Has anything changed?

Mustafa Kamal

Any country’s survival and progress is directly linked to the justice system, rule of law, freedom of thought, free practice of religious norms, women empowerment, public participation in decision making process and other such indicators.

According to Human Governance Index (HGI) developed by Mahbub-ul Haq Human Development Centre, out of 58 countries, Pakistan occupies 52nd position on Human Governance. Out of 58 countries, Pakistan stands at 48th position in Political Governance, whereas in Civic Governance Pakistan occupies 47thposition. Each Governance Model is tested through various indicators.  Two broader pictures can be drawn by this – that the governance in Pakistan is in deteriorating condition. That it is not a failure of one institution, but a collective failure of all the institutions.

 Deeply saddening is the Human Rights Commission Report 2011. According to the report recently published, Pakistan is lagging behind in every field.  Be it Law and order, Freedom of movement, Freedom of thought, conscience and religion, Freedom of expression, or education, health, women empowerment and child labor.

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State”, said the founding father of this nation. But to his dismay, the nation has opted for other paths – the deep state ideology and obscurantist path. The Human Rights Commission Report 2011 reveals that almost “389 people were killed and 601 injured in incidents of violence

Mustafa Kamal

targeted against various Muslim sects.” More than 100 Hazara Shias were killed in targeted attacks in Balochistan and a large number were reported to be fleeing the province. At least six Ahmadis were murdered in target killings on account of their faith. The Hindu community’s concerns over the abduction and subsequent forced conversion of girls and young women were not addressed. At least eight people were booked under the blasphemy law. Another three were given capital punishment under that law.

“The prosperity and advancement of a nation depend upon its intelligentsia.” It was also said by the father of this nation. An environment for intelligentsia is only possible when people have the rights to express their feelings on any issue, but the case is totally opposite in Pakistan. According to the HRCP Report “16 journalists were killed in the country.” Many NGO workers, Human right activists, writers and poets were threatened, kidnapped or silenced through brutal use of force.

Space for diverse thought is shrinking rapidly in the country.

Always we are being told that America is the biggest threat to the peace and its drone attacks are killing millions of innocent citizens of Pakistan. But ironically, the total number of people killed in drone attacks was 517. Now compare it with our own state created mess, plunder, murders, kidnappings and tortures. Imagine that “1,715 people were killed in sudden flare-ups of violence in Karachi. Extrajudicial killings included 337 in police encounters and 173 people abducted and murdered in Balochistan. 2,307 people were killed and 4,341 injured in terrorist raids, including suicide and sectarian attacks.”

We are our own enemies, but we are reluctant to accept it.

It was rightly argued by Marvi Sarmad that Islam gives complete freedom and equality to the women, but the question is do we also grant such freedom? Surely not. Because at least “943 women were killed in the name of honor, of which 93 were minors. 701 women committed suicide and 428 tried to end their lives. Near 4,500 cases of domestic violence against women were reported.”

Recently, at Siachin, said the Army Chief that these are not only borders that should be made safe, but the people inside these borders should also have better facilities of life. It’s a fact that development has never been our focus. All we have been wanting is to conquer India and make Afghanistan our fifth province. It’s high time to allocate more budgets for development. According to HRCP Report “In flood-affected households, many children were pushed into hazardous labor or beggary because of a lack of any means of sustenance. As a result of floods, nearly 500,000 children under the age of five were at risk of contracting serious diseases. Chronic malnutrition among children in Punjab increased to 39percent in 2011 from 32.5 percent in 2001. In Sindh, 17.5 percent of children under five years suffered from acute malnutrition, and nearly seven percent were severely malnourished. 15.1 percent children in the country faced absolute food scarcity”. The biggest crime against children is that “Over one thousand children languished in juvenile prisons across the country in 2011. No special courts were set up to exclusively hear juvenile cases.

Justice has lost its meaning and glory in Pakistan.

Nothing has changed, though. Signs of improvement are bleak. The fact is that Pakistan is leaving no stone unturned to destroy itself. After all we are best for it.

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