HRCP demands security forces vacate schools, shut "illegal prisons" in Swat

Mar 19, 2023

Swat [Pakistan], March 19 : Chairperson of Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) Hina Jilani has demanded that security forces immediately vacate schools and institutions in Swat and close the "illegal prisons" there, Dawn reported.
Hina Jilani made the remarks while addressing a news conference at the Swat Press Club on Saturday. She emphasised that the families of those who had died in "illegal jails" were not being provided with any information.
The news conference was scheduled after a high-profile fact-finding visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to a report in Dawn, Hina Jilani, Jamila Gillani, and Prof Ijaz Khan participated in the mission. According to a statement, the team interacted with a variety of civil society representatives, journalists, attorneys, and district administration officials in Bannu, Peshawar, Khyber, and Swat.
Jilani stated at the news conference that the current political climate in Pakistan was extremely concerning, with the common people experiencing serious issues and institutions failing to perform their duties.
Jilani claimed that the HRCP team went to Swat to learn more about the state of the country's human rights.
She stated that institutions had become so weak in Pakistan's current political climate that everyone openly questioned them. "It is the civic institutions' duty to make political conditions better. Even the Supreme Court has never given the impression it does now," she added, adding that civil institutions must carry out their duties in accordance with the Constitution, stated a report published in Dawn.
Jilani added that the economy was on the edge of collapsing and that the average person was dealing with numerous challenges.
Jilani stated that HRCP recognised the Swat people's tenacity in fending off the recent militant surge. Also, she expressed concern about the "extrajudicial killings" and stated that HRCP vehemently opposed the unlawful acts. She reaffirmed the commission would continue to perform its role in preserving human rights in the country.
According to the HRCP fact-finding report, residents of the combined districts are generally dissatisfied with the state for allegedly failing to uphold its promise to integrate these areas with the rest of the province by guaranteeing citizens' civil, political, social, and economic rights.
As a result of the 25th Constitutional Amendment in 2018, the mission was reportedly concerned about excessive delays in the transfer of authority to the civil administrations and elected representatives in western KP.
The report acknowledged some progress, but it was slow in terms of providing the merged region with the necessities and basic rights.
According to the report, the HRCP was worried about a rise in militancy in KP, which was made worse by claims of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. According to the report, ongoing constraints on the right to free speech and movement have been weakened by the security forces' sustained presence and control over the newly combined districts.
The mission was also troubled by continued stories of forced disappearances, fatalities in custody, and people going "missing" from internment camps.
The mission was especially struck by the spirit of resistance that locals have continued to exhibit in the form of Ulasi Pasoon, or "the people's uprising," which makes it obvious they are no longer ready to tolerate militancy.
Strong strategies for police reforms and capacity building show that the newly combined districts are slowly but surely returning to peace and order.
Above all, HRCP was glad to notice a powerful political mobilisation among the youth of the newly-merged districts, who have no qualms in exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly by making reasonable demands of the state, the report emphasised, Dawn reported.