The rampant high-handedness and excesses of police are turning Pakistan fast into a country where the law enforcement agencies are found suppressing the minority groups with impunity. The raiding police parties have no regards to the family and private life of Pakistani citizens who break into any residential compound without the need for seeking prior court order for such raids.
In a recent instance, the police broke into house of Pakistan Hazaras in Block 11 of Gulshan-e-Iqbal at 4:00 AM on 05-03-2017 on pretext of apprehending a high value target.
This Organisation has received complaints from the local residents that the police raided their houses in the early hours of morning on 5th March. Despite verifying them through CNICs, the police resorted to physical torture, abusive language and threatening to women, children and elderly people alike.
After breaking into a house and verifying their IDs through their CNICs, they dragged the teenage male member of the family into their van and made him identify the other residents in the area. They checked-in those houses and demanded for verification through their CNICs. These highly objectionable and unlawful raids of the police, without formal permission from the court; are in breach of the Constitution of Pakistan and international covenants. The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees and protects the inalienable rights of its citizen through its articles 4 and 9. These articles also prohibits depriving someone of their family and private life and liberty. Accordingly, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also protects the rights of individuals and their liberty, especially its articles 9 and 17. There are, however, a number of other international covenants, ratified and signed by Pakistan which bind the country to by abide by and honour its commitments in protecting the rights of individuals and minority groups.
Pakistan’s history testifies loyalty and patriotism of Hazaras beyond reasonable doubts as they have always been law-abiding and sincere to the land. They have never allowed any person mingle with local populace who may have been suspected or found involved in subverting and anti-State activities. In fact, the Hazaras are the only minority group whose forefathers saved the country from the threat of regional annihilation at the hands of India in 1965 war when General Musa Khan Hazara commanded the Pak army as its Commander-in-Chief.
HUM’s grave concern is if the Federal and Singh governments do not take the elements of police accountable for their recent unlawful raids and brutal behaviour, such actions will further alienate the sympathies of minority groups resulting in involvement of the UN’s Human Rights Council and international human rights organisations.