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Government slammed for snubbing UN

Officials refused to meet investigators

NGO leaders were angered by officials' refusal to meet UN delegates NGO leaders were angered by officials' refusal to meet UN delegates
  • ucanews.com reporter, Lahore
  • Pakistan
  • October 11, 2012
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The Catholic Bishop’s National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) and other NGOs have criticized the government after a 10-day mission from the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances was met with resistance last month.

“Skepticism about UN human rights bodies was based largely on ignorance about their role," Peter Jacob, NCJP executive secretary said yesterday. "The government should make people aware of Pakistan ’s international commitments and of the position they maintain vis-a-vis citizen’s rights at international forums."

Key institutions, including military, court and intelligence agencies, refused to meet the UN experts, who were reporting on missing persons in restive Balochistan province.

National Assembly member Raza Hayat Hiraj said the commission’s report could endanger democracy and upcoming general elections in the country.  “This is a question of the country’s sovereignty,” he said.

The UN working group maintains there are 14,000 cases of missing persons in Balochistan, while the government puts the figure at less than 100.

“Human rights violations under the pretext of fighting terrorism can only lead to further violations,” stated the UN in its report.

The NCJP said Pakistan now has a reputation as a “non-serious” member of the UN and its resistance could lead to it losing out on the international body's assistance.

“Past governments tried to avoid UN entities while other countries benefitted from them in combating natural disasters and improving political and economic crises,” it said in a press release.

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