Pakistan rejects allegations of human rights abuses in post-May 9 actions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday turned down the global human rights organisations’ condemnatory outpouring incriminating the government of violations, and asserted in the strongest possible words that the South Asian nation was delivering on its local and international legal rights-related commitments.

The rebuttal from Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zehra Baloch came in response to queries following statements from the rights bodies and US lawmakers asking Pakistan to honour its commitments as thousands of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters were arrested in connection with the May 9 riots.

The PTI claimed that its workers, including women, were being harassed in prisons, but a committee formed to review their conditions denied the allegations. PTI’s women workers themselves also said that they were not harassed whilst behind bars.

The former ruling party has been held responsible by the authorities for planning and abetting the vandalism that took place in protest against PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest.

In her weekly press conference, the FO spokesperson said, “Pakistan is a country that runs in line with the Constitution and law. Human rights of all of the citizens in Pakistan are ensured.”

“Pakistan is complying with all the local laws and international commitments. The allegations against Pakistan for violating human rights are unfounded,” the spokesperson said.

She said that the characters involved in the events of May 9 are being brought to justice according to the law.

When asked about famed fashion designer Khadija Shah — a prime suspect in the attack on the Coprs Commander House and a dual national — Baloch said that the US Embassy had requested consular access which was granted.

“Those involved in riots are being treated according to the Constitution and law.”

‘Time to tighten noose of law around masterminds’

It is important to note that the Pakistan Army has also rejected such allegations and said that action is being taken on the basis of “irrefutable evidence”.

“Unfounded and baseless allegations on Law Enforcement Agencies and Security Forces for custodial torture, human rights abuses and stifling of political activities are meant to mislead the people and malign Armed Forces in order to achieve trivial vested political interests,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement after the conclusion of Formation Commanders Conference at the GHQ, Rawalpindi.

The forum while condemning the 9th May Black Day incidents in the strictest sense reiterated their firm resolve that desecrators of Shuhada Monuments, Jinnah House and attackers of military installations would certainly be brought to justice speedily under the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secret Act which are the derivatives of the Constitution.

“In this regard, efforts to create distortions and attempts to take refuge behind imaginary and mirage Human Rights Violations to create smoke screen for hiding the ugly faces of all involved, are absolutely futile and do not stand the abundantly collected irrefutable evidences.”