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Govt urged to invite UN special rapporteur

LAHORE: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan secretary-general Iqbal Haider has urged the government to invite United Nations Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers Leandro Despouy to study the judicial crisis in the country.

He said in a statement here on Monday that the UN official had issued a statement expressing his concern over the judicial crisis in Pakistan and the excessive use of force on the protesting lawyers. Since the government claimed that it had acted in a lawful, fair and constitutional manner without any malice or bias, there was no reason why it should not take the opportunity of benefiting from his visit.

He said inviting of the UN rapporteur was also necessary because there was anguish in the lawyers’ community across the globe. As the special rapporteur was a neutral authority his report and observations would be in the interest of transparency and ensure that the events following the filing of reference against the Chief Justice of Pakistan were independently reported.

He said Pakistan was morally obliged to follow the special procedures of the UN because it was a member of its Human Rights Council. Moreover, the president’s pledge to follow all constitutional norms and of being above board would only be taken seriously if the government opened itself to the scrutiny of the world body.

Source: Dawn

Date:3/27/2007

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