The primary duty of every government is to ensure there is governance and accountability. Unfortunately, local, provincial, and federal governments in Pakistan have rarely delivered on these promises.
In a recent fact-finding report titled “Northern Sindh: In Search of Solutions” the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed “deep concern over the human rights situation in northern Sindh, including rights violations against vulnerable groups, precarious law and order, poor access to education and healthcare, and other curbs on fundamental freedoms.”
The HRCP report draws on interviews and consultations in Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo, Kandhkot, Jacobabad, Larkana and Karachi, where the team met human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, students, workers, political leaders, government representatives and law enforcement authorities. The report “found that poor conviction rates in gender-based violence cases were exacerbated by a dearth of shelters for survivors. Religious minorities were also deemed vulnerable to deep-seated discrimination, arbitrary blasphemy accusations and faith-based conversions. Alarming rates of organised crime, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and exploitative feudal power systems prevailed amid a stark lack of good governance and accountability, particularly in the katcha areas. Tribal feuds especially played a significant role in the region’s conflict dynamics, paralysing socio-economic development there as well.”
In conclusion the report recommends “establishing an overarching women’s protection system with shelters in every district, and monitoring issues related to religious minorities for immediate redressal. The state must also set up accessible and affordable health and education facilities for the people of northern Sindh and take measures to curb extrajudicial killings with special capacity-building workshops for the police.”