Archive for September 6, 2011

An International Conference of Lawyers is going to be held from September 9 to 11 on the topic of “Justice for all and impunity for none,” in Lahore under auspices of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Conference will last for two and half days where prominent lawyers from within and outside of Pakistan will contribute on the subject. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will address the gathering. The important issues come under discussion will be on human security. Former president of Fiji Law Society will talk about his experience of dealing with the legal system during internal conflicts. Approximately 50 lawyers from India will cross Wagah border to participate in the gathering. Speakers from Pakistan include Talib Rizvi and Hina Jilani whereas Babur Sattar will initiate discussion on reforming the criminal justice system. Punjab Acting Prosecutor General Anwar Khan Gondal, Zahid Hussain Bukhari and solicitor-advocate from UK Ajmad Malik will also address the audience. Renowned journalists will also contribute on the topic. Expected among them are Talat Hussain, Ayaz Amir and Hamid Mir. Other speakers include Bilal Sufi, Latif Afridi, Habib Tahir, Raza Kazim, Musarrat Hilali, Sharif Hussain Bukhari and Naseeruddin Nayar. The sessions will be chaired by Abid Hassan Minto, Muneer A Malik, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Justice (r) Tariq Mahmood. In the concluding session, Justice ® Fakharuddin G Ebrahim will give his views on the role of lawyers and judges during conflicts. Sanam Marvi, Baloch folk singer Ali Raza, and Gulzar Alam will present their ghazals at the cultural programme.

RightsNow Pakistan calls for security of our Hindu brother and sisters and ending of discrimination agaisnt them on the basis of belief.

Harassment of Hindu girls is daily occurrence which is also not being reported in media due to fear and attacks. Recently, five business families wrapped their business, sold their properties, houses and left the country. These concerns have been raised at different forums and conveyed to authorities but not any serious action has been taken by the Government and security concerns of our Hindu brothers and sisters are not being heard.

Departure of Hindus is causing brain drain and depriving our homeland from peaceful and professional country-fellows. This will further affect the business and ultimately the economy of the country. Flight of business will reduce the livelihood opportunities in the country and deprive us from skilled doctors, engineers, and other professionals. This kind of situation will not make other Hindu brothers and sisters feel insecure but tarnish our country’s image at international level where this perception that minorities in Pakistan are not safe is already high.

It is very sad to see government and State’s lukewarm response to abductions, killings and loss of property of Hindus. There are examples where Hindu community leaders asked district administration for security arrangements on their festivals but district administration refused because they do not think Hindu festivals have the equal status and they deserve the same respect. One of such examples is the complaint of Mr. Sanjesh Kumar, President Pakistan Hindu Seva (PHS) who shared with media that, “The government is not providing them adequate security,” he added

The Constitution of Pakistan which takes the responsibility of protection of every Pakistani, his/her family and property and guarantees equal treatment by the law and state apparatus. Whatever is happening with our Hindu brothers and sisters is clear violation of constitution of Pakistan and international law which obliges states to treat all citizens equally and guarantees their protection. Does not this violate article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan which says, “all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.”  Not only violation of the country’s constitution but violation of international law to which Pakistan is party and ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) which strictly prohibits the discrimination against anyone on the basis of color, caste creed and other grounds.

 RightsNow Pakistan calls for urgent action to be taken to protect our Hindu brother and sisters’ address their security concerns and respond to their protection needs. So they can feel secure and non-discriminated and could contribute in the development and progress of Pakistan as other Pakistani do. RightsNow Pakistan also draw the attention of lawyer community, NGOs, civil society organizations and other civil society actors to play their active role in the protection and security of Hindu brothers and sisters.