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Human Rights Body in Pakistan voices concern over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa situation

By MyIndMakers

June 13, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

The annual report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has underscored the precarious state of human rights, law and order, and challenges confronting residents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

In a press statement, the HRCP highlighted that due to the absence of a provincial election, citizens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were "unrepresented" throughout the year, with no legislation passed in 2023.

Following this development, the Peshawar High Court overturned the order to suspend local bodies until provincial elections were held. This decision enabled elected local representatives to resume providing services to their constituents. Subsequently, local elections took place in August 2023, filling 72 key positions across 21 districts.

Commenting on the law and order situation in the province, the rights body claimed that in 2023, more than 160 policemen, 70 military personnel, 60 civilians, and over 170 alleged militants were killed in numerous targeted militant attacks and security operations.

In response to the situation, Pakistan forcibly deported over 1.5 million documented and 0.7 million undocumented Afghan refugees and migrants from the province following an announcement by the federal caretaker government.

The rights body highlighted significant financial challenges faced by residents, noting that hundreds of teachers, doctors, health workers, and sanitation staff protested throughout the province in 2023 due to delays in salary payments and other dues.

The report also addressed public health and environmental crises, identifying drug abuse affecting 11% of the population and reporting approximately 40 fatalities from rains, flash floods, and dust storms in various districts.

Despite court orders, persons with disabilities continued to lack essential accessibility measures in most buildings. Furthermore, the report noted that 4.7 million children, 66% of whom were girls, remained out of school in 2023.

According to HRCP's media monitoring, the province recorded at least 20 cases of domestic violence, 72 cases of sexual violence, 49 'honour' killings, and 246 femicide-related murders during the year.

The Digital Rights Foundation reported 112 complaints of cyber harassment and gender-based violence from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In January, women councilors elected in the 2021 local government polls from Khyber district protested the denial of functional authority and development funds to support their female constituents.

Despite over 100 women participating and winning in the elections, they were not allocated offices or resources, unlike their male counterparts, affecting their standing in public perception, the report highlighted.



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