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Rights minister slams Shahbaz

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Human Rights Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani on Thursday criticised Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for not taking action against human rights violators within his party.

He singled out the cases of alleged rapist Munawar Gill and Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor who violated customs rules as examples, adding that it was shameful that five MPAs of the Punjab Assembly including a provincial minister from the PML-N violated human rights and the chief minister did not punish them. He made these comments at a meeting with lawyers and human rights activists at the South Asian Free Media Association, where he announced that an independent Human Right Commission would be established soon in Islamabad. The commission will have regional headquarters in the four provinces, he added.

Mr Gillani said volunteer forces were to be established at the district level to monitor human rights violations. The ministry recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme to establish human rights courts, for which these two provide the funding.

The minister said the draft of the Human Rights Commission was complete and standing committees were reviewing it clause by clause. He said he hoped the draft would be approved by the National Assembly in its session after the budget.

Source: Dawn

Date:6/12/2009

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