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pakistan govt outsources justice dispensation

PAKISTAN: Government outsources justice dispensation

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Subject:PAKISTAN: Government outsources justice dispensation

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10 February 2017

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: Government outsources justice dispensation

It is unimaginable for any democratic, law-abiding society to outsource its key function of justice. And yet, the Government of Pakistan first outsourced the dispensation of justice to the military, and now to the Panchayat and Jirga, which are known for aiding and abetting grave human rights abuses, and are the primary cause of rising honour killings and cruelties by the powerful people in the country.

On 3 February 2017, the National Assembly passed the “Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Bill” 2016, which gives legal and constitutional cover to the country’s centuries-old Jirga and Panchayat systems. With the promulgation of the bill, the state aims to ensure speedy redress of petty civil matters and reduce the burden of litigation on courts.

Instead of mainstreaming one constitution throughout the country, the state is enacting arbitrary law, which can only weaken the already fragile writ of state and rule of law. 
Pakistan’s archaic laws and collapsing judicial system is signalling a regression to medieval times, bringing the country on the verge of anarchy and chaos. Although civil society activists legal experts have long demanded an overhaul of the criminal justice system, the state’s priorities have always laid elsewhere.

By strengthening the Panchayat and Jirga system (which was previously declared illegal by Pakistan’s judiciary), its abuse of human rights, particularly against the weak and vulnerable, is given legal cover and institutionalized. Women’s rights activists have expressed their concerns, citing the karo kari (honour killings) incidents that have been ongoing with complete impunity due to the Jirgas.

The 20-point National Action Plan that the state is claiming to follow in the enactment of this bill has envisaged a complete overhauling and reforming of the criminal justice system. Far from a reformation of the system, the ADR bill is a testament to a collapsing judicial system.

The Law Minister tabled the bill initially in the federal capital, and it will gradually be implemented in other provinces with the consent of provincial governments, as amendments in civil laws are in the domain of the provinces.

It is pertinent to mention that a mere 23 members in a 342 member’s house, less than the required quorum, passed the bill. It must be asked why such an important bill was passed without extensive deliberation, and why no consultations with legal experts were held. Moreover, the Act backtracks on the Supreme Court order of 2012 holding the Jirga system to be illegal and unconstitutional. Earlier in 2004, the Sindh High Court banned all trials conducted under the Jirga system throughout Sindh, and ordered that all those found violating the order would be charged with contempt.

Given the sensitive nature of the bill, the legislators should have been extra cautious to leave no ambiguity to cause any potential abuse; unfortunately, the bill is replete with ambiguity. The appointment of mediators for instance, called ‘neutrals’ is provided for by stating that:

“The government, after consultation with the high court, shall notify in the official gazette a panel of neutrals for each district from amongst lawyers, retired Judges of superior and subordinate judiciary, retired civil servants, social workers, ulema, jurists, technocrats and expels and such other persons of repute and integrity having such qualifications and experience as may prescribed.”

The Bill does not mention how ‘repute, integrity and other qualifications’ is to be determined however. How will the government ensure that the neutral is unbiased against the vulnerable factions of society, and not prejudiced against minority and women? In fact, the appointment of such neutrals is a farce, as several parliamentarians have reportedly been presiding over these Jirgas, thus perpetuating the feudal system. The vested interest of the legislators becomes apparent by a perusal of the definitions clause:

Definitions.— In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, — (a) ‘Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)’ means a process in which parties resort to a method of resolving the dispute other than by adjudication by Courts and includes arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution through Panchayat;

The inclusion of Panchayat exposes the true and vested interest of the legislators who are mostly feudal lords themselves, and regularly preside over such proceedings, charge hefty sums.

The state has also not ensured that human rights of the litigants are not abused. In case of human rights abuse, the aggrieved party has no redressal. The act also provides no dispute resolution as the Pakistan Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code are not applicable. Moreover, Section 19 of the Bill states

19) (3) No legal proceedings shall lie against a Neutral or any other person or official associated in the ADR process for any act done or omitted to be done in good faith in the course of the performance of his functions, in reference to such ADR.

To reconcile the call for speedy expeditious justice while easing the backlog of cases from the lower judiciary, the state should have set up more ADR Centers instead of regularizing the panchayat. The civil society’s contention with the law is that Panchayats are legalized through the act. The ADR should have been limited to petty civil matters; by extending the ambit to criminal matters the panchayat has been bolstered to extend its clout.

The Act requires more scrutiny and should have been passed after extensive consultation with civil society to make it abuse free. In its current form, the bill has the potential to cause abuse and miscarriage of justice.

# # #

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) works towards the radical rethinking and fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in order to protect and promote human rights in Asia. Established in 1984, the Hong Kong based organisation is a Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award, 2014.

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pakistan ranks 8 among most polluted nationa

Pakistan ranks eight among countries affected by climate change’

  • January 27, 2016



  • Web Desk

KARACHI: Pakistan is the eighth country most vulnerable to climate change in the world. The coastal areas are the most emergent threats and hundreds of kilometres area is susceptible to sea intrusion.

This was revealed by Karachi University institute of environmental studies registrar and professor Dr Moazzam Ali Khan during a climate conference on Monday. The event was organised by Youth Parliament.

“Rainfall on the coastal belt has decreased by 20%,” said Khan, adding that exotic species on the coast are also disappearing.

Addressing the young audience, journalist Afia Salam questioned them about their aspirations for future. While many expressed their desires to work in fields such as media, law and business, few to none hands were raised when agriculture and climate was brought into question.

Climate and environment issues are interlinked with all professions, claimed Salam. “We don’t have lawyers on water disputes in the country,” she said. “People here don’t understand it. Instead, we have to hire international lawyers when the local talent cannot fill up such roles.”

Reiterating Moazzam’s point, she said that in the last four years Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change has increased along with the shrinking of Indus Delta.

Environmental degradation does not only occur due to climate change, said Dr Aamir Alamgir, PhD on climate change. “A lot of the degradation can be avoided if actions are taken on time,” he said.

Balochistan Assembly speaker Raheela Hameed Durrani also questioned the government’s inability to prevent deterioration of the environment. A think tank should be formed that will focus on the climatic challenges faced by all four provinces of the country, she suggested.

“I welcome the youth to step out, we will provide you the opportunity to move forward with us,” she said.

Express Tribune

Post Tagged with Climate changeCoastal areasExotic SpeciesSea intrusionThreats


us dropped 23144 bombs in 2015



Council of Foreign Relations resident skeptic Micah Zenko recently tallied up how many bombs the United States has dropped on other countries and the results are as depressing as one would think. Zenko figured that since Jan. 1, 2015, the U.S. has dropped around 23,144 bombs on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, all countries that are majority Muslim.

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The chart, provided by the generally pro-State Department think tank, puts in stark terms how much destruction the U.S. has leveled on other countries. Whether or not one thinks such bombing is justified, it’s a blunt illustration of how much raw damage the United States inflicts on the Muslim world:

It does not appear to be working either. Despite the fact that the U.S. dropped 947 bombs in Afghanistan in 2015, a recent analysis in Foreign Policy magazine found that the Taliban control more territory in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001. The U.S. has entered its 16th year of war in Afghanistan despite several promises by the Obama administration to withdraw. In October of last year, President Obama reversed his position and decided to keep American troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2017.

The last four U.S. presidents have bombed Iraq, and that includes the current one since airstrikes were launched on Aug. 7, 2014. The war against ISIS was originally framed as a “limited,” “humanitarian” intervention. Since then, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has insisted it will be a “30-year war” and the White House has spoken vaguely of a “long-term effort” in both Iraq and Syria.

Another red flag Zenko noted was the complete lack of civilian deaths being tallied as a result of those 23,144 bombs.

Remarkably, they also claim that alongside the 25,000 fighters killed, only 6 civilians have “likely” been killed in the seventeen-month air campaign. At the same time, officials admit that the size of the group has remained wholly unchanged. In 2014, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated the size of the Islamic State to be between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters, while on Wednesday, Warren again repeated the 30,000 estimate. To summarize the anti-Islamic State bombing calculus: 30,000 – 25,000 = 30,000.

So after more than 20,000 bombs, the U.S. Defense Department only cops to the deaths of six civilians. This is a position largely accepted by the media, which rarely asks who is actually being extinguished by the airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

In October, 30 civilians died after the U.S. bombed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The incident is still being investigated, but it has already been revealed that many elements of the original story were either false or deliberately misleading.

Adam Johnson is an associate editor at AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter at @adamاراjohnsonnyc.

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ustad rahmoon released

Jeay Sindh leader Ustad Rahmoon released, gives up politics

Jeay Sindh leader Ustad Rahmoon released, gives up politics

Staff Report

HYDERABAD: Senior Jeay Sindh leader octogenarian Ustad Muhammad Rahmoon reached his home Kario Ganhanwar in district Badin last night after 95 days of his arrest.

After reaching home he announced his decision to pull out of the nationalist movement of Jeay Sindh. He accusedthe nationalist leader Hyder Khoso of being behind his arrest by agencies where he was kept under interrogation for more than 3 months.

He also complainedsaying the leadership of nationalist movement did not own upto being involved in his arrest nor did they attempt to help his family. He said Hyder Khoso was arrested in a murder case and that he had committed crimes on his behest.

He also addedthat during his interrogation, one Sindhi officer tortured him to an extentdue to which he suffered a heart attack. However, a Punjabi officer helped save his life.

He also said that Sindh as a nation did not value his lifelong struggle for their rights. From now on, he announced that he will have nothing to do with any political party including his own Jeay Sindh Mutehida Mahaz of Shafi Burfat who was living in Germany from where he was spearheading the movement for freedom of Sindh.

He said the officers who interrogated him regarded him as non-violent afterG.M.Syed. His message for the Sindhi youth was to concentrate on their education and work for peace and brotherhood.

release ustad rahmoon

Release Octogenarian leader Ustad Rahimoon, disappeared following arrest


PAKISTAN: Release Octogenarian leader Ustad Rahimoon, disappeared following arrest

ISSUES: Enforced disappearance, rule of law, impunity, arbitrary arrest and illegal detention,

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the enforced disappearance of a veteran Sindhi Nationalist leader, Ustaad Muhammad Rahimoon, who was arrested from his home. Since his arrest by a contingent of Pakistan Rangers on November 23, his whereabouts are unknown.

A freedom fighter, Rahimon is today a heart patient who suffers from several chronic ailments due to his advanced age. Mr Rahimon is considered the most respected Sindhi nationalist; he has dedicated his life to the cause of establishing ‘Sindhu Desh’. Rahimon’s family fear for his life; they fear that he may succumb to torture and the LEA will conveniently term the cause of death as heart failure.


According to information received, Veteran Sindhi Nationalist Leader and Convener of the proscribed Jeay Sindh Muttahida Movement (JSMM), Ustaad Muhammad Rahimoon, son of Pir Dino Rahimoon, has been abducted by Rangers from his house in village Pir Dino Rahimoon near Kario Ganhwer Golarchi Town of Badin District, Sindh. He was abducted at the crack of dawn on November 23, 2016.

Mr. Rahimoon is considered an authority figure in Sindhi nationalism He also held office as Vice Chairman of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz. However, for the past year and half, he has been inactive in political circles due to his advanced age. The 80-year-old Ustad Rahimoon was a senior leader of the Sindhi Nationalism Movement. But he limited his political activities following several heart surgeries’ he is also diabetic and is unable to move much outside his house.

Following his arrest, for three hours, activists of the Sindhi Nationalist Party blocked the main road at Kario Ganhwar Golarchi. Azeem Rahimoon Nephew of Ustad Rahimoon told the media that Police and Rangers imposed a semi-curfew in the area under the pretext of searching for a murderer. Rahimoon’s family members were harassed and beaten by Rangers’ officials who inquired about Rahimon’s son before taking him away.

Rahimoon is a popular figure in his area, and as per the media reports a complete shutdown was observed in Kario Ghanwar and some other towns of Badin District in the first half of the day as soon as the news about his alleged arrest spread. District Superintendent Police (DSP) Ali Raza Laghari ensured the protestors that Rahimon will soon be released. Following the assurance, protestors dispersed peacefully. Later, however, the Kario police denied the arrest altogether.
According to Dawn news, earlier in February 2016, Ustad Rahimoon was injured when police resorted to a baton-charge and shelling to quell a demonstration in Badin against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The party leaders of Jeay Sindh Liberal Front (JSLF) have termed the law enforcement agencies’ action a violation of fundamental human rights, and vowed to launch a phase-wise struggle against such violations.

Please write to the authorities listed below calling them to immediately recover Ustad Rahimoon from the Pakistan Rangers who, following his arrest, disappeared him. The government and Pakistan will be responsible if any harm is done to Ustad Rahimoon’s life. Please ask the authorities to quash all charges against him and release him immediately.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance (WGEID) calling for their intervention into this matter.

Send an appeal letter 

ustad rahmoon arrested

Elderly JSMM leader detained in raid on house

PUBLISHED NOV 24, 2016 06:35AM

BADIN: Elderly nationalist lea­der and convener of the proscribed Jeay Sindh Muttahida Movement (JSMM) Ustad Mohammed Rah­oon was picked up by security agencies personnel in a raid on his house in Kario Ghanwar town in the small hours of Wednesday, his family, party leaders and activists of several other nationalist groups said.

A contemporary of Jeay Sindh Movement (JSM) founder leader late G.M. Syed, Ustad Rahimoon, around 80, is considered by all JSM factions working for the independence of Sindh as the most respected nationalist figure, who devoted his whole life for the cause of establishing ‘Sindhu Desh’. He once held the office of the vice chairman of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz.

A shutdown was observed in Kario Ghanwar and some other towns of Badin district in the first half of the day as soon as the news about his alleged arrest spread.

Local journalists and the detained leader’s son, Sodho Rahimoon, said that a strong contingent comprising police and Rangers personnel carried out the raid and took away the elderly leader.

Sodho Rahimoon alleged that the security personnel also beat up the inmates and ransacked the house before taking the ailing leader into their custody.

He said the family and other relatives were anxious about his life and health as his father was suffering from several ailments, besides the old age problems. He urged the authorities concerned to ensure his safe and early release.

The area police, however, did not confirm the alleged raid or arrest.

HYDERABAD: A JSMM spokesman, Waheed Khoso, in an e-mail sent to Dawn on Wednesday claimed that the entire Kario Ghanwar town and localities on its outskirts were cordoned off by law enforcement and secret agencies personnel during what he described as ‘a search operation’ carried out for the arrest of Ustad Rahimoon and other party activists in the area.

He recalled that in February, Ustad Rahimoon was injured when police resorted to a baton-charge and shelling to quell a demonstration in Badin against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He quoted JSMM chief Shafi Burfat as urging the world community and international human rights organisations to help save the life of Ustad Rahimoon.Jeay Sindh Liberal Front (JSLF) chairman Nawaz Khan Zaunr and other office-bearers have also condemned the alleged arrest of Ustad Rahimoon.

In a joint statement, they termed the law enforcement agencies’ action a violation of fundamental human rights, and vowed to launch a phase-wise struggle against such violations.

Published in Dawn November 24th, 2016

one more journalist killed in pakistan

Pakistan Christian Post Is Your Voice Since 2001


HYDERABAD. One more Journalist Amir Bux Brohi district reporter of Sindhi language daily has fallen victim to the 16th century feudalism still not only prevalent in Sindh province of Pakistan but reigning as de facto rulers of this part of world. Mir Bux Brohi was gunned down by 3 unknown armed men in Shikarpur city of Sindh province of Pakistan at 8 p.m. on Friday October 3,2003 only on some meters distance from office of District Police Officer Shikarpur. He was injured and rushed to civil hospital where he succumbed to injuries. He received 5 bullets two of them in neck, which proved fatal for his life. Amir Bux 28 was related with popular Sindhi language newspaper daily KAWISH since last 13 years. He was unmarried. He had gone to DPO office and as he came out on road he was shot at few meters distance from the DPO office. Police reached the spot 45 minutes after the incident though the shots were heard in DPO office. Police failed to immediately seal the roads connecting the city. The assailants ran away in small streets. His marriage was set to be held after holy month of Ramadan’s year ago on 20th October 2002, Shaihid Soomro also related with daily Kawish was murdered for carrying stories of rigging in the general elections, which were held on 10 October 2002.

Amir Bux had put his life at risk by writing stories against Jirgas (the illegal assembly of feudal lords). First these feudal lords including Jagirdars, Waderas, Sardars, Nawabs incite the people belonging to their castes/clans (in fact it is caste and clan but for their self interests the feudal lords call their people as tribes so that they could get recognition from government as tribal chiefs and by virtue of it could get privileges from the government as well as acceptance from other tribal leaders. According to dictionary tribe means division of a nation for political purpose). Then, when on their instigation, the people of various castes and clans attack people of opponent clan, kidnap their women, kill them and in turn that clan retaliates with same actions. After much blood shed the Sardars not involved in bloody feud intervene. The fighting stops on orders of the so- called tribal chiefs on whose directions it had started. The Jirga (assembly of sardars) is called in and attended by top feudal lords which after one or two days deliberations announce its verdict under which the killers from both sides are exonerated. The murders are exchanged like commodity to the liking of feudal lords. Former army dictator General Ziaul Haq had made amendments in constitution called Hud (Islamic laws) under which any killer would be exonerated on payment of Khoon Bah (compensation for murder) to the heirs of deceased. The relatives of those who were murdered during infighting are left with no option but to obey the orders of Jirga and their own lord. As the people have no live in areas of feudal lords they dare not refuse their orders.

The worst recent example the Jirga was killing of 18 innocent people during the fighting between Jagirani and Nareja clans in Kharipur district. A Jirga was held in mid August 2003, which decided the exchange of 7 murders on each side while 4 more on one side were compensated to victim families. The compensation amount never reached the victim family as it is pocketed by Sardars.

Amir Bux was eliminated because he had written stories against the ills of fedudalism, Jagirdari and holding of Jirgas. Few days before his murder he had questioned the wisdom Jirga by giving details of those innocent people died in tribal fighting like animals with no justice meted out to their families. Journalist Shahid Soomro was murdered directly on 20 October 2002 by two sons of influential tribal chief of Bijarani tribe Sardar Sher Mohammed Bijarani for the only reason that he had angered the Sardar with his news about rigging in general elections of 10 October 2002.He had earlier received death threats.

The killers of Shahid Soomro though were arrested and had confessed the murder but because being both sons of an influential feudal lord Sardar chief of Bijarani tribe, they were not punished. Shikarpur district forms part of Upper Sindh where the 16th century feudalism still reigns and the feudal lords calling themselves as Sardars, Mirs, Nawabs and Waderas in words of Sindhi intellectual Rasool Bux Palijo “have established states within state”. Because these feudal lords thrive on support of undemocratic government of the day and its officials including police, they hold complete authority on their areas and over people.

In Shahid Soomro’s case former speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Illahi Bux Soomro led 30 feudal lords and Sardars to his bereaved family and under feudal pressure obtained signature from them on a paper that they had pardoned the murder of Shahid to killers who were later exonerating by anti-terrorist court at Sukkur.

The journalistic community throughout Sindh has been agitating against the cold blooded murder of Amir Bux Brohi for last three days .In Hyderabad more than 100 journalists wearing black arm bands observed token hunger strike and held demonstration out side press club for third consecutive day, the building of which was hoisted with black flag.

The murder report of Amir Bux Brohi was filed at 2 A.M. Saturday against 3 unidentified armed killers at Lakhidar police station in Shikarpur but police has failed to get to the culprits. The journalists and citizens held demonstration at Shikarput and blocked Indus high way by staging sit in on it to protest against the murder of Brohi taking his coffin with them and demanding arrest of his killers. Hyderabad Press Club has announced three days protest outside press club daily and setting up condolence camp where the office bearers of HPC will received condolence messages from the leaders of civil society.

This is the second journalist murdered by extremists and feudal lords and 4th in last two years. Fazal Wahab a freelancer journalist was shot dead in Mangora on 21 January 2003 in Mangora town in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.He was critical of religious extremists.

In 2002 apart from Shahid Soomro, Daniel Pearl reporter of Wall Street Journal was killed in 21 February 2002 in Karachi by Islamic Religious group. He was investigating the possible link between Al-Qaeda and show bomber Richard Reid who had boarded Paris-Miami flight with explosion in his shoe.4 persons accused in his murder were sentenced by anti-Terrorist Court Hyderabad one main accused Sheikh Omar received death sentence while three others were awarded life terms. All the 4 are presently serving in Central Prison Hydeabad, Pakistan.

Of the 4 journalists killed in Pakistan within 2 years time religious extremists and 2 in Sindh at hands of feudalism killed 2. Feudal lords in Pakistan especially in Sindh have managed to hold politics of country in connivance with civil and military bureaucracy. Among them rural aristocracy is the biggest force for maintenance of status quo in the politics and policymaking. It were feudal lords of West Pakistan masquerading as socialists under Bhuttos’ PPP who had refused to hand over power to a commoner from East Wing despite his overwhelming majority in parliament (161 seats out of total 300). Feudal lords in rural Sindh are opposed to spread of education, as after getting educated the sons of their peasants may not bow before them. It is due to their opposition to education that thousands of schools are closed in rural villages depriving millions of children of education for the reason that these very feudal lords become part of every government of the day be it democratic or dictatorial. In fact the characteristic of every government in Pakistan is aristocratic. These feudal dynasties control half dozen political parties including the main formations like PPP and ML. Ironically enough the heads of these political parties talk of elections but opt for themselves as lifetime party chiefs.

“Feudalism as mode of product does not exist. However it is feudal ways and norms that remain the bane of underdeveloped societies. Consequently the term “feudalism” is used to describe “anything reactionary, old-fashioned or resonant of aristocratic values”(Oxford Dictionary). The world has got rid of feudalism but in Pakistan rural population is being oppressed and suppressed under feudalism and have no option than servile existence under big landlords. The government of the day as thrives on support of landlords never takes such steps to get people rid of this mother of all ills. People of Pakistan especially Sindh have been pushed to 400 years back by present military government of General Pervez Mushraf by appointing one feudal lord Mir Zafrullah Jamali as Prime Minister of Pakistan and another Sardar Ali Mohammed Mahar as Chief Minister of Sindh.The life of 40 million people of Sindh now is in hands of these feudal lords. Whenever they like they can eliminate any person like Shahid Soomro and Amir Bux Brohi.

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