Human Rights Violations: Use of Force against Teachers in Pakistan
Though allegations of human rights violations continue to soar in Pakistan, the government is taking initiatives to curb such incidents and has set up a special ministry to look into such violations.
Across the world, teachers have a special place in society. They are given respect not just by their students or colleagues but by people at large. For the same reason, the news of Pakistan police exercising brutal force on teachers comes across as a clear violation of human rights. True, human rights violations are not rare in South Asian countries. However, in this case, it was grossly unfair and unjust that the Pakistan police used excessive force against the peacefully protesting teaching community that had gathered in front of the Governor’s House in Karachi and Khairpur, which is also the hometown of chief minister of Sindh.
Human Rights Violations: Why Teachers in Pakistan Faced Baton Charge and Tear Gas Shells
These teachers from Sindh were ruthlessly attacked, with over 40 of them injured in the attack. We know from newspapers and TV channels that such incidents are quite common in several Asian nations where the rate of human rights violations is quite high and violates the spirit of democracy. The question is how can governments create greater initiatives within the existing framework so that the same violations do not happen over and over again?
These teachers who were attacked had been asserting their demands that had been agreed but not implemented by the government two years back. Their main demand was to be treated at par with their counterparts in the Sindh Punjab and Balochistan regions. While the teachers in the cities get several types of allowances, the same benefits are not given to the teachers in rural areas. The teachers were also seeking a revision in their promotion and other norms.
While protesting, these teachers had to face tear gas shells, baton charge and even water cannons used by the police authorities. The situation turned ugly when the protesting teachers decided to stage a sit in dharna outside the governor’s house. Interestingly, Pakistan’s senior leaders have, however, made no statements about condemning this violent violation of human rights.
Human Rights Violations: Why Police Violence against Innocent Citizens Must be Stopped
Pakistan has taken some steps to improve the human rights scenario in the country and has set up a special ministry for the same. The government is also planning to introduce new laws to tackle the problem of human rights violations.
AI Rehman is a leading rights activist of Pakistan and he had made powerful statements on the sidelines of 'South Asian Regional Round Table on Police Reforms, organized by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in October 2009. He stated that the human rights situation is very serious in the country and attributed the same to the government’s focus on tackling terror.
Human rights violations such as this one tell us that the people of a country are not even allowed to make peaceful demonstrations to press for their demands. This is not specific to Pakistan but to most countries across the world. This instance is just another example of the extreme human rights violations that are followed by democratically elected governments. Ironically, these examples mirror how the government’s system works against the same people who voted them to power.
Let’s not forget, a democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The clinch is that political power is hardly utilized for the welfare and development of the people.