ISLAMABAD – PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari yesterday said the nation must respond to the killings and torture both by the militants and the state institutions.
Zardari believed his party is on the receiving end in Karachi where an operation has been launched against the terrorists and the corrupt.
Zardari’s close aide – former Petroleum Minister – Dr Asim Hussain was arrested on August 26 for alleged involvement in terror and violence financing, misappropriation of funds for enhancing support for terrorism and other criminal activities.
Earlier, arrest warrants were issued against former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani by an Anti-Corruption Court in a graft case involving a trade development scheme.
Gilani’s successor Raja Pervez Ashraf also faces corruption charges.
The PPP was reluctant to give extension to special powers for Sindh Rangers in Karachi keeping in view the resentment in the party.
The PPP leadership has now allowed Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to extend the powers after getting an endorsement from the Sindh Assembly.
In a message on International Human Rights Day being observed worldwide today, Zardari said, “On this day let us respond to the cries of the victims of missing persons and those who have been brutally killed and tortured either by the militants on the one hand or by the State institutions acting beyond their mandate on the other.
He said, “We also express dismay over how some laws have been misused against women and minorities in the name of religion and urge every man and woman of conscience to raise voice against it.
We salute those who have suffered in the course of struggle for human rights and demand that special protection be given to the human rights defenders who selflessly serve the cause of human rights.
The PPP leader called for promoting a culture of tolerance, respect for human rights, diversity, and pluralism.
He said that Islam also taught deep respect for rights of all human beings including the freedom and the right to profess any faith.
He said that Universal Human Rights Day was an occasion to not only reiterate the commitment to uphold basic human rights of all individuals but also to visit the national score card in human rights issues.
“Unfortunately, however, religion has been misinterpreted by narrow minded bigots to deny equal treatment to peoples of other faiths on the one hand and to stifle dissent on the other.
Sane voices must be raised against this misinterpretation,” he added.
“Democracy, Peace and Human Rights are interlinked and flourish in an environment of Freedom and Liberalism.
On this occasion we reiterate our commitment to the democratic progress and freedoms as our weapons to fight militancy, the anti-thesis of peace, human rights and freedoms,” he added.
The present score card of human rights in the country was most unsatisfactory and calls for serious soul searching and introspection, he said ,adding, “No wonder that recently Pakistan lost its seat on the UN Human Rights Council.
” “On this occasion the party demands that reports on the implementation of the international human rights conventions pertaining to ending torture and ensuring civil and political rights of citizens which were signed during the previous PPP government should be submitted regularly and also made public.
I also call for the adoption of the Bill Against Torture that has already been passed unanimously by the Senate early this year,” he said.
Web Monitoring Desk