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U.S. Statement on the UPR of Pakistan
October 30, 2012

UPR Intervention for Pakistan
14th Session – October 30, 2012

Note: An abbreviated version of this text was delivered at the UPR
session for Pakistan on October 30, 2012.  This text updates an
earlier version of a statement issued on that date and is intended
to fully and accurately reflect the position of the U.S. government
with respect to these issues.

The United States thanks H.E. Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Pakistani delegation, and the Pakistani delegation, for their participation in this important global review.

We commend Pakistan for its progress on passing strong laws to protect women, and the authorization of a National Human Rights Commission.  Pakistan has a vibrant civil society and media, with many dedicated and courageous Pakistani human rights defenders.

We note that blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadi laws continue to be used to discriminate against members of certain groups of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.   We are particularly concerned about ongoing violence against Shi’a, Christian, and Ahmadi communities, and the lack of investigations and prosecutions in these cases.

We also note with deep concern the ongoing cycle of violence in Balochistan, where numerous civil society actors, including Baloch
activists, journalists, and student leaders have been targeted. This environment leaves limited space for moderate discourse. As we reported in our 2011 Human Rights Reports, security forces have been reportedly involved in the extrajudicial killings of suspected militants and opposition figures in Balochistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Finally, while there is a large and vocal media in Pakistan, journalists are allegedly manipulated and intimidated by individuals, including persons affiliated with the government and militants.  Some journalists have been targeted after reporting stories that touch on sensitive issues such as security force abuses.

Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States makes the following recommendations:

  • Hold accountable those who commit religiously motivated acts of violence, Reform laws that can be used to justify discrimination on the basis of religion and provide full rights and protection to all citizens, especially the Shi’a, Ahmadi, and members of other religious minorities.
  • Investigate operations aimed at silencing dissent in Balochistan, and ensure laws are fully and equally enforced to investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, nationwide.
  • Provide adequate resources to the National Human Rights Commission, and appoint independent, credible commissioners.