Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari, on Tuesday, lashed out on Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, accusing him of using playing politics of human rights issues.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is the Chairman of National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights, and has been accused of exhibiting an unwillingness to convene sessions to address pressing human rights concerns and issues.
Bilawal Politicizing Human Rights
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly on Tuesday, Dr. Shireen Mazari accused the PPP Chairman of playing politics on human rights bills, and hindering the government from providing relief to the concerned and aggrieved.
Dr. Mazari said that unfortunately, Bilawal Bhutto, as the Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, has been creating obstacles and challenges in the legislations of the proposed human rights bills.
Earlier in the day, the opposition walked out of the National Assembly in protest over the passing of bills through presidential decrees, without presenting them before for approval of the House. The ruckus began when PPP leader Nafisa Shah recorded her protest against the bill that was tabled by the treasury benches.
Opinion makers point out that it appears that Bilawal is only interested in raising human rights issues that target the policies of the PTI-led government and the security establishment.
Nafisa Shah claimed that 11 presidential ordinances have been issued, and the privileges provided to the chairmen of standing committees have been overlooked. She stated that the Standing Committee Chairman has the authority to summon a meeting of the committee, however, the chairman must obtain permission from the speaker.
Dr. Mazari in reply accused Bilawal Bhutto for not convening important sessions on human rights bills and legislation. She said that it was wrong to state that members of treasury benches did not have the right, as private members, to push forward a bill. She said that on a private member’s day, it was the right of the private members as well as the opposition members to push forward a bill.
The Federal Minister for Human Rights said, “Mr. Speaker, for the past eight months, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee Bilawal Bhutto has been stalling the passage of the Zainab Alert bill, and the bill drafted for disabled people.”
She added, “They are not letting it go. These are human rights bills. Why are the standing committees not fulfilling their mandated role?”
Accusing Bilawal Bhutto of purposefully delayed the passage of crucial human rights bills, Dr. Mazari said, “He is playing politics on the human rights bills. He has been sitting on these bills for the past 8-9 months, why is he doing this?”
Responding to PPP leader Nafisa Shah’s outcry on democracy and standing committees, Dr. Mazari said, “Let’s not talk about bills and democracy when the opposition is playing politics on bills.”
The Federal Minister for Human Rights had also vented her frustration over Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s refusal to convene a session over the “Zainab Alert Bill” while addressing an event organized by the Human Rights Department in collaboration with Search for Justice at the Faletti’s Hotel on Friday.
“I do not understand why that bill is stuck in the standing committee, this is about children, why politicize the matter?” she said.
During Bilawal’s tenure as the Chairman for the Standing Committee on Human Rights, there has been little development with regards to the human rights situation in Sindh, or the country at large. Opinion makers point out that it appears that Bilawal is only interested in raising human rights issues that target the policies of the PTI-led government and the security establishment.
He was seen raising the issue of the missing persons in Balochistan and Waziristan, and was also seen advocating for the rights of the PTM leaders and MNAs from Waziristan, Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, in a bid to challenge the establishment.
As we examine the situation of law and order in Sindh, and the lack of equal representation for women, and the poverty-ridden classes, or even the current state of garbage collection and poverty in Karachi alone, it reveals the striking incompetence exhibited by Sindh Government led by Bilawal’s PPP.
At HRCP consultation: In #Mirpurkhas, women labourers earn less than half the wages that men earn. But sheer poverty compels women to work, says Nusrat Miano of the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women. @FNFPakistan pic.twitter.com/PX2teKuE5E
— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) September 30, 2019
Recently, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari came under fire for his insensitive and unconcerned remarks over the lack of crucial vaccines present with the Sindh government, and the crisis erupted by lack of adequate water storage and drainage facilities in Karachi.
It is BEYOND me that after a health budget exceeding 1 trillion, Sindh gov doesnt have the capacity to buy vaccines worth 800 Rs?
Sindh gov begins at commissions and ends at corruption. Their corruption is multilayered happens at each level leaving no money for the poor of Sindh pic.twitter.com/MrXA1Umi5b
— Haleem Adil Sheikh (@HaleemAdil) September 22, 2019