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Rights activist opposes new ordinance

ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: The constitution of 1973 addresses all the issues of the country and there was no need to promulgate the Pakistan Protection Ordinance 2013 which will reduce the liberty of the people.

This was stated by I.A. Rehman, director Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), during a consultation on the `Pakistan Protection Ordinance 2013` organised by the Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) at a local hotel on Thursday.

Mr Rehman said every law should be in favour of the people but it seems the ordinance is not based on good faith. `This is part of the continued efforts to shrink human rights space.` He said the ordinance had given the army and civil law enforcement agencies the powers of the police. He was of the view that investigation was a sensitive work and army people did not have the required training. He said it was better for the state not to promulgate such ordinances.

`If we want supremacy of law, we have tomake laws which are not contrary to the existing national and international laws and human rights conventions,` he said.

Mumtaz Khan, Director General Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights, said it was the responsibility of the government to provide protection to the citizens. Under the current situation, what the government should do except promulgating such an ordinance, he asked.

He said for the betterment of the citizens and peace in society, we have to have laws and ensure their supremacy.

Chief executive SPO Naseer Memon said there would be a negative impact of the ordinance on the political, legal and human rights in society. He demanded that the ordinance should not be made a law.

`The civil society`s space is shrinking every day and these laws are also against the covenant on civil and political rights as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,` he said.-A Reporter