South Asia and Beyond

Court Raps Pak Govt Over Baloch Students’ Grievances

 Court Raps Pak Govt Over Baloch Students’ Grievances

“The human rights ministry should be shut down if ethnic profiling is happening.” Strong words from Chief Justice Athar Minallah of Islamabad High Court while hearing a petition filed against harassment of Baloch students protesting in Islamabad last month over the disappearance of their missing colleague. “Why is there a human rights ministry when neither the previous government nor this one did anything,” Justice Minallah asked. He pointed out that political parties’ statements were different before they came to power but once in government, they forget everything. The Deputy Attorney General requested the court for time so he could ask the new government for instructions. The chief justice wasn’t amused. You can write (to the government) that the state is weak,” Justice Minallah replied, asking how it could ignore human rights violations. “This is the job of the federal government. This is the job of the human rights ministry”. The deputy attorney general told the court the prime minister had visited Balochistan recently. “Does the cabinet not know what is happening in the country,” the chief justice shot back. The court then formed a commission to investigate the grievances of Baloch students regarding racial profiling, enforced disappearances and lack of security while visiting their hometowns.

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