KARACHI: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), while calling for 'greater transparency' in the targeted operation in Karachi, has demanded that citizens' right to criticise institutions should not be undermined.
The organisation, in a press statement, said that the action of booking Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders for listening to Altaf Hussain's speeches was contrary to the idea of freedom of opinion and expression.
The HRCP chairperson, Zohra Yusuf, speaking to The Express Tribune, said that though Altaf had criticised law enforcement agencies with inappropriate language, he and everyone else should enjoy freedom of expression and speech.
"Worse is that charges are being laid against those who listened to the speech and now a lot of people are seeking bail," she claimed. Yusuf maintained that while they were against hate speeches, everyone had the right to criticise an institution. "It is biased that you can't speak against the armed forces, but action is rarely taken against those who incite violence against Hindus or Christians," she asserted.
"The HRCP has grown increasingly concerned over rising challenges to freedom of opinion and expression," said the HRCP in a press statement.
"We cannot stress enough the need for transparency in security operations and unequivocally state that people being picked up and their whereabouts remaining unknown for days is utterly unacceptable."
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2015.