The US State Department has released its annual 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, raising concern over the significant human rights problems in Pakistan.
The report, which covers 198 countries and territories, highlights incidents of extrajudicial killings, arrests, and enforced disappearances at the hands of government forces in Pakistan, that took place last year when the incumbent government came into power.
The section on Pakistan is divided into seven parts: “respect for the integrity of the person, respect for civil liberties, freedom to participate in the political process, corruption and lack of transparency in government, governmental posture towards international and non-governmental investigation of alleged abuses of human rights, discrimination and societal abuses and workers rights”.
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Pertinent to mention that the report acknowledges that the PTI government was removed “constitutionally” and a coalition government was formed under the leadership of Shehbaz Sharif. However, cases of discrimination against women, children, and workers in Pakistan have been pointed out in the report as well.
“There was a lack of government accountability, and abuses, including corruption and misconduct by security services, often went unpunished, fostering a culture of impunity among perpetrators. Authorities seldom investigated or punished government officials for reported human rights abuses or acts of corruption,” the said in its executive summary on Pakistan.
US report on Pakistan human rights situation: pic.twitter.com/1fWxkbK9lU
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According to the State Department during 2022, its monitors received credible reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by the government or its agents; forced disappearances by the government or its agents; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment by the government or its agents.
Pakistan also imposes serious restrictions on free expression and media, including violence against journalists, unjustified arrests and disappearances of journalists, censorship, and criminal defamation laws, the report noted.
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The report also highlighted how judges ordered media regulatory agencies to enforce constitutional bans on content critical of the military or judiciary, “compelling media to censor politicians’ speeches and election-related coverage deemed anti-judiciary or antimilitary.”