New Pakistan govt must not allow Taliban peace deal to trump human rights: Amnesty

The Amnesty International has asked the authorities to take notice of killings of MQM workers in Karachi.


Web Desk June 05, 2013
The organization has asked the authorities to ensure that those responsible for the election related killings are brought to justice. PHOTO: amnesty.org

Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the incoming Pakistan government not to surrender respect for human rights in any potential peace talks with the Taliban or any other armed group.

The organisation in a statement released on Wednesday further urged the new government to make human rights a top priority during its term, starting with investigating election-related killings and other abuses that occurred over the last three months.

"Pakistan has just passed a historic political milestone by seeing through this democratic transition. The new administration must now seize the opportunity to tackle the many human rights challenges facing the country," said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia-Pacific Director.

The transition to the new government, led by incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), marks the Pakistan’s first ever democratic transition.

The election campaigning was marred by the political violence across Pakistan. More than 150 people were killed in the apparent politically motivated killings, including up to 64 people killed on Election Day alone. The Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed the responsibility for the majority of the attacks.

The Amnesty International has also asked the authorities to take notice of the abduction and killing of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) workers in Karachi during recent weeks.

"The killings and other violence seen over the weeks leading up to the polls, and the failure of the authorities to carry out effective investigations into such apparently politically motivated killings, are a sad reminder of the impunity enjoyed by Pakistan’s human rights abusers," Truscott said.

The organisation has asked the authorities to ensure that those responsible for the election related killings are brought to justice.

"Pakistan has a poor record of holding perpetrators of human rights abuses to account. By taking this issue seriously, the new government will signal it is no longer business as usual – human rights abuses will no longer be tolerated." said Truscott.

"In contrast, talk of a negotiated peace deal with the Taliban that might comprise human rights sends precisely the opposite signal."

The rights body recounted the Taliban, their affiliated militant groups documented track record of human rights abuses throughout Pakistan – including apparent war crimes – resulting in thousands of deaths.

"The Taliban have consistently breached the terms of past peace deals, using the respite provided to expand their control over territory and impose harsh social policies that have had a serious impact on human rights – particularly the rights of women, girls and religious minorities."

"The government must bear in mind the significant mistakes made in the past when negotiating with the Taliban," said Truscott.

"The only road to durable peace is enforcing human rights protections without discrimination because of gender, ethnicity, religious or political affiliation, or other grounds, and ensuring those responsible for abuses are brought to justice in fair trials."

COMMENTS (1)

rihatum | 8 years ago | Reply

Orders started to come in - don't worry Mr.New-PM will take care off it

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