Sartaj Aziz proposes setting up a cell to monitor implementation of HR laws

Zubair Qureshi

Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of Pakistan, Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday urged the Federal Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) to establish a cell for monitoring the implementation and reporting of seven core international human rights convention ratified by the country.
He was speaking at the concluding session of the first ever three-day International Conference on Human Rights (HR) titled, “Owing human Rights for a Better World” organized by the Federal Ministry of Human Rights. Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz also urged for establishing a legal aid cell to facilitate the victims of human rights violations.
He said that with the active role of the parliament and strong support of civil society, there has been valuable addition of new legislations especially on the rights of women, minorities and children in past ten years besides urging for enhanced cooperation among government, civil society and international partners.
He ensured that the ideas and recommendations emerging from the conference will assist the government in further strengthening the implementation of Action Plan for Human Rights approved by by the government in February 2016.
In her concluding remarks, Federal Secretary for Ministry of Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha thanked all participants for their valuable inputs. She said that the cause of human rights unites all sections of the society. “The Government of Pakistan is cognisant of its duties in the realm of human rights. Legislation and policy initiatives, presenting and defending international treaty reports, the set-up of human rights institutions from federal to grassroots level, national action plans and financial inclusion strategies, electoral reforms, gender budgeting and the provision of social nets are some of the manifestations of this commitment.”
Earlier, at inaugural session, said Federal Minister for Human Rights Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar said that Protection of fundamental human rights is vital for sustainable development, peace and prosperity. The Federal Minister said the conference is an excellent opportunity for sharing experiences, highlighting success stories and to strengthen partnership for human rights. He said that constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan obligates the state to guarantee Fundamental Human Rights to all its citizens without any discrimination and Pakistan has ratified all significant International Human Rights Conventions. In the concluding day sessions on “Right to Development” and “Role of Development Planning in Pakistan to Promote Right to Development: Past, Present and Future,” the speakers extensively discussed different dimensions of human rights centric development.
United Nations Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne said Pakistan’s Parliament was the first to endorse sustainable development goals and has taken lead in the implementation of core international treaties in the region. He said that under Sustainable Development Goals, the prime focus is to reach people who are left behind in the development.
Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Ishrat Hussain said that the best development model to ensure prosperity is the model that is the combination of state-centered, private-oriented and civil society-driven models.
He suggested third party evaluation of government projects by the civil society and utilization of the skills of retired bureaucrats for planning and implementations of development plans with human rights perspective. He also stressed for homogenization of provincial and federal budgets. Member Social Section Ministry of Planning, Development and Social Reforms Asma Haider suggested engaging and strengthening local government terming it the only way to move towards participatory development. Dr Sania Nishtar, representative World Health Organization stressed on balance between population and resources, strong institutions and improve Public-private partnership for better service delivery.

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