing in previous months.


583 people were killed and 853 injured in 213 incidents of sectarian-related terrorist attacks and sectarian clashes.


As many as 20 Ahmadis were killed on account of their religious identity.


In Karachi, at least six churches were attacked, two of them within a period of 10 days in October.


Pakistan stood at number 52 in the world ranking of countries according to the percentage of women in parliament.


At least 121 schools were targeted by militants opposed to education, especially girls’ education.


In the budget for 2012-13, primary education got Rs 71.6 billion and secondary education Rs 69.4 billion – too little to realize MDGs.


out of every 25 primary school-age children were expected to fail or drop out of school before the fifth grade.


Around 10.9 percent of schools in Pakistan lacked proper buildings, 37.7% lacked boundary walls, 33.9% had no drinking water facility, 36.9% lacked toilets, and 59.6% schools had no electricity.



Pakistan stood at number 52 in the world ranking of countries according to the percentage of women in parliament.


According to UNESCO, at least 5.1 million Pakistani children were out of school, 63 percent of whom were girls.


As many as 913 girls and women were killed in the name of honour in 2012. These included at least 99 minor girls.


74% of the girls married off in Charsadda and Mardan districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2012 were under 16.


National Policy on Climate Change was approved by the cabinet 

World Health Organization deemed water from Keenjhar Lake, a protected wetland under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, unfit for consumption.


Over 2,500 trees were cut down for development projects.


A marginal decline was observed in infant mortality and under five year mortality rates in 2012 but Pakistan still lagged behind other South Asian countries.


cases of polio, a disease that afflicts only two other countries in the world, were reported from 28 districts of Pakistan.


Pakistan had the world’s second highest number of out-of-school children aged five to nine years.


At 2.8 percent of its gross national product (GNP), Pakistan’s expenditure on education was the second lowest in South Asia.


During the first six months of 2012, 1,573 incidents of child sexual abuse were recorded.


Almost 10 million children were engaged in child labour.


Nothing was done to bring home a quarter of a million Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh since 1971.


registered and one million unregistered Afghans still remained in Pakistan

The monsoon floods and drought in Tharparkar forced over a million people from their homes.


At least 757,996 Pakistanis (163,102 families) remained internally displaced by conflict.

Editing by: Farahnaz Zahidi 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Usman
    Apr 5, 2013 - 9:46AM

    HRCP’s blind obsession with the military and judiciary will soon make it irrelevant in Pakistan. The two institutions it likes to target the most are the ones that have done the most in promoting Human Rights in Pakistan. Oh, however our much celebrated parliament did absolutely zilch in five years for Human Rights. Allying with militants, no political will for NWA Op, mismanagement in Balochistan (which included dealing with criminals by the top politicians) are duly ignored by the HRCP.
    However, true to form Asma Jehangir did not fail to mention the democracy is under threat, yet again. Where’s the perspective?


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 5, 2013 - 10:03AM

    I don’t have any words to say “Thank You Very Much” to all those people who have taken initiative in various fields to take the country from a much higher level to the lower level.

    This shows the working of the government.


  • Apr 5, 2013 - 10:09AM

    This is a report for the nation to read, understand, and do something about it. All TV / Radio stations must have special programs to highlight and explain its contents. The report is worse than a nuclear threat. All honest politicos must use it for his / her political campaigning. Salams


  • nonresidentpakistani
    Apr 5, 2013 - 10:33AM

    My heart bleeds when i hear this report. People my humble request to you please vote for secular parties if you want peace for shias, ahmedis, christians and other minorities.


  • Mj
    Apr 5, 2013 - 10:56AM

    Sad state of affairs. Overpopulation is to blame for most of these ills.


  • Romeo
    Apr 6, 2013 - 2:42AM

    The only way pakistan can progress is to stay away from fanatics


  • Jamil Chaudri
    Apr 8, 2013 - 5:58AM

    Democracy is really under threat. At the moment, the threat might be 70% from crony/family Politicians, and 15% from the Army, and 15% from the so called “Foreign Friends” of Pakistan.


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