By: Israruddin Israr
Universally there are two mechanisms of human rights; international, and national. Every member state of United Nations has some international obligations. To fulfil those obligations every state endures an international mechanism and adopts the universally accepted international instruments of human rights and makes efforts to harmonizes them with its national laws. Once an international convention is signed and ratified then the state faces accountability in United Nations Organization through a process which is called universal periodic review (UPR). The UPR of each member state of UNO is held after every four years. It is the discretion of a state whether it accepts those conventions or not. Owing to some compulsions regarding to gain the international support in its foreign affairs usually a state gets ready to sign and ratify those conventions and makes a promise with the international community to harmonize those international conventions with its national law. That’s how a state faces UPR, submits progress report on the state of Human Rights in its jurisdiction and meanwhile faces the criticism and receives the recommendations of international community and makes a promise to ensure the implementation on those recommendations till the submission of next progress report after four years. The UPR is associated with international aid and support of world community to a state that’s why developing and under developed countries usually pay special attention to those obligations. On the other side the citizens can demand from the state to accept any international convention and harmonize it with the national law so that they would be able to claim those rights from their native state. It should be clear that a state is bound to protect all those rights which are guaranteed in its constitution and national laws. If a state fails to protect the fundamental rights then citizens can raise voices, send reminders to the concern authorities and file petitions to get those rights. Every nation state has its own human rights mechanism, the constitution of state is a basic document which guarantees the fundamental rights of citizens. Majority of the states in the world teach the fundamental rights in their curriculum but in Pakistan the constitution is not taught except in the discipline of political science at graduation level. Even some countries don’t confirm the citizen ship if the citizens don’t go through the constitution. But here in Pakistan the majority people don’t know about their rights guaranteed in the constitution. There is confusion in the case of GB; people here believe that they are deprived of the constitution that’s why how can they claim their fundamental rights? Yes they are true regarding the right to representation in the parliament of Pakistan but still they are entitled the most of the rights which are guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan. Although Gilgit Baltistan doesn’t not fall in the ambit of constitution of Pakistan but the area is under the administrative control of Pakistan that’s why the state has introduced an executive order as a substitute of constitution to run the affairs of the area. PART. II of that executive order guarantees the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, of the citizens of the Gilgit Baltistan. Most of the rights guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan have been included in the order. It starts from the article 3 of the GB empowerment and self-Governance order 2009 e.g.
Some important rights which are guaranteed in constitution of Pakistan but those are missing in the Gilgit Baltistan empowerment and self-Governance order 2009 are as follow.
Article 9 of the constitution of Pakistan is about the Security of person, which stats as, “No person shall be deprived of life or liberty saves in accordance with law”.
Article 10 A of the constitution of Pakistan is about the Right to fair trial, which states as “For the determination of his civil rights and obligations in any criminal charges against him a person shall be entitled to a fair trial and due process.
Article 13 of the constitution of the Pakistan is about the protection against double punishment and self-incrimination states as “no person (a) shall be prosecuted for the same offence more than once: 0r (b) shall, when accused of an offence, be compelled to be a witness against himself.”
Article 14 of the constitution of Pakistan is about the inviolability of dignity of man, etc. “(1) the dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable. (2) No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence”.
Article 25/A of constitution of Pakistan is about the Right to education, states as.
“The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law”.
Article 19/A of the constitution of Pakistan is guarantees the Right to information and states as “
Every citizen shall have the right to have access to information in all matters of public importance subject to regulation and reasonable restrictions imposed by law”.
Article 28 is about the preservation of language, script and culture and states as “Subject to article 251 any section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture shall have the right to preserve and promote the same and subject to law, establish institutions for the purpose.
The Gilgit Baltistan assembly should demand from the federal Govt. to include the remaining rights of constitution of Pakistan which are missing in the GB empowerment and self-Governance order 2009, whereas every educated citizen of GB should have knowledge about above mentioned rights which have been guaranteed in the GB empowerment and self-Governance order 2009. So that if they notice any violation of those rights they would be able to send reminders to the concern authorities, raise voices and file petitions for the protection of those rights with the reference of Empowerment and self-Governance order 2009.
The writer is a Gilgit based freelance journalist, columnist and human rights activist. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
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