U.S. Statement on the UPR of Pakistan
14th Session – October 30, 2012
The United States welcomes H.E. Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Pakistani delegation, and thanks you for your participation in this important global review.
We commend Pakistan for its progress on passing strong laws to protect women, and the authorization of a National Human Rights Commission. Pakistan has a vibrant civil society and media, with many dedicated and courageous Pakistani human rights defenders.
We note with deep concern the ongoing violence in Balochistan. Security forces continue to be involved in “kill-and-dump” operations that target numerous civil society actors, including Baloch activists and their family members, as well as journalists, activists, and student leaders. The cycle of violence is polarizing Baloch society and leaves limited space for moderate discourse.
We also unhappily note that blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadi laws continue to be used to discriminate against members of certain groups of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We are particularly concerned about an uptick in violence against Shi’a, Christian, and Ahmadi communities, and the lack of investigations and prosecutions in these cases.
Finally, while there is a large and vocal media in Pakistan, journalists are allegedly manipulated and intimidated by individuals, including persons affiliated with the government and militants. Some journalists like Saleem Shahzad are found dead after reporting stories that touch on sensitive issues such as security force actions.
Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States makes the following recommendations:
Halt operations aimed at silencing dissent in Balochistan, and ensure laws are fully and equally enforced to investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, nationwide.
Hold accountable those who commit religiously motivated acts of violence, reform laws that can be used to justify discrimination on the basis of religion and provide full rights and protection to all citizens, especially the Shi’a, Ahmadi, and members of other religious minorities.
Provide adequate resources to the National Human Rights Commission, and appoint independent, credible commissioners.
Courtesy to geneva.usmission.gov