‘State should be protector of rights, not the violator’

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ISLAMABAD – Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Senator Raza Rabbani, who is also minister in-charge of the Human Rights Affairs, has called for a paradigm shift in the concept of fundamental rights i.e. from the present perception that the state is a violator of fundamental rights to the state being the protector of rights.
He was speaking while chairing a national consultation on the Bill for National Commission for Human Rights at the Ministry of Human Rights. He said that in the light of the 18th Amendment and in furtherance of the vision of Mohtarma Banazir Bhutto and in light of the CoD, there was a need to work more aggressively to protect the fundamental rights of the people.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jahangir, rights activists including IA Rehman, Iqbal Haider and Zia Awan attended the consultation session. The meeting also consulted with Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Senator SM Zafar, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Khurshid Ahmed and Senator Wasim Sajjad on some issues.
Senator Rabbani said that the coalition government was committed to the concept of human rights and their implementation and that government’s intention reflected through the formation of the independent commission in this regard.
“I might be recalled that the Eighteenth Amendment included clauses upholding human righst; they include: Articles 10-A (right to fair trial), 19-A (right to information) and 25-(a right to education).”
Rabbani said that his ministry would continue consultations with the Human Rights Committee of the National Assembly on the 29th of March.