LAHORE:The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said Monday that it is gravely disappointed by the government’s lack of interest in reviving the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR).
“NCHR has been dysfunctional since its chairperson’s term expired exactly one year ago. Neither the chairperson nor other members of the commission have been given extensions, and no replacements have been instituted,” It said in a statement.
HRCP said that as a statutory body, the NCHR was mandated to play a key role in ensuring that Pakistan upholds the human rights commitments it had made to its citizens as enshrined in the Constitution.
The NCHR is also responsible for monitoring the government’s compliance with the international obligations to which Pakistan is a state party, it said.
HRCP believed that such long delays in reviving institutions such as the NCHR and the National Commission on the Status of Women – also defunct for several months – reflect the government’s misplaced priorities when it comes to setting up independent institutional human rights mechanisms in line with the Paris Principles.
HRCP demanded that the NCHR be revived immediately. The National Commission on the Rights of the Child – notified this February – must also be activated as a matter of urgency.
Moreover, the National Commission for Minorities, which was established recently through an executive order, should be dissolved and steps taken promptly to enact the formation of the independent National Council for Minorities’ Rights envisioned by the 2014 Supreme Court (Jillani) judgement, HRCP concluded.