Govt committed to ensure basic rights of citizens: Mazari

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 21 (APP):Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen M Mazari Monday said the government was committed to ensure the basic rights of citizens in pursuance to the Constitution and international commitments.
She expressed these views in a meeting with a delegation led by United Nations General Assembly President Ms Maria Fernanda Espinosa. Besides Pakistan’s Representative to the United Nations Dr MalihaLodhi, Secretary Human Rights Ministry Rabiya Javeri Agha, Joint Secretary Azam Khan and other high officials of ministry were also present in the meeting, a press release said.Different matters related to human rights issues, including the rights of women, children and minorities were
discussed in the meeting.
The minister shared the details of different endeavours taken by the Ministry of Human Rights along with the plan of actions. She also raised issues of Kashmiris of Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) and Muslims in the European Union.
She said, “We have wide and comprehensive agenda. We are not only focused on implementation of existing laws but also working on new legislation. We are taking pragmatic steps to ensure the protection and provision of human rights.”
Dr Shireen Mazari apprised the delegation about the steps taken by the Ministry of Human Rights to ensure fundamental rights of people.
She stated,”We are working on new bills including Anti Torture and Custodial Death, Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Christian Divorce Bill, which will be tabled in the National Assembly soon.
“We are preparing new legislation on domestic workers to stop the violation of children’s rights and to ensure their protection. We have legislation in various areas including the law for protection of rights of transgender,” she added.
Dr Mazari said the Human Rights Ministry had started awareness campaigns for women’s right to inheritance and provision of free legal aid to the women. Her ministry was working in collaboration with the Law Ministry to have a systematic structure to provide possible legal services and assistance especially for women.
“We are also building up data base for human rights related issues. Awareness campaign for the protection of child rights and against child abuse will be started soon,” she added.
She said all-out efforts were being made for the protection of human rights, which were the top most priority of incumbent government. Unlike Europe, non-Muslim communities in Pakistan had been provided their own laws, she said, citing that the Hindu Divorce and Marriage Law had already been passed while the Christian Divorce Bill would be presented in the National Assembly soon.
Dr Shireen Mazari also showed her concern about the problems being faced by the Muslim community and Pakistani Diaspora in some European states.
She also expressed her grave concern on the human rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). The United Nations and the international community should raise their voice and expose Indian atrocities in the IoK, she added.
Rape of Kashmiri women rape was being used as a weapon of war by Indian forces, which should be condemned at every level, she said.
The UN General Assembly president appreciated the efforts of Government of Pakistan, especially the Human Rights Ministry, for protection of human rights.
Later, Maria Fernanda Espinosa visited the Women Center.