According to Pakistani media, Pakistan became one of the world’s most dangerous violators of human rights under Imran Khan’s rule. Imran Khan was one of the renowned human rights violators after General Pervez Musharraf who attempted to repress the media, human rights organizations, and social media activists with the assistance of Pakistan, according to Just Earth News.
The publication claims that under his rule, the murder of dissidents, the harassment of journalists, and attacks on free speech became common. Early this year, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan released a report, ‘Status of Human Rights Report 2021′, which disclosed that the freedom of expression and rights ensuring those freedoms had suffered the most in that year. According to the report, “a description of these restrictions reads more like a dictatorial government keen on usurping its people’s right to speak and operate as they wish”. The previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf administration was explicitly described in the assessment as “one of the most oppressive in terms of its bullying of journalists.”
The report stated “multiple incidents of forced disappearances & persistent police excesses that targeted dissenting voices. The administration continued to despise dissenters and stepped up its persecution of everyone who opposed it. The same thing occurred to socially excluded groups who continued to be affected”.
In 2021, the US State Department and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan both claimed that Islamabad had been the scene of a long list of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, torture and cases of cruel treatment of prisoners by the government or its agents. Also there were reports of severe restrictions on press freedom, including violence against journalists and forced disappearances.
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Violation of Women and Children’s rights in Pakistan
Lahore, Pakistan’s capital province, reported numerous instances of sexual assault during the preceding week. According to a local media outlet, the Pakistani police have reviewed the Gender-Based Violence Cell’s overall performance due to the alarming frequency of the instances. In a recent incident, five men in the Punjab province gang-raped a pregnant woman. Another incident of this kind had three guys gang-raping a 25-year-old Karachi lady on a train. Such occurrences draw attention to Pakistan’s record in safeguarding women’s rights.
As per a recent study conducted by the Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) and the Centre for Research, Development, and Communication (CRDC), Pakistan had the maximum number of cases of women assault in the previous month. It included incidents of rape, violence against women and kidnapping of women. The Global Gender Gap Index for Pakistan has gotten worse with time. Pakistan was ranked 143 in 2017, but dropped to 148 in 2018. Pakistan ranked 153 out of 156 nations, or among the bottom four, in the gender parity index of the Global Gender Gap Report 2021.
In its Annual World Report for 2022 the Human Rights Watch (HRW), a US based NGO, cited charges of widespread rights violations against women and children in Pakistan, which ranked 167 out of 170 nations on the Georgetown University-released Global Women, Peace and Security index. In Pakistan, violence against women and girls is widespread and includes rape, murder, acid assaults, domestic violence, and forced marriage. According to human rights advocates, some 1,000 women are killed in so-called “honour killings” every year in the country, according to the HRW report.