Islamabad, December 9, 2015 : The Universal Human Rights Day, observed the world over on December 10 every year is an occasion to not only reiterate our commitment to uphold basic human rights of all individuals but also to visit the national score card in human rights issues.
In a message on the international human rights day being observed worldwide tomorrow the former President Asif Ali Zardari called for promoting a culture of tolerance, respect for human rights, diversity, and pluralism.
Islam also teaches us deep respect for rights of all human beings including the freedom and the right to profess any faith. 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.
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.
The present score card of human rights in the country is most unsatisfactory and calls for serious soul searching and introspection. 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.
On this day 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.
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.