Minister for Human Rights meets delegation of EU Parliament

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By Shabbir Hussain

ISLAMABAD, Sep 21 (Diplomatic Star): Federal Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on Wednesday held a meeting with the delegation of the European Union Parliament.

Secretary for Human Rights Afzal Latif , Director General Human Rights and other senior officers of the ministry also attended this meeting.

Both sides broadly discussed the implementation of human rights commitments to maintain GSP+ status of Pakistan with the EU.

Minster for Human Rights welcomed the delegates and expressed his gratitude for the timely support extended to the flood victims of Pakistan.

He said that one third of the country was submerged in the flood water and the government was largely conducting relief activities for flood victims stressing large scale support and donations were required for the rehabilitation of more than 30 millions people.

Members of the EU delegation that were comprising Ms. Maria Arena, Chair of the Sub-committee on Human Rights, members from European Parliament, Counseller Human Rights and EU Ambassador to Pakistan Riina Kionka,  largely discussed the legislative and implementation measures taken by Pakistan on anti-torture bill, enforced disappearances, blasphemy laws, citizenship for refugees, minorities’ rights and capital punishment.

Muhammad Arshad, Director General Human Rights apprised the participants that Pakistan had ratified seven core international conventions related to human rights and it had introduced legislation that caters both domestic needs and international commitments.

As per the amended action plan on Human Rights, seven basic thematic areas had been enlisted by the ministry for the adoption of implemtation strategies.

Under this action plan four segments of society are kept on top priority including children, women, minorities and vulnerable population i.e., women, persons with disabilities, transgender persons and senior citizens.

For independent observance, better policy formulation and execution four national commissions have been established on the status of women, rights of child, minority rights and National Commission for Human Rights.

The minister also praised the help of the EU for the ministry for its awareness and communication campaigns in the country.

He said that ministry was working for capacity building of human rights institutions and to bring more legislative reforms for protection and promotion of human rights. He added that Legal Aid and Justice Authority working under the ministry is also on to bring recommendations to alter lengthy judicial procedures that akin to infringement of human rights of victims particularly in blasphemy cases.