Human rights and fundamental rights are rights of God and are known as divine rights. Human rights are inherent rights of all human beings, regardless of our nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language or any other state. We all have the same human rights without any discrimination. All these rights are interdependent and indivisible. Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law in the form of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. The Human Rights Act establishes the obligation of governments to act in a certain way or to renounce certain acts in order to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups. The idea of human rights spread rapidly in India, Greece and finally Rome. The most important progress since then has included:
1215: The Magna Carta gives people new rights and subjects the king to the law.
1628: The Petition of Right: establishes the rights of the people.
1776: The United States Declaration of Independence proclaims the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
1789: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, a document from France which states that all citizens are equal before the law.
1948: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first document that lists the 30 rights to which everyone is entitled.
The protection of human rights has been a priority for all governments. For this reason, the provisions that are related to the so-called “freedoms” of the person are described as fundamental. However, there are times when personal “rights” are violated and efforts to restore them through the procedures that have been developed for this purpose are unsuccessful.
One of the most important rights in this category is that of privacy whose protection has been delegated by the Constitution of Pakistan and other laws of the country. In Pakistan, the courts use articles (8-28) to protect privacy as a fundamental personal right that examines in each case and the fulfillment of the requirements set forth in the relevant legislation. The basic rights of the Constitution of Pakistan are adopted mainly in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Fundamental rights” are not limited to a particular aspect of a person’s life. It can be found associated with a variety of human activities depending on the social position and culture of the person in question. However, this does not mean that its use is permitted in all circumstances of daily activities. Moreover, even under the conditions where its application seems necessary, its violation is sometimes inevitable. In these cases, the decision or no violation of the law for the courts that must apply the relevant legislation after careful consideration of the evidence and only in cases where the violation of the law can be taken firmly.
The Constitution of Pakistan confers fundamental rights to all citizens of Pakistan which includes: freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of religion and freedom of legal activity. In Pakistan, an INDIVIDUAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (HRC) works for the development of human rights for the general public. In addition to this, the villagers face problems regarding their human rights. This is the era of electronic media and no one has the right to abuse someone for their own interests and benefits. Mechanism should be made to cover the challenges of human rights and will also provide corrective measures to overcome the problem of human rights in Pakistan. In Pakistan, the feudal system has solid foundations and does not even provide basic rights to people in their own country.
The activities of extremists are increasing day by day and are violating the basic conditions of human rights. Some religious extremists mold the teachings of Islam for their own interests and benefits which are extending a hard blow to already volatile human rights. Political anarchy is the fundamental obstacle in the process of human rights. The political parties fight with each other and do not offer development to the locals. Due to which the fundamental human rights remain unaddressed. Press freedom is yet another potential issue which is used by political elite to suppress it by various means in order to hide the sufferings of men in the street. Influential people try to shape their benefits and feather their nests at the expense of public fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan.
In addition, the main disadvantage of the human rights system in Pakistan is the case of missing persons. Nobody knows where they went. It is the duty of the government to find the missing persons and point out the elephant in the room. Pursuing this further, the harassment of women is an illegal activity and entirely against the fundamental women rights. According to international watchdog, Pakistan is one of 10 countries that abuse women and do not grant them basic rights. For instance, on October 9, 2012, the Taliban attacked the young activist Malala Yousafzai for the sake of her work, improving the education of women. Despite this, we see many examples regarding violation of woman rights like child marriages continues to be a serious concern in Pakistan, with 21 percent of girls married before age 18. In January 2016, a proposal submitted to Parliament aimed to raise the legal minimum age to 18 for women and introduce tougher penalties for those organizing child marriage. However, on January 14, 2016, the proposal was withdrawn due to strong pressure from the Council of Islamic Ideology, an agency that advises parliament on Islamic law. The council criticized the proposal as “anti-Islamic” and “blasphemous”.
Violence against women and girls including rape, murder through so-called honor killings, acid attacks, domestic violence and forced marriage remains in the limelight in our society. Pakistani human rights NGOs estimate that there are around 1,000 “honor crimes” every year which is a pressing matter to be resolved.
The government continued without addressing the forced conversions of women belonging to Hindu and Christian communities. In June 2015, Zeenat Rafiq, 18, was burned in Lahore by her mother for “embarrassing the family” by marrying a man of her choice. In May 2015, family member’s tortured and burned to death a 19-year-old school teacher in Murree, Punjab, for refusing an arranged marriage. In May 2016, Amber’s 16-year-old body was found inside a vehicle that had been set ablaze in Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, after a jirga, or traditional assembly of elders, ordered her death for helping her friend marry of her own choice. In July 2016, Qandeel Baloch, a well-known Pakistani model, was murdered by her brother in a supposed honor killing. In April, 2018 a mother of one child was killed after firing on during the deceased’s cousin’s wedding ceremony which is said to be the case of honour killing well as. These incidents potentially highlight the dearth of human rights and maladministration of judicial setup and other government organizations who are supposed to recoup losses and repair the serious threat.
Not only Woman but in Pakistan Bloggers, journalists, lawyers, activists and other human rights defenders have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, violence and enforced disappearances. The five bloggers who were forced to disappear and the activists who campaigned for their release were the target of a smear campaign accusing them of being “blasphemous”, “anti-Pakistan”, and “anti-army”.
In May, Rana Tanveer, a journalist covering abuses against religious minorities, found death threats at her home in the city of Lahore. A few weeks later, he was knocked down and seriously injured after a car deliberately crushed him. In September, Matiullah Jan, a journalist who regularly criticized military interference in politics, was attacked by motorcycle men who threw a large piece of concrete at the car in which he was traveling with his children, destroying the windshield. In October Ahmad Noorani, an open political journalist, was attacked by motorcycle men who stopped his car and beat him, even with iron bars. By the end of the year, it was known that no one was responsible for these attacks.
In conclusion, Pakistan has been facing drastic and despotic human rights challenges both internally and externally. But there is always a way to solve lingering problems. The government is working to improve human rights which is a time taking process. They will educate the masses to help others which will finally yield durable results. In this way, it is not the opportune moment for the people of Pakistan to comply with the standards of the international community with respect to human rights and any other area of life. This is the age of enlightenment for Pakistan and it has to suffer certain social problems and human rights issue stand at the top. However, making effective laws, educating masses, involving civil society and realizing the need to tackle this issue can positively amend the aggravating condition.